Friday, December 5, 2014

Tropical Agriculture Research Station

This morning the kids and I watched our friend land in a tiny plane at our local airport. I'm not sure how Mark fit in the plane with his tall frame, but he managed. Mark became a wonderful friend to us in South Dakota and a great botany mentor to Ben. We hiked with him and got lots of advice on places to hike in the Black Hills. He brought us up into the hills in our first three years to find our Christmas tree for the season (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013). A while ago I wrote to Mark and asked him if he'd like to come visit us for Pieter's birthday in December. He had been to all of Pieter's other birthdays (one, two, three, four), so we were so happy when he made plans to come. After picking him up, we collected Ben at the University and headed to the Tropical Agriculture Research Station in Mayaguez, the perfect place for a visiting botanist. I really enjoy walking around this beautiful place with it's historic building and courtyards and the well maintained and labeled living plant collection.

{African Oil Palm, Elaeis guineensis}

{Oil Palm fruit}
{Manila Palm, Adonidia merrillii ~ the same palm in our front yard}
{Ceylon Cinnamon, Cinnamomum verum}
{I think these were Cacao research plants, Theobroma cacao}
{many Star Fruit varieties,  Averrhoa carambola}
{I love the dark leaves of this wild banana, Musa acuminata}
{Pompona Vanilla, Vanilla planifolia, v. pompona}
{More than a century old, a Mahogany tree that is native to the Caribbean, Swietenia mahagoni}
{Talipot Palm, Corypha umbraculifera}

I'll be back with more adventures over the next few days with Mark!

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