This botanical garden is amazing. One can walk on the paths and not see a soul. You almost feel as if you're lost in the jungle. I saw plants that looked familiar, i.e. philodendron (considered a weedy pest). But it wasn't like the small plant in my kitchen. Oh, no, this thing has leaves a foot across and was flowering! I learned that there are many different palms, and I could see how a variety could enable one to create anything from a soup spoon to an outrigger canoe with palms. There's some palms that most definitely make you unwelcome...we saw two species that had thorns every where. I felt them, gingerly. The thorns felt like the teeth on a plastic comb...but had vicious points. I also discovered the "Wait-a-While" palm (Calamus muelleri). This lovely tree drops a vine from mid rib that has backward pointing hooks all along it. One man told us he attempted to go through the Mossman Gorge jungle and was so badly caught up in the wait-a-while that he had to call for help! And yet this palm gives us so much-one can eat the nuts, and it is the source for rattan-that immensely useful material that one can wear, sit on, and fan oneself!
The staff is friendly, incredibly knowledgeable, and glad to stop and answer your questions.
I've attached a picture of an enormous clump of bamboo. I had no idea it got so tall.
Don't miss the botanical garden. Even if you're not a botanist or a plant freak, you'll learn a lot and truly enjoy it.
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