Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Jarana seeds and pod

Earlier this week I guided a group of Swedish visitors to Bosque Santa Lúcia and then on to the Tapajós National Forest, where we did a walking tour of about one hour. The highlight of the visit for me was finding an abundance of jarana pods (Holopyxidium jarans) on the ground. Jarana trees are found at the Bosque but I haven't noticed any pods around this year. There used to be lots of these trees around the immediate region of the Bosque but they were all cut, along with the rest of the forest, in favor of soy and rice plantations. The wooden columns of the two verandas of the Bosque museum are jarana. They were cut from fallen trees with a chainsaw. As you would suspect, the wood is very hard and heavy. In the past I've noticed that local farmers and ranchers preferred jarana for their fence post.

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