Four members of the Kaxinawá Tribe from the Brazilian Amazon state of Acre, on the borders with Peru, visited Kew earlier this week to bless the plants in a traditional ceremony.
Spiritual leaders (Pajé) Txana Ikakuru and Isarewe Huni Kunin led the traditional blessing ceremony. They were accompanied by Dani Shawarakani on her first trip outside the homelands of the Kaxinawá.
The Pajé chanted two separate blessings while seated on the Palm House floor, covered in a bed of leaves for the occasion. The blessing invoked the forest guardian spirits and was for all the plants of the world. Photo credit: RBG, Kew.
One of my favourite horticultural tasks during the winter months is sowing seeds giving a helping hand in bringing new plants into life!
Seeds come packaged by nature with their own food supply in the form of endosperm so the first thing to remember is that the compost mix needs to be low nutrient. A good universal seed germinating mix could consist of 50 % coir & 50% perlite or vermiculite to maintain an open structure & to increase water holding capacity in the compost. You could also add in some composted bark for extra structure.
The task – to extract seeds from their protective capsules so that they can be stored in a fridge slowing down their respiration rate & thus prolong viability for sowing in the New Year. The experience of doing this simple task required mindful patience that revealed a profoundly remarkable sense of how sophisticated seeds truly are. Seemingly specks of dust are cosmic ‘micro chips’ ‘powerhouses’ of growth technology encased in sophisticated capsules that man can only try to imitate.
Reminding me of William Shakespeare’s quote –
In Nature’s infinite book of secrecy, a little I can read.
Lycopodiaceae spores on a leaf from the Club Moss family.