Some of the Botanical Wonders of Guyana – By Dmitri Allicock

The 1969 Seven Ponds - Botanical Gardens, GeorgetownThe 1969 Seven Ponds – Botanical Gardens, Georgetown

Some of the Botanical Wonders of Guyana

By Dmitri Allicock

With over its 80% unspoiled rainforest, Guyana is a hothouse of interest at every turn to botanist. To each region, distinct plant associations are found according to the differences of soil and its formation. From the alluvial flat coastal plains that slowly rises to the rich vegetation covered sand dunes, river valleys, wet savannahs, hills and untouched mountains, the transition from one region to another is for the most part gradual and is never so abrupt that distinct zones of flora are defined.    [Read more]

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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 12/06/2013 at 3:01 am

    Another excellent blog post by Dmitri Allicock. Stunning photographs.

  • apenny29  On 12/06/2013 at 5:58 am

    Taking Botany this semester has been tough, but its taught me to appreciate plants, and outdoors in general. I can look at this picture with more understanding of the ecosystem and why it works, and I’m able to see the true beauty of nature. The Gardens are defiitely going on my bucket list.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On 12/06/2013 at 10:51 am

    Thank you Rosaliene.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On 12/06/2013 at 2:00 pm

    Thank you Penny. Enjoy your class.

  • Errol S. M. Doris  On 12/06/2013 at 5:43 pm

    These are some of the greatest memories of Guyana’s flora, especially the Botanical Gardens. I personally have conducted tours to visitors during my High School years to show off one of the greatest prides of Guyana. What a shame that on my last visit in December 2012, the garbage and lack of care made it uncomfortable to explain to my wife (her first visit to Guyana), that this is not the standard. Someone needs to start a foundation for the “Preservation of Guyana’s Flora”. I pledge the first contribution…

    • Dmitri Allicock  On 12/06/2013 at 11:00 pm

      Thank you Errol.

  • Ron. Persaud  On 12/07/2013 at 11:07 am

    At the risk of sounding ungentlemanly, even unpatriotic, I must point out that almost all of the species described were contained in “List of cane-field weeds” 1 & 2; compiled by John F Bates, Entomologist – Bookers Sugar Estates Ltd.
    When I had to price a block of cross canals, impassably choked with ‘Kamalgatta lily’.
    When at the same time a group of twenty or so men are holding out for a better price because the block of cane has been burnt and already deteriorating.
    When I know that the budget for canal cleaning is overspent, you will forgive me if I can only think of Nelumbo nucifera in terms that will make Mother Lakshmi and Mother Sarasvati blush with indignation.
    And then there is this!

    So let me conclude by quoting my favorite definition of:
    “What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” Attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson.
    Dmitri, please tell me that I am forgiven.


    • Dmitri Allicock  On 12/07/2013 at 1:08 pm

      Awesome Ron! You are forgiven. I love the song!!!..but never hear or read the book mention. You are so right about weeds, they all have some purpose. Glad to hear from you.

  • Ron. Persaud  On 12/07/2013 at 3:29 pm

    Dmitri The two references were internal documents of BSE Ltd.
    For me, the most outstanding single plant was the Talipot palm, Corypha umbraculifera, one specimen of which was in the Botanic Gardens. It flowered in the late ’50’s when the Botanic Gardens were “second in the world only to the Botanic Gardens of Singapore”, to quote J N Craddock-Turnbull who was knowledgeable on this subject.

  • Ron. Persaud  On 12/08/2013 at 10:40 pm

    Dmitri, I could not discern whether or not you were expecting a reply; but here it is. The short answer to your observation is ‘Yes’. The long answer (and I am good at these) is that the Ite is a swamp loving species.There is an habitat sort of relationship between swamp, Ite palms and Muscovy ducks in Guyana. Ite palms flower and fruit annually. See:
    The Talipot palm is renowned for the magnificence of its bloom and the fact that it flowers once …. and dies! As far as I know a Talipot palm was never replanted in the Georgetown Botanic Gardens. See:
    Generally palmate- or fan- leaf palms look alike; while pinnate- or feather- leaf palms can be confused. Consider the palms in the genus ‘Phoenix’.

    • Dmitri Allicock  On 12/09/2013 at 9:15 am

      Thanks Ron

  • Esther Turner  On 12/10/2013 at 4:27 pm

    I remember sitting in these Gardens as a child. sitting on the lawn listening to the Guyana Police Band play classical music., (in the Band stand) and to this day classical music is one of my favorites.

  • Ron Persaud  On 12/10/2013 at 11:55 pm

    Yes! But I remember the ‘Kissing Bridge’ best of all.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On 12/17/2013 at 6:27 pm

    Remembering Bill Rogers and the West Indian Woman Weed Song

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