Tuesday, April 27, 2010
We went to Dangwa last week to buy some flowers for the graduation rites. My companions Grace, Meryll and Elle perused through every shop looking for a good bargain for our cut flower needs. While looking at the colorful bevy of cut flowers, we found a few unusual items sold along with the mums, carnations, roses and azucenas. As the three ladies did some haggling, I brought out my camera to take snaps of some of the native curiosities.
Most impressive are the pseudoberries or flowers of Osmoxylon. They are about a foot across. I read somewhere that the flowers of ulo-ulo or Osmoxylon are fruit-like to attract its pollinators, birds.
Another attractive colored find are the fruits of a primitive tree, bago or Gnetum gnemon. The tree is a cross between an angiosperm and a conebearing gymnosperm. The fruits are in clumps and starchy. In Panay, they are roasted by Mangyans and eaten as a vegetable. In Indonesia, the seeds are pounded flat and fried like kropek.
A lot of native pandan fruits also find their way into the racks of Dangwa. Pandan fruits are very varied and odd-shaped. A smaller of the pandan fruits is that of bariu or bariw, which I believe to be Pandanus copelandii. The red and orange clusters are actually made out small kernels. tightly packed together.
A couple of hours more, my companions have managed to procure what we came for. As for me I came home with more than what I expected, a loot of fruits which I plan to experiment with in my garden. Just hope some would manage to germinate and reward me with seedlings after a few months, that is if they do not succumb first to the extreme dryness of this year's El Nino. Here's hoping.