Monday, April 26, 2010

What species is that? Archidendron lucyi

This wonderful species Archidendron lucyi is found in the tropical rainforests of North Queensland as well as Melasia and the Solomon Islands. Also known commonly as scarlet bean it has the most fascinating structure - is about 70 to 120 mm long and 15 to 25 mm wide although the way it curls around disguises its length somewhat. On the following page of this excellent book below by Wendy and William Cooper is a very similar bean called the Salmon bean or Archidendron vaillantii. This is where the advice of staff at the gardens is critical due to the similarity between species - to an untrained eye its difficult to distinguish what is what. I like to double check wherever possible... as Jason Halford from the Seed lab (see post from april 19)  has stated at times plant identification can require quite a bit of cross-referencing for him to be sure. I expect I may have to edit posts over the year due to the limits to my knowledge. Already this has been the case after guided tours where so much is being taken in and notes and memory fail one. It's therefore reassuring to hear from experienced staff that they also can ocassionally make false readings first up.

IMG_0344 by stevenality.

You can appreciate the challenge in drawing some these forms. The colour is amazing and watching them opening truly spectacular. The seeds are a blue black and in a particular light can look satin-like which adds to the intrigue of this exotic fruit from the Nth Qld rainforest.

This single pod is typical of the way they curl around - taking up the space of the palm of one's hand.
This post was in response to the gardener/photographer Em from the wonderful weblog Garden Fool based in the state of New York. Thanks for your query Em which I will take up further this week at the Gardens with staff there.

When researching on this species I came across a remarkable website that contains a huge archive of images taken under the microscope of inside the wood of a diverse range of trees from around the globe. I have yet to read about this site in detail from North Carolina State University. Here is the image for the wood from this rainforest species above.

Click on this below to enlarge for reading:

This particular emtry comes from the Insidewood Images collection of North Carolina State University. The site was found through google but I am finding the links dont work to this when I try and enter them. You might find a way into  NCSU and then all collections  at:

Aristolochia griffithii

As you can see the images from the inside wood collection are stunning and remind me of abstract 
forms not unlike ones I have been drawn to paint from time to time.

Thottea siliquosa

Daphnandra repandula

Gaura sinuata


Maggie Neale said...

What a comprehensive post, Sophie! So much information....But the last 4 images are fabulous, the cells in patterns, natural art! Intriguing and beautiful!

sophie munns said...

Hi Maggie,
lovely have you visit here.
Its interesting how much one can discover with a little hunting around. A remarkable specimen to start with. I'm saving the seeds to take back to the gardens...but at present I'm watching it go through its cycle of opening and starting to dry out.
The archive of images taken of inside the wood of so many trees is a revelation. For anyone with a penchant for the abstract these are both that and not...!
The Macro and micro worlds may appear as abstract but its a form of realism really that the naked eye simply cant see.

I hope you can track it down Maggie! I had a little trouble with the weblink for it.

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