Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Going Bo Bo

The Molokai Times reports that last week's meeting of the Maui Invasive Species Committee revealed several interesting new invaders on the Hawaiian islands of Maui and Molokai. Perhaps most intriguing is one botanist's observation that the bo tree (Ficus religiosa, also known as the sacred fig), an Asian import often planted as a religious symbol, is on the move. Once thought to be able to spread only by cuttings, the bo tree is apparently now able to reproduce by seed, following the recent arrival of a wasp that can act as a pollinator. Surveys of Molokai for wild bo trees are in progress, along with plans to prevent the trees from producing seeds. The committee is also asking anyone on Maui or Molokai that knows the location of a bo tree to contact them.

Bonus points to the Molokai Times for using the bo tree's scientific name.

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