The first question that comes to mind when I see a new herbarium specimen is: What were its colors? The main color themes after plants are dried are very different from those when they were alive. The dried pea pods have a red copper hue, which I admit look very beautiful. But the light green color of the fresh pod is quite lovely too.
On my way home, I picked an Elephant Apple that had fallen on the ground. Wanting to find out what it is, I returned to the herbarium. It was an amazing sight to hear everyone tell me the name in unison. What if my students were such highly-motivated learners ... Then Guei-mei went on to share more information about the fruit with me. The fruit can be cooked to make jam, but there isn't much flesh inside. I love being in this place because as long as I show interest and desire to learn, my colleagues are too willing to show me the fantastic world of plants.
In order to show me the three-leaf calabash, Guei mei took a short walk with me. I felt very lucky to have a botany tutor. Though I had heard about the plant for a while, I was surprised to see it in person. The leaf is shaped like a cross, and what's more, it's hard to find in Taiwan.
My next task is to learn how to draw plants so that people who have never seen them before can immediately grasp their features.