In Siva's Sacred Gardens this morning the bamboo forest looks spectacular. This special is Guadua angustifolia, one of the major reforestry species in South America. It is regarded as among the finest construction bamboos and is said to resist rot and termites, but our experience on Kauai would not agree. You may need to pan to see the entire photo.
Each year this spectacular orchid, located near the Swayambhu Lingam, gets more and more....well, bloomy (yes, it will be in the Fictionary by midday).
It is of the giant family of Grammatophylum and is called G. scriptum, var. Citrinum, meaning lemon. One of Siva's miracles today.
It has been called the ugliest flower in the world. It is neither dainty nor symetrical, two touchstones for beauty. But it is wild and anguished, and there is beauty in that. It is the rare tropical Anthurium marie, the black-leafed giant anthurium that is having a beautiful day in Siva's Sacred Garden.
Cycads and their close relatives the Encephalartos are among the ancient plants of the world, found in fossil remains some 280 million years old. Plus, they are known to live as long as one thousand years. So they are a natural choice for the monks to plant near Kadavul Temple where our giant mango tree had to be removed. So Sadasivanathaswami, Arumuganathaswami and Adi Srikantha visited a cycad nursery yesterday and selected dozens of the species, to be delivered in July.
These plants create giant cones that weigh up to 60 pounds. In tribal days in South Africa, the cones were used as a food source, so it may not surprise that the name Encephalartos means, literally, "bread in the head" since there is a lot of high-quality starch in the crown head at the top of the trunk.
A few days bak our neighbor took down a giant tree in his compound, and on it were hundreds of mature Staghorn ferns. He gifted them to the monastery, and today Sadasivanathaswami (ahead in the trackhoe) and Adi Srikantha (behind the camera) moved them to a spot near Iraivan.
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