Review of plants for the final examination

The final examination in ethnobotany class is based on the concept that an ethnobotanically learned student can walk through their environment naming plants and describing uses of such plants. At the end of such a walk an observer would conclude that the student knows their plants and the uses of those plants. This final is made uniquely possible by the location of the course here in Micronesia with students who are the indigenous peoples of these islands.


Surrounded by Ischaemum polystachyum, with Senna alata in the background, Saccharum spontaneum in the background on the left. The usual hike: forging through a sea of paddle grass looking for plants. Lerina, Darlene, Patty, and Simon in front of the Senna alata Merremia peltata can be seen atop the paddle grass. Each plant visible has a use. The white basal core of paddle grass can be used to soothe an upset stomach, young Senna alata leaves are a topical anti-fungal, the wild cane grass is used to weave a special fafa basket in Kosrae.


A large Asplenium nidus fern in a Falcataria moluccana tree trunk notch. The leaves seen are not those of Falcataria moluccana but rather of Macaranga carolinensis. Bambusa vulgaris is in the background to the right. The tree in the left background may be Pterocarpus indicus.


The class looks around at the profusion and confusion of greenery and tries to sort out local names, Latin names, uses.

Alpinia carolinensis - giant Caroline island ginger plant - on the left.

Lina Lawrence, Marvin Bartolome standing in the Haruki garden.


About a month ago the one cycad on campus (introduced) popped a cone. Two weeks ago can be seen above, the cone being about two to three weeks old (estimated).


Two weeks later and the cone seems to be maturing, opening up, the scales are becoming loose.


The cycad is still very short, permitting photos from directly above.

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