Thursday, 31 March 2011
Walkabout Tree goes Walkabout
A surprise awaited a plant expert at the National Botanic Garden of Wales when he returned from a recent holiday - one of his plants had gone for a walk!
Bob Edwards, who works for the Australian Plant Research Organisation, Northern Europe, explained. “ I had collected the plant (Pandanus Pedis) in Eastern Australia a few years ago, and when a few of the Park Rangers told me I had better keep it chained up at night, I assumed they were having fun at the expense of a Brit. However, events have proved them right - the plant is indeed capable of moving. Basically, it sends out surface roots in the same manner as strawberries; normally it would then use these roots to anchor itself to the rocky terrain that it likes. In rare cases however, it can use the roots to pull itself into a better position. My guess that this part of Wales is too wet for it, and the plant, which can travel up to 500 metres per day, will try to find a suitable south facing rocky coastal area. We managed to follow the tracks for several kilometres before we lost the trail at the main road. I wouldn’t be surprised if in years to come, there is a colony of Pandanus Pedis on the cliffs at Tenby!