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Botany Photo of the Day
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Parkia timoriana

Parkia timoriana

Thank you once again to wlcutler@Flickr, aka Wendy Cutler, for another fine photograph: Parkia timoriana, via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool. She photographed this tree while visiting the Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden in Honolulu. Much appreciated, Wendy.

Parkia has previously been featured on Botany Photo of the Day, with Parkia biglandulosa. Thirty-four species are recognized according to Mabberley's Plant-Book, with twelve species in the Indopacific region (which includes Parkia timoriana).

Tree bean is bat-pollinated or chiropterophilous. It has some of the classic properties of such species: night-flowering, light-coloured, strongly odored and nectar-rich. Mabberley notes that Old World species of bats visiting their native Parkia species will land head upwards, while in the New World, the bats visiting their associated Parkia species will land head downwards. For more on pollination of this species by bats, see: Bumrungsri et al. 2008. The pollination ecology of two species of Parkia (Mimosaceae) in southern Thailand. Journal of Tropical Ecology. 24(5): 467-475. doi: 10.1017/S0266467408005191 .

Parkia timoriana grows to about 40m tall, forming a large crown making it useful as a specimen shade tree in tropical regions. Like at least a few other species of Parkia (e.g., Parkia speciosa), it is partially edible: seeds, young pods, seedlings and flowers can all be consumed.

3 Comments

Marilyn Brown commented:

What a beautiful picture ! Lovely colors, textures, composition, and all that airiness. Thank you.

elizabeth a airhart commented:

i just simply no idea that bats feed themselves on
flowers and plants the picture is just fine
wendy is so good for this page =thank you

Wendy Cutler commented:

I'm thrilled to have my photo selected for POTD, and even more so to read about the bat pollination. That tree was the highlight of my visit - the shaving brush flowers swinging almost a metre below the branches were fascinating.

Comments are closed.

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