Spice and timber plants of Pwunso

A visit to the Pwunso botanic garden, Kolonia, Pohnpei, in photos

Ficus prolixa: the millennium tree at Pwunso

Sporophytic moss


Capsicum frutescens

Cananga odorata

Cananga odorata

Tentatively Chrysothemis pulchella (copper leaf)

Hibiscus manihot (bele)

Hibiscus manihot (bele)

Uhten iap

Uhten iap. High beta carotene red fleshed banana


Lavonna, Marigold. Class start 3:52 PM upon bus arrival

Class start role by photos: Nemely, Nette, Myra, Lefreeancy

Leeron, Nemely, Myra, Nette view the Ficus prolixa

Syzygium aromaticum leaves (clove tree). Ian, Nemely, Marigold, Rosalyn, Henry, Rodrigo

What is that fragrance? Cloves! 

Tree three on the tour: Araucaria heterophylla

Araucaria heterophylla

Male cone of Araucaria heterophylla

Tech in use on the tour by Nette and Keona

Norfolk island pine

Heading over to the cinnamon trees

Cinnamomum verum 

Cinnamomum verum

Cinnamomum verum inflorescence

Coffea robusta

Cycad. Perhaps Cycas circinalis or Cycas rumphii

Myristica fragrans, the source of mace and nutmeg

Cananga odorata

Eucalyptus deglupta

Eucalyptus deglupta

Marigold, Ian, Lavonna, Lefreeancy, Nemely head for the inner back gate.

The back gate had been open at 3:30 but would turn out to be securely locked by 4:17.

Leeron, Lefreeancy, Drake (present at start but kept towards the rear of the group)

Via-Marie


Piper sarmentosum also known as Piper lolot

Calophyllum inophyllum

Agathis lanceolata: kauri pine

Hardened gum smells like PineSol - like a pine tree! Marigold

Nemely and Marigold smell Pimenta dioica (allspice) leaves

Myra leans on the allspice tree

Lavonna, Myra, Nemely, allspice in the background

Trying to remember the name of the Calophyllum inophyllum in Pohnpeian

Keona, Nette, Leeron, Nemely, Rodrigo, Via-Marie, Lavonna. Allspice at the back left.

Class wrap role: Henry, Ian, Keona, Nette, Nemely, Leeron, Rodrigo.

Keona would note that the fruit of the Calophyllum inophyllum is cooked and eaten in the Marshall islands. She is of Marshallese and Mwoakillese heritage.

Via-Marie, Lavonna, Lefreeancy


Outbound at 4:39, a few minutes later than I target, but the inner gate being locked led the class astray briefly. I still think that I ought to reverse the front garden and start with the nutmeg and end with the Ficus, but that seems anti-climatic to the story I am telling as we move through the garden. Nutmeg remains the anchor. Nutmeg would drive Europeans to find oceanic ways to cut out middle eastern and south Asian middle men in pursuit of the spice. And Manhattan would wind up speaking English because of nutmeg. Nutmeg and other spice island spices would lead to Europeans finding the islands of Micronesia and their indigenous inhabitants.

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