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  • LIFESTYLE

    Ginger up

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 27/11/2016

    » Regular reader Paul Schiller sent me a photo of a plant growing in a flower pot at his summer home in Khao Lak, Phangnga province. "Do you know this small beauty?" he asked. The plant was a cluster of lance-shaped bright green leaves, with a terminal pendant inflorescence hanging from each stem. What's attractive about the plant was the unusual inflorescence, which comprised of showy, widely spaced purple bracts. From the base of each bract emerged the long, tube-like pedicel of a small yellow flower. The plant's stems and leaves are those characteristically belonging to members of the ginger family.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Jack of all fruits

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 09/10/2016

    » The world population was listed at one billion in 1804. Statistics show that 123 years passed before it reached two billion in 1927, but it took only 33 years to hit the three billion mark in 1960. From then on it rose by leaps and bounds, taking only 14 years to reach four billion in 1974 and 13 years to rise to five billion in 1987. I still remember reading about the world population reaching six billion in 1999. It now stands at 7.5 billion, and it took only 17 years to reach that number.

  • LIFESTYLE

    No slacking off in hunt for salak

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 14/08/2016

    » Roy Cruise sent me an email asking where to find chempedak (Artocarpus integer), salak (Salacca zalacca) and gandaria (Bouea macrophylla) in Thailand. A friend of his in Cavite, Philippines, had asked him to look for the said fruit trees but he has not been able to find them in Mae Hong Son, where he lives. "I was wondering if you had any idea where I may find them?" he asked.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Flowers of flame

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 10/04/2016

    » The Tabebuia rosea, or chompoo panthip, on Kasetsart University's Kamphaeng Saen campus in Nakhon Pathom province caused a traffic jam as it attracted people from far and near last February. The trees were planted on both sides of the road and when they dropped all their leaves, only to be blanketed by flowers all at the same time, they were a sight to behold.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Bromeliads for beginners

    Brunch, Published on 14/12/2014

    » Plant fairs, like the ones recently held at Suan Luang Rama IX Park and Kasetsart University's Kamphaeng Saen campus, draw gardening enthusiasts from far and wide as they are usually good sources of new and improved varieties, as well as rare and not so rare plants.

  • LIFESTYLE

    On the hunt for the plant thieves

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 07/12/2014

    » Why would someone steal the world's rarest water lily? That was the question asked by Sam Knight in an article published in the British newspaper The Guardian recently. He wrote the lengthy article after the smallest water lily in the world, the Nymphaea thermarum, whose white flowers measure less than 1cm across, was stolen from — of all places — the Princess of Wales Conservatory in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London.

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