Sunday, May 29, 2011

Beachside Botany

At Brewer's Bay beach on Friday, I took this photo of a tree with a calabash vine growing on it, and attached calabash fruit. I've seen a few trees with calabash vines around - one on Virgin Gorda and one on St. John. The one we came upon in Virgin Gorda was particularly note-worthy, as the tree was almost completely leaf-less, but had 20-30 pumpkin-sized calabash fruits suspended from its spindly limbs. The branches of the tree look hardly capable of supporting such huge fruit, which looked as if they grew directly from the tree itself. Calabash, particularly the juice, can be toxic too, although the toxicity of the calabash pales in comparison with the manchineel. Still, probably best not to try to eat it should you encounter it, even though it might look like a delicious watermelon from the outside.

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