The West Papua Population of Unique Flora

West Papua Population
Sumber : Nature

There’s a slogan, “Papua is a rich land” because it has the second most biological wealth after the Amazon in South America. This was proven by data published in the journal named Nature on the 5th of August 2020. The conservation efforts done by the government and the West Papua population must be sustainable. Here are some notable floras to protect, so that our future children can still see them in real life. 

West Papua Population
Sumber : Pinterest

Matoa

Matoa is an indigenous fruit from Papua and West Papua. The tree can grow up to 18 meters with 100cm in diameter. Normally it bears fruit once a year, with flowers blooming from July to October. Matoa trees can grow well in dry soil throughout the lowlands to an altitude of ± 1200 m above sea level. Even though it can grow in dry soil, it still needs a stable water supply from high rainfall climate.

The Matoa fruit has a sweet flavor. In the land of Papua there are 2 species of Matoa, namely Matoa Papeda and Matoa Kelapa. What differentiate them from each other is the texture. Matoa Kelapa is chewy and Matoa Papeda is kind of soft.

Bitangur

Bitangur is rare fruit tree that you can only found in the land of Papua. At first glance, this fruit looks like an ordinary green fruit. The people of Papua and West Papua, does not eat or use it as a medicine, then what’s the benefit of this fruit?

It turns out that the Bitangur fruit contains oil that be used as fuel. Some would say that this is an eco-friendly fuel, therefore it needs further research and development. To obtain the oil, the bitangur needs to be dried under the sun, then the oil comes out to be filtered. The result of the filtered oil can be used as a substitute for fossil fuels.

Rabon Bi

Rabon Bi has a fruit similar to water apple, but it has fibers on its skin. When cut in half, it will look like a white colored shell. This fruit is believed to cure eye diseases, like cataract. Although it still needs further medical research, it is often used by the people. To use it, simply drip the fruit’s juice or starch into the sick eye, or by diluting it with water beforehand. 

Besi Orchid

Aside from fruits, the Papua and West Papua population of flora has many beautiful flowers. The biggest highlights are species of orchids, like the Besi Orchid. This beautiful orchid’s petals are bright green while the pistil is purple. This orchid was once a rare sight due to having a high price in the market. However, with recent developments, the Besi Orchid has become relatively easy to cultivate.

Black Orchid

The Black Orchid from the land of Papua is indeed different than other species of orchids. Physically, this flower is full black from the inside and the outside, leaving only the center part to have a bright red or purple color. Unlike the Besi Orchid, this species is hard to cultivate, it can only live and be found in its natural habitat which is inside the forests of Papua and West Papua

Stuberi Orchid

Another rare species of orchid found in the land of Papua is the Stuberi Orchid. It has a unique color with a combination of purple and white on its petals. Unlike other orchids, the petals are twisted and wavy. This rare orchid is protected by law and can only be grown in conservation. 

Frow a few of these unique floras, we now know why scientists called the land of Papua as natural laboratory. The West Papua population and the government needs to protect and preserve the forests, because there are indigenous floras that can only live there and nowhere else.