– [Narrator] In the last
episode of “Plant One On Me”, Doctor Piyakaset showed
us the botanical wonders of the Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens. From the rare limestone plants, to the towering palms of the
tropical rainforest house. But you learn so much more about a plant when you can observe it
in it’s natural habitat. In this episode, Doctor Piyakaset takes us on one of his expeditions
to the Tiger’s Nose, one of the tallest peaks in Thailand, to survey and document
some of the rare plants he found growing in the wild. This turned out to be a
trip we would never forget. – Okay? – Yeah. – Okay, let’s go. (upbeat music) – [Summer] Oh so cute, look
at this, oh, yeah, yeah see. – [Doctor] Die already. – [Summer] No they pretend
to be dead look at it, see? – [Doctor] The boyfriend, you see, Summer. – They pretend to be dead, they actually, I’ve never seen cicadas drop like that. All right guys you and your
boyfriend and girlfriend can sit right here. Yeah, see they’re both alive. – Okay, you can see
here how the vegetation start to change from the
normal evergreen forest to an open pine forest, and you have several different
species also up here. We are going up to 1,600 meters to the Tiger Nose. You can say something
like National Geographic. – [Summer] Yeah, I’m here on
the edge of this cliff here, no human’s ever walked here before. What’s that, the yellow
flower right there? – The yellow one? – Yeah. – Yeah, it’s the same like this one. That’s this one, yes. It’s a Xyris, Xyris wallichii. It looks like grass but actually it’s not. – Yeah.
– It has its own family, Xyris wallichii. And if you touch the, see the
leaves is quite flat here. Oh, I found a very interesting plants, they try to touch the leaf and smell. – Oh yeah, lemon. – Yeah, this is lemongrass tree. – Wow, what family? – Lauraceae. – Oh, Lauraceae! – Yes, Litsea cubeba. This one, if you come up here and you want to cook Tom Yum, you can, and you don’t have lemongrass,
you can use this one. – You use it as a substitute. – [Doctor] Yes, yeah, nice smell isn’t it? – [Summer] Yeah. – [Doctor] Oh, this is a
rare impatiens you know. So flowers of the balsam,
impatiens mengtszeana. – [Summer] Oh that’s a beautiful color, it’s a cream sicle. – Right. – Oh, that, that, the begonia, you see the begonia? – Oh yeah, right there in the stream. Yeah, wow, it’s the one with the– – [Doctor] Get closer. – [Summer] That’s a nice one. – [Doctor] Right, this
is the begonia palmata, – [Summer] Begonia palmata? – Yeah, in natural habitat. Very nice, growing next to the stream. Okay, we continue. – [Summer] Ooh look at the
ants on the bracken fern. Yeah, I think I already irritated them. – I think, you see this one? Actually this is quite interesting, because the young shoot
of the bracken fern, it has the glands here which produce some sweet agent, attract the ants, so ants– – [Summer] So it protects the plant? – Yes, stays here to
protect the young shoot. – Yeah.
– Yes. – [Summer] It’s a form
of Myrmecodia, yeah. – I got a bite. And up there you can see
what they call cliff. – Oh my god. Just do not drop the camera down. (laughs) – [Doctor] Okay, another
small hypoxis here, hypoxis aurea, hypoxis daisy. – Wow, this is just such an epic view. This is unbelievable. It’s so hard to take it all in. It’s clear too, relatively speaking. – [Doctor] See that, okay? – [Summer] Wow, this is incredible. – Yeah, right?
– Yeah. – [Doctor] Shall we go to that one? – [Summer] Yeah, absolutely. – Look at it, this is
all temperate species. (light rhythmic music) Are you afraid of heights, Summer? – [Summer] I’m a little
bit afraid of heights, so. – [Doctor] Yeah, you can come here, actually there’s a second
step, not just this one. This is second step. – [Summer] Yeah, but how
far down is the second step? – [Doctor] (laughing)
No, it’s not that bad, you can come and have a look. – Oh my god.
– Come, come here. – Okay, I’m coming.
– Here, yes, look at that. – Oh my God. – Yeah, stand up here. – That is just– – Yeah, here’s still okay, because there’s two trees step down. – [Summer] Yeah, wow. That is incredible. – Yeah, this is your reward for today. – Hoo, I got to take a
photo of that, whew, boy. (light rhythmic music) That’s the million dollar view right here. – [DR] You are really above the clouds. – [Summer] Yeah. – Okay if we go up and try to search for some special flowers, and I’m going to have some photos of it, because we don’t have any
good photos for all of them. – And these plants are endemic
to this particular mountain? – [Doctor] Yeah, many of
them only grow in this area. – Wow.
