Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Annual General Meeting amid the greenery

The Selangor Branch of the Malaysian Nature Society held its Annual General Meeting at the Rimba Ilmu Auditorium of Universiti Malaya on 12th July 2014. Meetings are usually dreary affairs, but the Malaysian Nature Society has a history of holding its AGMs at/in/near places of scientific or conservation interest so members can go on guided nature walks before or after the meeting. As part of the Branch committee, I am involved in organising and preparing for meetings. This year's AGM was preceded by a vegan lunch and a guided tour of the Rimba Ilmu tropical botanical garden and rare plants conservatory.

Committee members and volunteers registering members as they arrive.
(Photo credits: George Ng)

The AGM was preceded by a vegan lunch in the outdoor area. I was in charge of getting lunch and we opted for a simple lunch of vegan nasi lemak, vadai and fruit juice. Aravind and Mark helped me set the table for lunch.
(Photo credits: George Ng)

Dr. Yong (gee, the PhD holders just keep getting younger and younger!) led us on a guided tour of the botanical gardens.

A fruiting nutmeg tree.

Cycads -- which I find fascinating.

Look at the patterns on the trunk of the cycad!

Dr. Yong showed us the woolly rhizomes of the Golden Chicken Fern (Cibotium barometz).
This plant is under threat due to the fact that it is unsustainably harvested by the locals for the rhizomes, which is believed to have blood-clotting and wound-healing properties.

Phyleria capitata.
An attractive shrub with sweet-scented flowers. Bark harvested for fibre. Sweet fruits edible. Cotyledons poisonous.

The grape-like fruits of the Hanguana malayana.

Tiny, colourful inflorescence of the Chekor Manis (Sauropus androgynus)

Peacock Fern / Paku Merak
(Selaginella plana)
Indigenous to the Malay Peninsula. Used for treating stomach aches, rheumatism, coughs and asthma and as a postnatal tonic.

Memecylon caeruleum
Family: Melastomataceae

We were fascinated by the fruit-laden mangosteen tree.

The mangosteen tree was laden with unripe fruits. Apparently the macaques raid this tree in the evenings.

These are not kiwi fruits but a non-edible member of the persimmon family (Diospyros argentea).

Daun Payung
(Johannesteijsmannia lanceolata)
Endemic to Peninsular Malaysia. The rarest of all the species of 'umbrella palms'.

We also had the privilege of visiting the Rare Plants Conservatory.

The Black Bat Flower
(Tacca chantrieri)
Saw 3 of these in the wild when I climbed Mount Ophir in 2010.

One of the many types of wild orchids in the Rare Plants Conservatory.

A cucurma plant in bloom.

A single orchid plant, or many separate organisms growing in a row?

Water droplets caught in a spider's web.

An exquisite rare orchid with a fan-shaped bloom.

Begonias from the rainforest.

Time to return to the auditorium for the AGM.

Water lilies in the man-made pond.

Our Head of Conservation, Balu Perumal, delivered a presentation on conservation projects and ongoing campaigns in Selangor.

Our chairman, Henry, presented a token of appreciation to Balu.
(Photo credits: George Ng)

Group shot of the committee members for the administrative year of 2014-2015.
(Photo credits: George Ng)

For more information on the Rimba Ilmu Botanical Gardens, please contact:

The Coordinator,
Rimba Ilmu,
Institute of Biological Sciences,
University of Malaya,
50603 Kuala Lumpur.

Telephone No: 03 7967 4685 / 03 7967 4686 / 03 7967 4687 / 03 7967 4665

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