Thursday, November 27, 2008

Rubber Tree

More than a century ago, an Englishman went to Brazil and stole some rubber seeds aka Hevea brasiliensi. He germinated them and grew them in the Kew Gardens in London.

From those stolen seeds, they grew to supply the rubber gardens in Malaysia and Borneo.
The original rubber trees were very good, but took too long to reach a productive age. Then the good old scientist developed a smaller tree but produced more and called it high yielding tree.

My plant is a miniature tree. It's a tribute to both sets of my ancestry. It was rubber that brought them to Borneo.In 1907, my Great Grand father was scouted to lead a developing company to grow this important cash crop.

I often go on a walk-a-about on the university campus. I found a cluster of five rubber trees. Some one wanted to do an article on the trees of the bygone era. I told them where to find them. I even got Sam to do an experiment on tapping rubber to get latex like his fore fathers before him. We didn't get any latex because it poured that day.

This species is different from a decorative Indian Rubber tree aka Ficus elastica.

***A bonzai is a tree manipulated to form a miniature tree, originally from Japan.***

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