Memaparkan catatan dengan label plants. Papar semua catatan
Memaparkan catatan dengan label plants. Papar semua catatan

Rabu, 30 Mei 2018

Wonderful World of Botanical at Kew Gardens, UK

The entrance at the Victoria Gate.

Recently we (Myrokan blog) had this opportunity to visit the world most renowned botanical garden that also known as Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Kew Gardens is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world that also played many important roles in introducing specimens of plant and trees to many other countries such as rubber and tea. Kew Gardens not only keep living specimens of plants, but also dried specimens, seeds and DNA, libraries, illustrations and many other records related to plants. That’s what makes Kew Gardens one of the most important places that we visited in London.

Kew Garden founded in 1840 in the area that originally was the exotic garden at Kew Park. That park itself had been enlarged several times with the merging of the royal estates of Richmond and Kew in 1772. Within this area many garden structures had been built and some of them still remain until today.

The pond right in front of the Museum no 1.

The temperate house just been reopened two days earlier.

Well, there are so many things happened back there, but here we want to see other important things that we still can see at Kew Gardens and other activities related to it - that will give benefits to us and the future generations. Even though they have only taken care of plants, but the further study of these plants is actually for human benefits such as for agriculture, medicine, farming, cloning, seed bank, references, cataloguing and you can check more on their website – included at the end of this article.

Knowing more about Kew Gardens is important before you plan to visit it (well, no one can ever visit the whole of the areas within one day – so you must know which areas that important to you, or you can visit it several times). Maybe the best way to do it by asking these few questions;

  • Are you just want to see the plants in Kew Gardens?
  • Are you interested to know how Kew Gardens keep the specimens of the plants and trees?
  • Are you interested to know the history of Kew Gardens and their buildings (such as their glass houses, their garden structures, bridges, canopy walk, cottage, palaces and many other buildings in Kew Gardens)?
  • Are you interested to know more about the activities conducted here in Kew Gardens?
  • Are you interested to participate in activities conducted by Kew Gardens (exhibitions or scientific activities) in their vicinity or online?
  • Where you can find the map of the whole area?
  • How you are going to explore the area?
  • Time of opening, as the time will change according to the seasons.
  • How you can contact Kew Gardens in order to get more information in case you need some help?

The Palm House another important glass house with huge size.

The tropical plants and trees can live vigorously inside this glass house.

It might hard for us to see this plant in their own natural habitat.

There are many other questions you can ask during the preparation to visit Kew Gardens. By identifying your priorities you will save lots of time and you will know exactly where to look at during your visit. Even though I managed to see what I want during my visit, I still missed a few things - I think I could improve it if I plan it properly. The other reason is, there are too many things to see.

The best thing was, during my visit the Temperate House has just reopened two days earlier. I also joined the tour guide that explaining more details about the history, the process of restoration that cost around £41 million and take a look at the Temperate House itself. It was closed for the past 5 years for the restoration process. There are many interesting things about this building that we should talk about it separately – hopefully I will get a chance to do it.

The Temperate House not only important for its functions but also for its architecture.

The plants and trees had been relocated back into the Temperate House.

Kew Palace, another important building in Kew Gardens.

Flowers of plant at the Queen’s Garden.

Flowers of plant at the Queen’s Garden.

There are few more glass houses in Kew Gardens includes Palm House, Waterlilly House, Princess of Wales Conservatory and Davies Alpine House. All of the glass houses, housing different types of plants - so please try not to miss it. You can use optional transports in the gardens either bicycle or electric train to help you travelling around. I used the electric train and still I missed few!

Here in this article I shared a few photos during my visit. If you want to see more photos you can visit our fanpage where I posted more photos. I hope it will help others who unable to visit to Kew yet to see how it look like and to get the general ideas of what Kew Gardens is.

The Princess of Wales Conservatory glass house.

Orchids of tropical planted in this glass house.

Another beautiful tropical plant’s flower.

Another beautiful view of the pillar’s covered with tropical plants.

You can see different types of plants in the same glass house.

Carnivorous plant specimens, is one of important plants that I want to see here in Kew Gardens.

Besides visiting Kew Gardens physically, you still can learn more about it or get involved with their activities online. Check their websites to learn more about their activities. You can easily get in touch with them to know more about any activities that you can get involved with. So this is the link to Kew Gardens’ website.

There are many other things I would like to share about the details in each area of Kew Gardens, perhaps I can do it soon. Before that, you can ask me if there is any question - don’t forget to see the photos that I posted on my fanpage to get more ideas about Kew Gardens.

