: of, relating to, or resulting from the influence of human beings on nature

Bombacaceae (Malvaceae), Adansonia digitata, Boabab

Baobab. This is the most widespread of the Adansonia species. I took these photos on the Kenyan coast. Other common names for Baobab include: boab, boaboa, bottle tree, upside-down tree, […]

Myrtaceae, Pimenta dioca, Allspice, Pimento

Allspice is a highly aromatic berry of the pimento tree, one of three major spice crops grown commercially in the Western hemisphere (the other two are capsicums and vanilla). Attempts […]

Convolvulaceae, Ipomoea aquatica, water spinach, bwere-mlungu (Chonyl), balanbal (Somali), chamarirobia (Sanya)

The prostrate, much-branched Ipomoea aquatica is a plant associated with wetlands, as the latin species name would indicate. The dirty green stems are hollow and fleshy with white sap, growing […]

Bombaceae (Malvaceae), Adansonia digitata, Baobab, Muyu (Chonyu), Mbuyu (Swahili, Digo), Muramba (Embu)

Note: For more photos see this subsequent post on A. digitata. The Baobab appears to be a somewhat disproportional tree, with a massive trunk and gnarled, twisting branches. The fruit […]

Basellaceae, Basella alba, pui shak (Bengali), balasale soppu (Kannada), Malabar spinach, Malabar nightshade, Climbing spinach

This is a soft twining perennial plant. The stems are fleshy and green, sometimes tinged brownish purple. The leaves can take on a variety of degrees of heart-shape. The small, […]

Oxalidaceae, Averrhoa carambola, grafted Carambola (starfruit) flowers and young fruit

The Starfruit is from Malaysia and Indonesia, now common throughout tropical Asia and the neo-tropics. Most of the world’s commercial cultivation occurs in Brazil, the West Indies, and Malaysia. The […]

Convulvulaceae, Ipomoea alba, Moon flower

I collected this plant (seed) from a vine growing on an old man’s porch in Boquete. He didn’t know where it came from, but commented that it only bloomed in the afternoon, which I see to be true now that my vine is flowering. The buds develop remarkably fast. As can be observed in the photos, the unopened bud looks like a turbine. In the afternoon it quickly unwinds and blooms into a large, very fragrant flower.

Reportedly, the young leaves and fleshy calyces of Ipomoea alba are edible, so are the young seeds. Leaves and calyxes are eaten cooked, steamed, alone as a vegetable, added to curries and soups.

The whole plant is used as a snakebite medicine.