DixPix Photographs





Here are collected a few photographs from families of monocotyledons and more primitive orders, once the Palms, Gingers and Orchids have been given their own pages.  They are a varied group, although most do little to attract the attention of a camera.

As Fungi now have their own kingdom, can they still be spoken of as flora?  A good topic for cocktail hour.  Their genes suggest they are closer to you than to plants.


Mushrooms are the classic fungus fruiting body.  Some such as this example from central Sumatra are rather striking.  Alas, even in areas where fungi are much studied, it is difficult to classify them without a good microscope to view the spores and the minute basidioles that produce them. Click to see big picture (434x480 pixels; 86 KB)
One of the more common eruptions from the jungle floor are these nested, soft polypores. Click to see big picture (640x427 pixels; 99 KB)
With superficial resemblance, oyster mushroom like growths cover some rotten logs. oysterlike
This varnished bracket fungus from Borneo may be of the genus Ganoderma (G. lucidium or G. multipileum?).  Some of this genus are of great medicinal interest, being known as the "mushrooms of immortality" in certain circles.  Other species of this genus are considered plant diseases. Click to see big picture (516x480 pixels; 113 KB)
The huge seeds of this grass are used to make jewelry, being called Lagrimas de San Pedro in Latin America, while English translates the latin name Coix lacryma-jobi as Job's Tears.  Now Pandemic, it is of Asian origin, and there a softer version is eaten as a cereal, which is known as Jali in Indonesia.
Ferns and their allies fall under the botanical division of Pteridophytes.  It seems fitting that this elegant form was photographed in Bali. Click to see big picture (571x480 pixels; 79 KB)
While this photo of a machete man cutting through an ocean of wire-fern is from central Sumatra.  It is likely Dicranopteris linearis, a major weed known as Resam, which tends to over-run areas where the rain forest has been destroyed. Click to see big picture (318x480 pixels; 100 KB)
Here's a wierd one.  A fern genus whose swollen base houses protective ants.  The Matthaei Gardens of Ann Arbor lists this as Lecanopteris curtisii, which is an "unresolved" name, but the genus is mainly found in Indonesia and Malaysia.
A Staghorn Fern Platycerium sp., growing as an epiphyte. This is in Sabah, but the genus is pan-tropical. Click to see big picture (350x480 pixels; 91 KB)
Asplenium nidus is native from eastern Africa to Polynesia.  It is also a garden favorite under the name of Birdsnest Fern in English and in Indonesian as a close translation Paku Sarang Burung.  A fluid fluxed from the leaf axis shown here is used to heal wounds.  Some Malay tribes attribute the plant supernatural powers. Click to see big picture (367x480 pixels; 41 KB)
Asplenium musifolium is a spleenwort found in the Philippines and Indonesia. Photo from Mattheai Botanical Gardens.
Not sure where to place this plant, from the Batang Ai area of Sarawak. Click to see big picture (640x426 pixels; 104 KB)

The Araceae family is a very important one in the tropics, with about 107 genera and 3700 species.  The usual family name is Arum, and the plants are often referred to as Aroids.  Its latin name should not be confused with Aracaceae, the palms.  Aroids typically have their minute flowers and their seeds on a tubular "spadix", partly surrounded by a large bract known as a "spath".

