Monday, 21 June 2010

2010:365:172 Really big mistake?????

I'd never seen this plant before last Saturday!  Three plants really, I suppose.
It joins the ranks of new names that have to be memorised... Castanospermum, common name, Black Bean.  The Castano-whatsit is a native Queensland/New South Wales species and grows from these large beans which come three or four in a pod.

The pods can be up to twenty centimetres long and six wide.  The beans weigh as much as thirty grams and are six or more centimetres long by three wide.  
Now, I didn't know that when this little thirty centimetre plant came home with me at the weekend.  I never even thought to question what it might grow into.  Doh!  You'd think that the size of the beans might have given me just a teeny, weeny clue!
Apparently it, given the right conditions, can reach forty metres high.  Hmmmm.  There's going to be one huge tree growing out of the rectory roof if that ever happens.  When I was teaching and wanted a measure for Goliath with which the young people could identify I used the height of a temporary classroom (mobile hut).  Three metres from floor to roof.  It doesn't take a mathematical genius to work out that forty metres is around thirteen huts piled one on top of the other!!  That's quite some tree!  And I have three of them in this wee pot!
Of course, right conditions include frost free .... so it has to be an indoor plant in Ireland; moist, well drained soil on the side of mountains .... this isn't quite the plant for a breakfast room, is it?
Just now, especially after it was sprayed with a fine mist, it looks gorgeous!  The fresh growth on these evergreen TREES is beautiful.  
Grouped with the other two new arrivals it makes a beautiful contrast in leaf shape and colour.  The other two are the Syngonanthus (already featured in a couple of blogs) and the Chrysalidocarpus Areca which will be in the spotlight in the next day or two.  
The beauty and variety in nature always bring me back to the endless creative energy of the Creator.  Over and over there are surprises in shapes, patterns, designs.... a never ending supply of new experiences and interesting objects.  In a world where travel is so much easier than it was in former generations we now see much more of God's handiwork.  What fun there must have been in heaven as each new species was formed .... you can almost imagine the exclamations, "look what we've done now"!  And, "watch out what happens when we cross this plant with that one"!  What amazing designs and beauty!  

For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies,
          Christ our God, to thee we raise
          this our sacrifice of praise.

For each perfect gift of thine
to the world so freely given,
graces human and divine,
flowers of earth and buds of heaven.
          Christ our God, to thee we raise
          this our sacrifice of praise.

Church Hymnal number 350
by Folliott Sandford Pierpoint


Anonymous said...

Do you remember the song - All I want is Black Bean soup -could this be the same Black Bean?

Anonymous said...

Do you remember the song - All I want is Black Bean soup -could this be the same Black Bean?

Anonymous said...

Oops - must be an echo!!

Rev Elizabeth said...

No, the black bean for soup and sauces is small.... like the size of kidney beans.

Trouble is: Black bean can mean:

Black turtle bean, a small black variety of the common bean (- this is the one that is used in cooking.)

Douchi, a kind of fermented soybean

Urad bean, also known as black gram

Castanospermum australe, also known as a blackbean