Saturday, January 19, 2008

New Palm Tree Discovered in Madagascar.

I have always been a bit of a “Plant Nut”. (Got it from my parents, I think!) Anyway Recently I saw an old second-hand book called “The Plant Hunters” by Tyler Whittle, and all about the collection and later commercial introduction to the rest of the world, of all the then rare plants that we now consider common.

As it was very cheap I bought the book and it is a fascinating read, although rather quaint in some of its language despite being first published as recently as 1970. Reading it I kind of got the impression that most new plants had long been discovered except maybe for a few smaller mosses and such, which may occasionally be discovered from time to time. But it certainly seemed that all the big trees, plants and shrubs had all been long discovered and named.

But not so according to my Herald Sun Newspaper. For on the 18th of January, they had an item about a “Not so jolly green giant,” which turns out to be “a new enormous species of palm whose bizarre life cycle requires the plant to kill itself after it has flowered.

The gigantic pyramid– shaped plant was discovered accidentally by a French family walking in remote north-western Madagascar. The palms trunk is over 18m high and its leaves are an extraordinary 5m in diameter, which would make them the largest flowering plants. …It is not only a new species, but also a new Genus.”

It goes on to say “the plant grows to dizzying heights before the stem tip bursts into branches of hundreds of tiny flowers which become nectar rich fruit. Once it has fruited, the entire tree collapses.”

As fascinating as the plant itself is to me, I was also amazed that something so large could remain undiscovered for so long. This should give us all some encouragement as we struggle along in our jobs and lives looking for recognition and discovery, to just hang on in there. If we are truly unique we will be eventually discovered.

The main thing is to lean from this Palm tree and not die off before we are discovered. It is probably due to its unique feature of dieing after flowering, as much as its remoteness that has stopped it being discovered long before this.

So don’t be like the Palm tree and give up and stop, but keep on keeping on until your true worth is discovered and appreciated and given its true recognition. So even if you are feeling a little down and even un-loved, hang on in there and keep on flowering to your best –even if it kills you! It may take a long time and it may seem like forever but if you are unique then you will be eventually discovered. Again hang on in there. That’s my advice for today and your whole life for that matter. Walter

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