Field of Science

Botanical Quiz

Here's are two botanical items that go together in an interesting way. What do we have here? Let's see if anyone out there can identify the plants, which means they know what this is and what it is for. What do you say sports fans?

4 comments:

Arati said...

the betel nut leaf and the areca nut.

Arati said...

btw what does it have to do with sports fans?

The Phytophactor said...

Isn't the WWW wonderful? Something that is a total stumper in the northern temperate zone is common as dirt in parts of SE Asia. So this was a no brainer for Arati, who by the sound of the accent is from Bangalore (it's the way they hit the keys). And this explains why the "sports fans" comment did not translate across to another English speaking culture (Arati - The quiz is the sport contest; you won.)
The leaf is from the betel piper, a close relative of black piper (pepper). And the slice of ruminate endosperm is from the seed of the betel palm (areca). The latter is wrapped in the former and smeared with a bit of slacked lime and then chewed. This treat is called paan and it aids digestion while giving the chewer a mild buzz. Paan is an acquired taste.

Pat said...

Pretty common in Manchester in the cold and rainy north of England, as well. That cross-section through the nut is unmistakeable. Most paan has spices, fruit and other stuff, even tobacco at times, added for flavour.