Free Download

Sabtu, 11 November 2017

More Interesting Things About Saffron

Saffron, delicate plan with higher demand and usage.

It’s not only the highest price of saffron that drive me to find out more about saffron but actually the important role of this unique spices sage throughout human histories. While its important roles will never get lesser, many are start to find out ways to grow them widely even plant it for their own usage.

Spices are usually use only for cooking and some of them also use in medicines and perfume making. Saffron had been used across all of the usage with many other benefits, make it one of the most important spices to many cultures. Here, let see some of the facts about saffron that shared through other website at

It takes 150 flowers to produce 1 gram of saffron.


The plant originally came from Asian countries where it is still mainly produced: Iran alone accounts for 90 per cent of the total quantity harvested worldwide. Saffron planted widely in Asia even though it was said it originated from island of Crete.


To remove its bitter aftertaste, here is a chef’s tip: press the threads between two aluminium sheets before use. Well, that something not all of us aware of. So this is something that we really need to know to ensure our saffron dishes are palatable.


Together with turmeric, coriander, cumin, chilli pepper and other spices, it is one of the star ingredients in this Indian spice mix of worldwide fame. The other reason why it flourishing in Asia is the wide usage of spices in curry as they used as many spices that young generation not even know its name anymore.


Among the most well-known dishes containing saffron, French bouillabaisse, pilaf and Asian biryani, Spanish paella and, last but not least, saffron cake from Britain are all experiences not to be missed. Instead saffron is easy to use with any dishes by simply added it to any cooking (you will master it very fast with some practices).

Saffron cake from Britain.

Saffron tea, another way to enjoy saffron.

Saffron also used in soap.


It takes 80,000 flowers to produce a pound of saffron (453 grams), with a cost in the range of 600 to 2,000 dollars (a pound), prices that make saffron the most expensive spice in the world Flower Saffron stigmas were gathered when the violet-blue flowers open and every flower produces 3, each one of which is about 25-30 millimetres long.

The limited production of saffron makes its price so expensive. In fact the farmer or the workers in saffron production not even making a good life. There is something to do in order to make sure this spice to be available to more with reasonable price by involving more technologies in its production.


Some writers claim, however, that it comes from Greece, where it was found for the first time on the Island of Crete during the bronze-age.

Over cultivation can change how some species behave. One of the sign is the incapable to reproduce sexually even though it’s flower producing plant (angiosperm). No one exactly know for how long saffron had been cultivated by human.


Harvest time is autumn, and the process must be carried out by hand, usually by specialized pickers, almost always women, who detach the 3 stigmas one by one.

The real reason why saffron become so expensive. It’s like the real output is only 0.0001 percent from all the hard works. The only thing that make the production possible is the cheap labour. If there’s no changes soon, it will become more scarce and more manipulation of its market.

Indian flag

The 3-coloured Indian flag is saffron (to represent Hindus), white (for peace) and green (for growth).
Something interesting to know on how important is saffron in some cultures. It’s not only to India, some other cultures shows their respect in different ways.


In the hit song by Donovan entitled "Mellow yellow" the most well-known jingle that everyone sings under their breath is dedicated to this spice: "I'm just mad about Saffron, Saffron's mad about me"

Something we all should find out! Perhaps there are many other art works related to how important is saffron into someone else lives.


Among the varieties hardest to find on the market is the saffron coming from the Indo-Pakistani area of Kashmir. Here they produce the darkest variety in the world which tends towards a purple-brown colour, called Mongra or Lacha.

Another important thing to remember. Saffron is produced by plants. Many factors will affects the quality of saffron according to its geographical planting areas. Not two saffron from different areas have same qualities.

La Mancha

During harvesting, on the Spanish plain of La Mancha it is customary to burn some stigmas on a low fire to diffuse the spicy aroma of saffron in the air.

Saffron not only used for its taste and colouring property but also as incense to improve moods and also as an offering to the long lost ancestors (or spirits).

Make up

Owing to its colouring properties, in ancient times it was used as a cosmetic, as well as for dyeing fabric and leather.


In the Middle-Ages in Nuremberg, whoever adulterated saffron with the addition of less precious ingredients, was burnt alive.

There’s another code that practiced in Europe Middle-age that known as Safranschou code. There must be many other undocumented practice in order to keep the adulteration of saffron in check. It also shows how important it is to human societies throughout the world.


To combat drug trafficking, in Afghanistan a project has been set up to replace illegal opium poppy plantations with saffron.

Good moves in order to increase income for farmers. Changing the source of income to more valuable that give more positive result not only for the farmers but also to the saffron market.


