Heart of palm

I love how this careful schematic cross-section of a palm stem calls to mind, of all things, Indian/First Nations art from the Pacific Northwest—about as un-palmy a place as you can go to. About the palm: “Large, ascending leaves to about 6 m (20 ft.) tall, with glossy green leaflets, spiny leafstalks and a mostly underground, clustering trunk characterize this unusual palm from the Malay Peninsula. It is found in disturbed, open areas in rainforests between sea level and 800 m (2700 ft.). The large, scaly fruit are edible when unripe and the leaves make excellent thatch. About the man: “The author of over 150 botanical titles, including the great flora of Brazil, Karl Friedrich Philipp von Martius also wrote the still-definitive three-volume treatise on the palm family, one of the first plant monographs. He developed his life-long fascination with palms during an expedition through Brazil from 1817 to 1820, and he worked nearly 30 years to prepare this grand summation, including palms found only as fossils.”


Eugeisona tristis (detail),” from Historia Naturalis Palmarum (The Natural History of Palms by Karl Friedrich Phillipp von Maritus, 1823–50 :: via BibliOdyssey

Originally published at culture-making.com.

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