A walk in the woods

Brackenhurst’s newly installed indigenous forest. PHOTO| RUPI MANGAT

What you need to know:

  • Now we’re looking at the paw paw tree with new-found respect. Nicholson continues: “Cylicomorpha is a huge tree that reaches more than 40 meters (130 feet) and the only genus of the paw paw family native to Africa.”
  • The tree is from a little known hill called Kiang’ombe in South Embu, with a few others in the forest around Meru.
  • It has never been grown in a collection in Kenya so Nicholson is waiting for it to fruit for the first time so he can raise some more.

“Africa and Madagascar were joined like this,” demonstrates Dr Mark Nicholson of Plants for Life. He recreated the natural forest at Brackenhurst Botanic Garden in Limuru to show that indigenous forests can be restored after removing plantations of exotic trees.

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