Ethnobotany of Pohnpei released

Ethnobotany of Pohnpei was released with Iso Nahnken en Nett presiding over the release ceremony. The book is a comprehensive look at the ethnobotany of Pohnpei. Twelve years in the making, the book is the culmination of a joint effort by the traditional leadership of Pohnpei, the New York Botanic Garden, Conservation Society of Pohnpei, and many other supporting partners such as The National Tropical Botanic Garden, The Nature Conservancy, the College of Micronesia-FSM and many more.

Speakers included Bill Raynor (seen above), Patterson Shed, Dr. David Lorence, Dr. Michael Balick, Wayne Law, Adelino Lorens, and Iso Nahnkehn en Nett.

Dr. Michael Balick of the New York Botanic Garden had the original vision to create the book. Iso Nahnken awarded him a high title in Nett in recognition of the work done.

Director of Science at the National Tropical Botanic Garden, Dr. David Lorence, along with a team of collectors including Steve Perlman, has identified the presence of Clidemia hirta, an aggressive Melastomaceae weed. Clidemia hirta is in the same family as our local melastome, pisetikmei (Melastoma malabathicum var. marianum).

On the left is pisetikmei, on the right is a leaf from Clidemia hirta. C. hirta grows into a mass of impenetrable vegetation with woody stems. The plant appears to "crawl" along the ground.

Above is the flower of pisetikmei, a plant that is a native of Pohnpei. C. hirta has a small, white flower. Images of an unidentified melastome from fall 2007 now appear to be C. hirta.

An orchid in bloom in the unofficial orchid collection.
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