A natural medicinal, it has been used since time immemorial for its antibacterial and antiviral properties, and is excellent for treating stomach-ache, coughs and bronchitis.

While more studies to be carried out, the usage of saffron as remedies had been long in practiced for various purposes.


There are international norms (ISO) which define its qualities, dividing saffron into 4 different categories according to its colour, aroma and taste.

The standardization of quality is important even though the qualities of saffron varies by areas it’s produced. These standards will keep some ranges ton ensure the acceptable quality and to control their market values.


The most famous dish in the world is saffron risotto, using stock made from bowling fowl, which comes from the Italian city of Milan and is known worldwide.

One of example of popular dish using saffron as one of its ingredients. There are many other dishes that using saffron as one of its important ingredients – even though it’s only used small amount of it.


The stigmas of Crocus sativum (the Latin name for saffron) are only picked at dawn, before its flowers open, in order to preserve its aroma and properties.

Part of the reasons why handling saffron production process is so delicate. Perhaps many other smaller things that only known by the farmers in order to produce good quality of saffron.


On a par with sommeliers and cheese tasters, saffron too has its specialists, who decree which varieties are the best.

It’s good to know there are some experts in this area for saffron. Without an expert, the quality of saffron might be decreases without anyone noticing it.

Unusual habits

The main ingredient of magic potions in ancient times, it used to be sprinkled between the sheets and brewed in tea to make a man fall in love or to dispel melancholic thoughts.

Something interesting to know. Well not all of us will fall to it, but sure it’s practiced in some societies.


In the region of Oxiana, between Iran and Afghanistan, little girls only are allowed to pick saffron. They have to be virgins or under 13, or so the legend goes.

Another reason to make saffron become rarer. No one knows, how this will help with the quality. Anyway to make sure this plants taken care of during all of its production process is the good start to make sure successful production.  

Saffron aroma's and colour improve food's quality.

Saffron risotto, one of popular dishes using saffron.

May it someday more available to everyone.

Wine and spirits

It is possible to buy wines aromatized with saffron, as well as many liqueurs, comprising vodka and gin, which are renowned for their digestive properties.

Yes, saffron had been used for so many purposes, so this is not so surprising.


From Cleopatra onwards, it is said that the aroma lingering on the skin after a hot saffron bath is enough to make any lover go mad with desire. Yellow Also named "angel hair" because of its colour, the word saffron derives from Arabic: Za'feran and da asfar, meaning yellow.

Even though it’s no longer practice today that’s something interesting to know. Maybe not all of us agreed that saffron aroma and tint are the sexiest, but still it can be part of the contributor by mix it with other ingredients in perfume making.

Zafferana Etnea, Sicily A very rare variety of saffron is produced in this tiny Italian village, while the most precious saffron in the country comes from the valleys close to the city of L’Aquila in Abruzzo

Well you know there are many other things we need to know about this expensive spices. Sure it’s wonderful that had listed some of wonderful things about saffron that we should know. Hopefully someday, saffron will be more available to others same as coffee and tea today.

Free Download

Jumaat, 10 November 2017

Saffron The Most Expensive Spice In The World

Saffron flower with three filaments that produce saffron.

One of the most expensive spices in the world far different from any other spices come from flower known as saffron Crocus sativus, commonly known as the "saffron crocus". It’s not the whole flower can be used as the spices but only small part of it, the three stigmas that make it harder to produce. Since the demand for it too high, the saffron price can jump as high as $2,000 to $10,000 a pound. By knowing more about this spices it might help us just not knowing the right saffron but also to identify the adulteration that commonly practiced in saffron spice trade.

The saffron crocus, unknown in the wild perhaps by the result of long cultivation by human and probably descend of from Crocus cartwrightianus, native to Greece and Crete (that’s where saffron was thought came from). Since saffron is incapable to reproduce sexually as any other flowering plants – all propagation is done by vegetative multiplication via manual "divide-and-set" of a starter clone or by interspecific hybridisation.

Close up of Saffron flower.

Dried filaments (saffron)

Besides its popularity, saffron had been used since millennial ago with the exact date unknown, among the evidence is the mural, the "Saffron Gatherer", illustrating the gathering of crocuses from the ancient Crete in Greece. The mural must have been painted long after the first usage of the saffron and perhaps we need to see where the saffron is mostly produce; Iran.

Iran is the most important producer of saffron by producing about 90 - 93% of the world supply. In 2014 250 t (250,000 kg) of saffron were produced worldwide. The other countries that produce saffron includes Spain, Greece, Morocco, India, Afghan, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, China, Egypt,  parts of England, France, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden (Gotland), Turkey (mainly around the town of Safranbolu), the United States (California and Pennsylvania), and Central Africa.

