Friday, April 9, 2010

The Jardim Botânico

11 nov. 2009

The Jardim Botânico is the Botanical Garden. My friend Debbie did an internship there for the whole stay. It has a lot to do with what she studies I forgot if it was like environmental with bio or if it was botanical something. But anyway, she brought me here finally and I got to meet a whole bunch of her super cool colleagues, like Arivaldo in this picture:

They all taught me a little more about botany and plant names and history. These people were really really knowledgable. Oh by the way a culture note: when I got there and started talking to the researchers and botanists etc, and at seperate times like 4 people told me "você fala português bem melhor do que ela...ela fala bem puxado" and I thought it was really funny and unexpected that people would just straight up tell someone "you speak way better than her", right in front of the other person and talk about how she speaks with difficulty.
I guess that's not really rude, I mean I don't think I'd be very offended but I am just not used to it and I think it could be percieved as something rude to say in California by most people. But anyway we thought it was funny especially cause Debbie was like "Yeah it's cause she speaks Spanish too". Anyway....

We went through a section where they're growing little Pau Brasil I think it was
oh right so this garden although it has a part of of in-pot growing plants, there is also a huge section that is meant for no touching nothing by one of the botanist students there, I think he's going to be writing a dissertation on this project of trying to remake a section close to what the forest would have looked like before colonization.

Oh I was having a blast with all the trees and plants. I love all this biodiversity and learning about the origins. For example the picture below is a Jaca tree!
Otherwise known as Jack Fruit in English. The Portuguese brought it from Asia (Malaysia area). And Jack fruit is super popular in a lot of Asian food and drinks. It's really quite delicious.
Baby Jaca
They opened one up with the machete that Arivaldo was carrying around. This is a very unripe one but nonetheless id kind of looks like that except the pulp is more of a bright yellow. However, apparently my mãe likes it a little green. But the researchers like it nice and yellow and sticky.
Growth to me is an interesting phenomena, and concept.

Then we went into this area in which they are growing a lot of the most commonly used herbs and plants in candomble ceremonies. It is interesting to note that most of the plants used in candomble have healing properties.

I totally forgot what the uses were of each one particularly but I know I took a few leaves of the one for stomach ache. You make a tea out of the leaves. Then there are some for headaches and a lot of things, I'm so sad i didn't write this down.
This one however is poisonous if consumed. Its colloquial name is "nobody can with me"

The jesus christ crown

This bright flourescent, fuchsia tree is around Algebra's house too, and I love how it spreads a bright fuchsia blanket all over the lawn and anything under it. These pictures are anything but exaggerating the color, my camera couldn't really capture it well but it's super bright pink!
Then I was about to go home when there was a huge traffic jam, we never found out what happened possibly a crash but people just decided to get off the buses and walk to wherever they were going. So I decided to wait a little longer there. --I stayed till closing.

The image that this garden uses on their logo or whatever is this pendulum tree. It's really really cool it looks like a tropical Christmas tree really. These little spheres just hang off the branches.

they showed me around the various steps they work on to archive the plants they're working with. Those wooden rack things are used to dry out the plants.
Check out the Nescau! researchers gotta have their chocolate milk, you know.
What they are working on now is collecting various parts of a plant, like the seed, the flower, the other things that are indicative of their structure.

They also showed me around the record room. And I apparently thought archiving was bloody hilarious. But what they do is they have a large part of the plant with the roots preferably and in a bag in the corner they have to include the seed, and I never thought about it but the flower is super important too; without the flower the plant can be indistinguishable from another apparently. There is also a description there too. There were soooo many archives and the room was cold so we didn't stay very long.
Arivaldo and his girlfriend were going to a concert near where I live so he offered to take me home but we had to pick up his girlfriend be continued


  1. What? to be continued? oh my goodness, I'll just have to wait, to find out what happened.
    En serio esta muy interesante esta parte, y tambien opino que hablas muy bien el idioma portugues, que bueno que lo saben reconocer.
    Dijo mi hermana Elena que esta muy bonito tu trabajo que estas escribiendo acerca de Brazil. Felicidades

  2. Haha, yeah who would have known that a trip to a Botanical Garden would be such a cliff-hanger? Haha, gracias por leer mi bloggie y tambien gracias a su hermana Elena. Siempre sientanse libre de hacer qualquier pregunta o comentario. Espero que les siga gustando lo que tengo para decir sobre mi viaje!