The genus Amorphophallus is amazing.  A. titan has the largest flower structure on earth, and A. gigas has the tallest, both are native to Sumatra.  They smell like rotting flesh to attract flies, and are known as Corpse Flowers.  The Indonesian is a direct translation, Bunga Bankai, a name also used for the the genus Rafflasia, the world's heaviest flowers.  This is an Amorphophallus just starting out in Sarawak. Click to see big picture (273x480 pixels; 78 KB)
The stem of Amorphophallus titanum is actually a rolled leaf.  On the right is a section of the spadix with seeds. This species has recently become known as Titan Arum. There is actually a smaller member of the genus that is farmed for its edible tuber. Click to see big picture (570x480 pixels; 115 KB)
This is the Satin Pothos Vine, Scindapsus pictus, also known as the Devil's Ivy, has been co-opted as a house plant.  There are some 40 species of this genus in the Malaysian and Indonesian region. Click to see big picture (342x480 pixels; 113 KB)
Alocasia macrorrhiza is a large, tropical Asian aroid known as Giant Taro or Upright Elephants Ear, although the latter can be confused with other genera.  Indonesians call it Bira or Sente, while in Malaysia Pokok Keladi Seberang is used. This, however, resides in KEW Gardens.  The stems are edible once the oxalic acid has been boiled out of them.  Male flower. Click to see big picture (573x480 pixels; 110 KB)
Another Giant Elephant Ear from Asia is Colocasia gigantea, known in Indonesia as Talas Padang.  Again, the leaf stocks are edible.  Photo from Lotusland, Calif.
  This is the Giant Taro again, planted in the Rungus settlements of northern Borneo.  Introducing the seed forming structure. Click to see big picture (640x387 pixels; 98 KB)
Rhaphidophora decursiva is an unusaul aroid native to southest Asian, although the photo is from Lotusland, Montecito, California.  The spadix, leaves and root stems are shown.
The bark of a Dammar Tree (Damar in Indonesian), oozing the resin from which dammar gum is made.  Agathis dammara, is of the Araucaria family, an evergreen genus of the order PinalesDammar Gum, from this and other genera, was once widely used to seal oil paintings.  The wood is excellent for building boats. Click to see big picture (362x480 pixels; 112 KB)
Probably Pandanus odorifer, (now divided into P. fascicularis and P. tectorius on obscure gounds), but there are some 600 species in that genus, mostly on the Asian and Pacific Island coasts.  For some reason they are known as Screwpines in English, Pandan in Indonesian. Click to see big picture (372x480 pixels; 102 KB)
Some species of Pandanus have edible or medicinal fruit, and others are used to make handicrafts or perfume.  The seeds are water-dispersed from the coastlines. Click to see big picture (640x459 pixels; 151 KB)
Most Screwpine fruit goes from green to yellow as it ripens, but this species on the north coast of Papua New Guinea has a blue color.  Click to see big picture (595x480 pixels; 126 KB)
There about 95 species in the Cycadaceae family, known as Cycads.  This is Cycas rumphii, native from Borneo to New Guinea.  Cycads tend to be called Pakis Haji in Indonesia, although the simpler Haja is also used. Click to see big picture (359x480 pixels; 93 KB)
The Ti Plant, Cordyline terminalis (or C. fruticosa), is of the family Asparagaceae.  In gardening circles its host of cultivars are known for their colored leaves, but here in Indonesia it is called Hanjuang and is more appreciated for its sweet, starchy rhizomes and for the medicines and liquor they yield.  It is even used to varnish surf boards. Click to see big picture (353x480 pixels; 64 KB)
The Amaryllidaceae family has produced some of the most popular plants in tropical gardens.  Hymenocallis littoralis or Beach Spider Lily is native to Central America, but has become naturalized in southeast Asia.  As the names would suggest, where growing wild, such as here on coastal Sarawak, it prefers beach settings. Click to see big picture (571x480 pixels; 86 KB)
The Giant Red Crinium, Crinum augustum, is native to southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, but has now spread to other parts of the tropics.  In some taxons it is now Crinum asiaticum var. asiaticum. Click to see big picture (537x480 pixels; 133 KB)
The Giant White Crinium, Crinum asiaticum var. pedunculatum is also known as Poison Bulb.  It too has become pan-tropical, but is at home here in Sumatra. Click to see big picture (562x480 pixels; 53 KB)
Forrestia (or Amischotolype) mollisima is a plant with pink microflowers and orange seeds, common in Indonesia and SE asia.  It is of the Commelinaceae family, which lends its name to its botanical order. forrest
There seems some confusion as to which family Limnocharis flava should be blamed on.  A South American native, Yellow Burrhead is now common in rice paddies of southeast Asia, where its edible leaves give it some welcome.  In Australia, however, it is considered a major pest. Click to see big picture (640x460 pixels; 91 KB)
The Bat Flower or Devil Flower, Tacca chantrieri, has used it strange appearance as a passport to tropical gardens everywhere.  It is native to Malaysia, Indonesia etc. where one of its names is Keladi murai. Click to see big picture (628x480 pixels; 117 KB)