Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dangwa Surprise!

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.

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