Before the written part of today’s entry, a couple comments re: BPotD: you’ll likely have noticed fewer entries lately, as well as long load times / stalled loading of images. We’ve determined that the garden’s web server is starting to fail, so I’m trying to minimize the load on the server while we work to replace it (and one way to do so is to reduce traffic to the site). Unfortunately, we’re not going to be able to move the whole site to the new server until after I take a couple trips that I had planned months ago. I suspect BPotD will continue to be infrequently published until mid-October (and let’s hope the server lasts until then).
This month’s biodiversity series is about “Tropical Biodiversity”. Thank you to mondomuse@Flickr (aka Robert S. of Venice, California) for sharing today’s image via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool. Much appreciated!
Furcraea foetida, known in English as Mauritius-hemp, giant cabuya or green-aloe, is native to parts of the Caribbean and northern South America. Do note that despite the common names, it is neither an Aloe nor from Mauritius. It’s not a hemp, either, though it is used economically for extraction of the natural fibre fique (aka cabuya). The export of species of Furcraea from Brazil by the Dutch to its then-settlement in Mauritius eventually led to that common names.
Furcraea is named after Antoine François, comte de Fourcroy,a French chemist and entomologist. Fourcroy was one of four French collaborators in the creation of a standardized chemical nomenclature.
For additional images of Furcraea foetida, see the extensive image collection of naturalized plants in Hawaii: Furcraea foetida.
Botany resource link: A loose follow-up to the Drosera anglica entry a couple weeks ago: “Meat-eating plants losing ground in U.S.“, via The Seattle Times, about the decline of carnivorous plants due to development, poaching and suppression of wildfires.