Department of Railways,
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Dutch East Indies
out of the mother trunk reach the ground and then grow clinging tightly round the mother tree, until they strangle it to death.
Another unique tree, that flourishes in the tropical climate of the Dutch East Indies, is the mangrove, growing on the coast. Rhizophora mucronata is the most important species. It grows in moving water and possesses remarkable resisting power against waves. The tree attains to a height of from three to seven metres ; its roots are bow-shaped and very tough and spread out in all directions. At full tide ihe leaves of the lower branches are immersed under water, showing only the upper part of the tree above the waves. The leaves resemble those of Ficus elastica ; they are dark green and grow in a cluster at the end of the branch. In the forests in regions of high elevation, oaks and chestnuts are found in abundance. The species of oaks in Java alone number as many as twenty-five, and their leaves are quite different from those of the oaks found in Europe. Another characteristic plant is the tree-fern, which is sure to produce a unique impression of tropical nature on the mind of the visitor. In higher regions orchids grow rampant, and in wet and rainy localities are found many parasitic plants and moss. Moss is especially abundant in the middle regions of Borneo, where the trunks and branches of trees are covered with it, sometimes to a thickness of two feet. In Java, moss does
A Market Scene in Java.
not thrive except in the very high regions, but in the middle part of Borneo it grows even at an elevation of only 1,000 metres. It is also one of the characteristics of the forests of the Dutch East Indies, that sometimes in one great, extensive forest only one kind of tree is found growing. Such is often the case with forests of Djati, one of the rare deciduous varieties. This variety grows mostly on hills of which the soil is rich in lime, and it is noted for thu hard and strong timber it produces. Another interesting variety that grows in the high regions is Tjemera, a species of Casuarina, so called because its leaves resemble in shape the plumage of the cassowary. The bamboo, because of the great size to which it attains, may also be considered one of the characteristic plants of the Dutch East Indies. '
Java.a Besides the trees already mentioned, palms are abundant in Java. Nipa fruiticans (dwarf palms) grow in the regions along the coast and rivers, and their leaves (called atap) are used for