To start off the day, I gave the students a brief introductory ethnobotanic tour of the grounds, explaining elements that make for an effective and enjoyable tour along the way. Afterwards I had the students each present on the ethnobotany of a different plant I had not yet covered in the tour. I could see that several of the students found the facts and stories about the plants interesting, giving them an expanded appreciation of their value beyond aesthetics.
|Sharing some ethnobotanical facts about our paradisiacal coconut palms (Cocos nucifera).|
|One of the students describing the ethnobotany of the locust-berry (Byrsonima lucida).|
|Aechmea 'Blue Tango' was a given - the students suggested I use this angle, focus on the tip of the inflorescence, and blur the background.|
|The students liked the look of this recently-pruned and now re-sprouting branch of our royal poinciana (Delonix regia), calling it "The Three-Headed Monster."|
|They had no need for a key to identify the papaya plant (Carica papaya), but I had to help them out with the name of our photogenic reptilian friend, the green anole.|
|Our pummelo tree (Citrus maxima) was in bloom and is deliciously fragrant, but as this picture demonstrates, look carefully before diving in nose-first!|
"Coming to the Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai was a fantastic experience, especially during the hands-on exercises."
"Opened my eyes to see plants differently...ordinary things can have a much greater importance in everyday life. Plants can heal, comfort, and offer pleasure."
"Thanks to @kkgardens for showing me around their beautiful botanic garden. There are more to plants than you think!"
"Great time @kkgardens! I encourage taking a tour as there is much to learn about ethnobotany!"
"Had an amazing experience at @kkgardens. I enjoyed learning about different plant species, how they can affect our lives, and what we can do to help keep them healthy and alive."
"Had an awesome day at Kona Kai Botanic Gardens. What people don't understand about plants is extraordinary. I learned so much about the uses of plants in our development as humans."
"The Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai really helped me understand the real-world value of plants and the ethnic, medicinal, and industrial implications they have in our surrounding environment. Often we don't stop and appreciate the real value these plants have in our lives."
"At Kona Kai my eyes were opened up to how useful plants are in our everyday lives and how our interactions with plants have helped the human race survive and prosper."
|The flowering stalk from one of our 'Praying Hands' banana plants - the bud opens bract by bract to reveal lines of flowers, which are then pollinated and become fruits.|
Look forward to more posts about the ways in which The Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai Resort is getting involved in and giving back to our local southern Florida communities, including the third installment of the Olympic Wreath Competition story, coming up next!