Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre: Come and smell the flowers

HERE’S a bit of advice for those planning to visit the Orang Utan Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, 13 miles out of Kuching. Don’t just go ape – stop and smell the flowers by the wayside!

The flowers in question grow in the Pitcher Plant And Wild Orchid Garden, at 10th mile. No traveller bound for Semenggoh or Benuk can miss it — it’s by the old bazaar at the end of the railway line of pious memory. The main road, bound for Sibu and Miri, turns to the east here, but orchids, apes and highlands lie due south, on a well maintained country road.

Pitchers Or Flowers?

In case a serious naturalist reads this – the title is misleading. The vast majority of Sarawak’s 2,500-odd orchids don’t smell, and the pretty vessels dangling from the pitcher plants aren’t flowers. Check up on the facts at the Pitcher and Wild Orchid Garden, carefully laid out under huge trees that provide cool shade even at midday, and enjoy the visit!

Visitors pay a modest fee to enter the quiet world of pitchers. The genus Nepenthes is represented here with over two dozen species, some of them indigenous to Borneo. It’s a plant that grows on poor, sandy soils, often seen by the roadside or on abandoned agricultural clearings.

Continue reading (incl. pic) at: Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre: Come and smell the flowers

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