Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Rattan: a clarification and a complexification

with 4 comments

Click for greater clarity.

In the first post about Berchemia scandens, commonly called rattan, I talked about the way this vine can strangle the trunk of a tree but I didn’t convey the density and complexity with which rattan vines can also entwine themselves in and cover a tree. With that in mind, have a look at the type of scene I often come upon in the woods in Austin. Toward the left you see some young rattan vines, with their typical smooth exterior that can be tan or later a yellowish green. Toward the right you see a lot of older rattan vines that have dried out but remain hanging. The orange leaves, as you saw more closely two posts ago, are from the rattan, while the red ones are from a greenbrier vine that had joined the tangle. I found this network of vines and year-end color on December 17 in the “panhandle” of St. Edward’s Park in my northwestern part of Austin.

To learn more about rattan, and to see a state-clickable map showing where in the southeastern United States it grows, you can visit the USDA website.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 11, 2012 at 3:00 PM

4 Responses

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  1. Each day, wherever we are, we walk past life’s dramatic struggles such as these and do not see. Thank you for showing.


    January 11, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    • Thanks for your comment. I often wonder how often I go past things and don’t see them, but I’m thankful for the ones I do.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 11, 2012 at 9:14 PM

  2. […] A recent post on my other blog bore a title that included the phrase “a simplification and a complexification.” Now, I didn’t expect to find the word complexification in any English dictionary because I created it as a whimsical parallel to simplification, which not surprisingly exists in Spanish as simplificación. What I liked about my new complexification was that it’s one of those words that is itself an example of what it means: noun is in fact a noun; español sí es una palabra en el idioma español; English antepenultimate is indeed a word that’s stressed on its antepenultimate syllable; and complexification is a more complex version of the familiar word complication. Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered that complexificación/complexification already exists: it’s a mathematical term used in the world of vectors—and no, I won’t trouble you with the technical definition, though you’re free to follow that link if you’re curious. But not wanting to deprive you of your daily dose of simpler mathematics, I’ll add (get it, add) that a complex fraction is one whose numerator and/or denominator includes a fraction. Here’s an example of a complex fraction: […]

  3. […] is a mustang grape vine, Vitis mustangensis, while the smooth and slender green vines behind it are rattan, Berchemia scandens. But I doubt you’ve paid much attention to the vines when you’ve […]

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