Monday, July 13, 2009

Ex-squatter settlement now a forest with rare cacao trees

Ex-squatter settlement now a forest with rare cacao trees
This forest, located in Jurong, used to be a bustling area occupied by squatters. Today, it has become a nature trek, says STOMPer Nature Lover, who spotted a cacoa tree there.

The cacao tree bears cacao beans that are used to make chocolate.

In an email, STOMPer Nature Lover says:

"These pictures were taken at the forest near Track 22, Jurong Road.

"This area was once inhabited by squatters who are now settled in the HDB estates at Jurong East and Jurong West.

"As I was walking through the forest I saw this old clock on a tree trunk and this was probably left behind by the previous squatters.

"I also saw a yellow-brown insect that lives in the secondary forest.

"There was also a cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) which grows to a height of 8 metres. Its seeds are used to make cocoa and chocolate.

"Cacao flowers are pollinated by tiny flies. The fruit is ovoid, ripening to yellow and weighs about 500 g.

"The pod contains many seeds, usually called beans, embedded in a white pulp. Each seed contains fat and theobromine, a compound similar to caffeine."

Ex-squatter settlement now a forest with rare cacao trees
Ex-squatter settlement now a forest with rare cacao trees

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