Plants


I found lots of these weird plants on the side of Kane-yama (Mt Kane) in Munakata today. I couldn’t find them in my plant book so I searched on Internet using the phrase: weird white ghost like plants in the forest. Amazingly, this search brought up the correct thing immediately and it’s actually called a Ghost Plant, or Indian Pipe in North America.
This plant has no chlorophyll, hence the white colour, which also means that it cannot make its own food. Instead, it is a parasite (or symbiote) of underground fungi that, in turn, are symbiotes living on the roots of trees, from which they gain food. It’s a pretty complicated relationship!
Ghost plant = Monotropa uniflora = gin-ryousou-modoki (Japanese)
ghost_pipe_002
ghost_pipe_001

I don’t normally take many pictures of flowers, but I thought these Gentians were too pretty to miss!

Gentian

Location: Shousuke-mura near Global Arena in Munakata (google map)

This persimmon tree (kaki) looked so beautiful against the blue sky.

Diospyros kaki = Japanese kaki persimmon = kaki

Good article about persimmons on Wikipedia

I was driving to university this morning and passed by a field of beautiful sunflowers. Very impressive sight! Of course, I couldn’t resist stopping to take a few pictures.

SunflowersSunflowersSunflowersSunflowers
SunflowersSunflowers

There are so many wild strawberries (no-ichigo) in our local area. It’s always nice to be able to eat them when going for a stroll…

wild strawberries

I spent about 4 hours wandering around the small area of woodland about 100 meters from our house. The area has several clearings (sweet chestnut groves), a couple of ponds, and some mikan (orange) groves. Hardly anyone ever goes there and it’s a wildlife haven. The perfect place to spend a day looking for bugs.

chestnut grovedeadnettles and vetchCow parsleyorange grove
deadnettlesdeadnettles and vetch

Some of the most common plants:
sweet chestnut: kuri
dead nettle: odorikosou
vetch: karasunoendou
hedge parsley: yabujirami (seri-ka) – covered in bugs!

Great website for plant identification: http://www.botanic.jp/index.htm
Another plant website: http://www.mitomori.co.jp/hanazukan/hanazukan.html

This tree is about 800 meters from our home and I recently found out that it is the biggest camphor tree in the Munakata area. It’s nice to have a giant in our neighborhood! Apparently it is around 27m tall, has a girth of more than 8m, and is 800-1,000 years old. It even has its own small shrine at the base.

camphorcamphor

Camphor tree = kusu-no-ki
Cinnamomum camphora