Harvesting flowers in Iran.

The shop selling saffron in Iran

The reasons for its overpriced mainly caused by many of the delicate cares and works all along the producing works involved. The flower itself not easy to taken care of, while blooms for one week of the year, produces only three stamens which must be picked by the hand and dried. It takes 150 flowers to produce a single gram of saffron.

Saffron widely used for its aroma that will enhance many dishes throughout the world. It also give beautiful luminous yellow-orange to foods. Saffron is widely used in Persian, Indian, European, and Arab cuisines. Some of the dishes are jewelled rice and khoresh of Iran, Milanese risotto of Italy, the paella of Spain, the bouillabaisse of France, to the biryani and many other dishes. It also use as tea, incense and in perfume.

While the saffron price is too high, there are an extensive adulteration in saffron market. The adulteration had been practiced since long ago, and continues until modern days. Adulteration was first documented in Europe's Middle Ages, when those found selling adulterated saffron were executed under the Safranschou code. Among substances used for adulteration of saffron includes beetroot, pomegranate fibres, red-dyed silk fibres, or the saffron crocus's tasteless and odourless yellow stamens. There are many other substances used for adulteration of saffron to manipulate the price and get easy profit.

There are few ways to avoid from buying counterfeited saffron, especially when you are not the regular user of saffron. There are few things to remember before buying saffron especially from unknown supplier;

i) Avoid buying ground saffron as it is hard to detect the ingenuity of the saffron. The other reason is, it will loses its flavour.
ii) Saffron will turn hot water bright yellow few minutes of soaking, not orange.
iii) Saffron will always be expensive, so be careful with cheaper deals.
iv) The threads of saffron are fine and even in size, with a thin yellow tendril on one end and a trumpet-like flute on the other. The yellow part never mix with the red part.

Try avoid buying from online if possible and always be cautious when buying for saffron as it is expensive and people will cheat you in many ways.

There are many usage of saffron even though it is known more as culinary spices. The high demand of it making its cultivation become very important. Somehow somewhere there always be someone trying to produce it in larger quantity in order to get more profit (not necessarily in bad ways) since it has higher value in price. Sure it is important in order to curb manipulation, fraud, adulteration and many other negative effects from high demand.

Free Download

Ahad, 20 Ogos 2017

Which Potato?

Do you recognize all the types of these potatoes?

We all love fries and know that it come from potato. Same as any other commercial crop there are only few of them that we know. How potatoes will look like in the wild and there are many other things that we should know about this wonderful plant?

Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is one of the tuberous plants that become important food source for human all around the world. Even though nowadays we can buy potato from anywhere in the world, it’s actually originated from South America Andes; introduced to Europe in the second half of 16th century by Spanish. Today it become the forth-largest food crop in the world, following maize, wheat, and rice.

They area not just varies, but also colorful.

There are about 5,000 potato varieties worldwide. Three thousand of them can be found in Andes, most of them in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Colombia. Same as many other commercial plants, potatoes had cross-breed to produce resistant to diseases and pests, while there are also genetically modified varieties in the United States.

We might classify potatoes in different ways; but here one of the popular classification methods is through their important characteristics such as;

Starchy: Few types like classic Idaho or Russet are high in starch and low in moisture. They are great for boiling, baking and frying. Anyway they don’t hold their shape well, so they nor suitable for dishes like casseroles, gratins and potato salads.

Waxy: Some examples like New Potatoes, they have low starch instead creamier, firm and moist and holds its shape well after cooking, this type of potatoes suitable for roasting, boiling, casseroles and potato salads.

All-Purpose: These potatoes have medium content of starch and categorized between starchy and waxy. There are easier to use and truly multi-purpose for any dishes. One of the examples is the Yukon Gold.

Adirondack Blue - Waxy.
Adirondack Red - Waxy.
Carola - Waxy.
Fingerling - Waxy.
Idaho Russet - Starchy.
Inca Gold - Waxy.
Katahdin - Starchy.
New Potatoes - Waxy.
Purple Peruvian - All purpose.
Purple Viking - Waxy.
Red Bliss - Waxy.
Rose Gold - Waxy.
Yukon Gold - All purpose.

Since there are many other types of potatoes, we can keep on looking for many other varieties and perhaps someday we can sample the taste too. Keep on searching and share it with us if you find anything interesting about potatoes. 

Free Download

Arkib Blog