|*In the above image, a rain has just
finished, and a first
honeybee of the night has landed on the opening bud of a Yum Yum (Barringtonia asiatica).
This handsome tropical tree is found across the islands of the
Caribbean and Indo-Pacific. Planted for their striking flowers and foliage,
they may reach
a height of 50 feet or 15 meters. The beautiful nocturnal flowers frequently attract
honeybees and night flying moths. A view of an opened flower is
also of remarkable beauty. In fact, an expanded blossom from
a Yum Yum tree on Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean can be seen as an
Image of the Month.
The tree has a multitude of names. In Tahiti, it is called the Hotu or Heart tree for the shape of its fruit. Other names are "box fruit tree" or "fish poison tree." The fruit is shaped somewhat like a bishop's miter, and is one of the most durable and widespread of the ocean's drifting fruit. It can remain buoyant for at least two years. In fact, in Southeast Asia the fruits are used as fishing floats.
The seeds contain a toxin called saponin that could be used to stun fish. In Polynesia, the seed is crushed , mixed with water, and thrown into tidal pools and streams to stupefy fish for easier catching. Interested visitors may enjoy a visit to the site Drift Seeds and Drift Fruits - Seeds That Ride The Ocean Currents. - Late June