9-3 (yes, last year) The Land of Overgrown Houseplants

I really think Vanuatu is the land of the overgrown houseplants.  There are plants that I have seen people trying to grow in greenhouses, on windowsills and through the long, cold Minnesota winter that are weeds here.  Basically, its like Jurassic Park, except without as many large, ravening dinosaurs trying to eat us.

Here are some pretty pictures of plants that you may recognize:
We call this one natangura here, but I have no idea what it is called in English.  Anyone who knows feel free to comment.  My dad has a few in his house, except they are about chest high, instead of tree sized.


The plant is the palm-looking thing over on the right of the photo, behind the rock.
This is something my mother calls “Wandering Jew.”  I don’t know if that is the right name for it or not, but it grows as a house plant and an annual around the Minneapolis area.  Here, it takes over sections of the bush.


I don’t know how many plants have the same name, but this one grows everywhere there are rocks to climb.

This is something my grandmother calls a Croton, we call it a flower.  My grandmother has been trying to get these things to grow with minimal success for longer than I’ve been alive.  Here they are trees.  They are one of the few “flowers” that the cows won’t eat.  They grow all over.



Its a tree.  Seriously, tree.
At home, Poinsettas are a small, seasonal, potted plant.  Here, they are rampant bushes.  Both the white and red varieties grow with no attention by humans.  In fact, the students in Melsisi decided to line a path with them by ripping of a couple of branchs and shoving them in the ground.  They all have new leaves now.
That’s Jason’s grandma.  She’s doesn’t speak Bislama but she smiles a lot.

I don’t have a good picture, but I’ve seen something that looks a lot like a plant I think is called Mother-in-Law’s tongue or some other equally awkward name.  Long stalk leaves coming up from a central base that are white in the center and green on the outside. 

There are more, but my botany is not the best.  Overall, the plants here grow to ridiculous sizes.  The castor beans average around 10 feet tall, my tomato plant is taller than me and my basil is shoulder high.  Everything likes to grow here.

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