– Yes. – And this is a correct time of the year to visit this mountain. – [Summer] So, I just
wanna be very gingerous with where I’m stepping. – [Doctor] Yeah, be careful. – The fog is really coming in right now. It was just clear, just like seconds ago. – Yes, be careful. Look at this one. Actually this is a wild
iris called Iris collettii, and it has purple flowers, this one. – [Summer] Not in bloom though. – Not in bloom, it’s already finished now. It’s blooming in August. – You got a lot of great
little wild flowers here. – That’s one, I’m going to photograph. – [Summer] Okay. – This is the rare plant
called Pedicularis yunnanensis. Now it belonged to auroboncacea which is hemiparasitic plants. – [Summer] What’s it parasite on? – It’s on the root of
grasses and things like that. You see, it has a very
hairy leaves and stems. – [Summer] And what are
the important things that you need to capture
when you’re photographing some of these plants. – Yeah of course, I try to get the detail of the flowers as much as possible. – [Summer] And so, really
it’s the inflorescence that you’re looking for? – Yeah, the inflorescence,
actually the leaves, and you see the stigma is coming out. – Yeah, I see that. – Petal shapes and things like that. And actually I brought my
ruler here so I can make measurement afterwards and
then we collect this document and back to the herbarium. And we can recheck the name again. – Yeah.
– Yes, but the main reasons I
got here once a year, because I want to check
the population of this one. Because we used to have serious fire continuous for four, five
years and it destroyed some of the plants here also. So it’s a kind of monitoring. – Yeah.
– Yes. How the rare plants here get recovered. Careful, this is quite steep here. – [Summer] Yeah. – Oh wow, we are here, can you move here? – [Summer] Oh yeah,
absolutely, I’ll come here. – [Doctor] This is a rare gentian only found in Northern Thailand. Yeah, the Swertia– – [Summer] That’s beautiful,
I see the purple stripes. – [Doctor] It’s a tiny little plant. More flowers coming up. – Yeah, plenty. – Okay, I’m glad I’ve seen this one. Maybe we try to find some more. It’s quite uncommon here. – [Summer] think there’s
a couple more down here. – [Doctor] Where, show me, oh wow. – [Summer] One right
here and it looks like there’s another one right here. – [ Doctor] Yes, yes, yes,
I’m trying to go this way to see the petal. – [Summer] Yeah, it has a little, little– – A purple stripe, it’s named striae, – Yeah.
– The striae means stripes. – [Summer] How long do these bloom for? – [Doctor] Maybe a couple days. – Oh okay, so we’re
really hitting this place at the right time then. – Right, right. (rhythmic pulsing) It’s down there, I have to go like that. It’s on that wet, cliff. Maybe we are too late, or maybe they were destroyed, all of them. Wow, it’s still here. Oh, plenty of them. It’s here, you wanna come and see? See, it’s only here, it’s not up there, it’s not down there, it’s only here. But it’s quite, you have to go, go around. Yeah, actually this is
really a unique habitat for many carnivorous plants. If you see here, it’s a Drosera peltata. You see, growing together
with Pedicularis yanyuanensis, this one again the, and move up a little bit,
this is Drosera, the sun dew. Yeah, yes Summer would
like to see something. – The grass is kind of sticky actually. – This is the ideal habitat for many species of utricularias. Bare rock like this,
seeping water, running down. – What kind of rock is this? – It’s a granite. – Granite, okay. – That’s my rare plants. Yeah, the blue ones.
– The blue ones, wow. – [Doctor] The blue one, yes. – That is so stunning, they’re so blue. It was a new rain court. This grow first in India, only a single locality, this is the second one in the world. – [Summer] It looks like they’re growing in unison with the moss. – Yes, you see they need the
seeping water, dripping down, so once they kind of change,
you’d have less rain, the you’d have no seeping water and this becoming smaller
and smaller and then gone. And here, this one more
endemic plant species Burmannia, this is also a hemiparasite. Burmannia larseniana. – [Summer] Is that a hemiparasite also to the grass or to something– – Yeah, to the grass. So we have many nice species here growing in small communities, and then the small Irimacolum. Yes, this one. – So the blue one is not
endemic to here, but it’s rare. – Yeah, but it’s rare. It’s found only in two
places in the world. – [Summer] Wow, what a find. – He said we should eat right now, because he’s waiting for us. He’s quite hungry also. (laughing) He’s quite, he’s too polite to eat alone, so we just eat in five
minutes and then whatever. – [Summer] What kind of
animals do you have up here? – Up here, not many animals. – [Summer] No rodents or anything? (speaking in foreign language) – He said squirrels and some other things. (speaking in foreign language) He said also the serow, it’s
a kind of mountain goat. – [Summer] Mmm, are they
all killed or up or? – They’re all killed.
– Ah, sad. – That top, there’s still
the area that they preserve for these kinds of animals, so it’s still there but
not near here, this peak. – [Summer] Would they
ever reintroduce them, because it is a national park, so they should be protected here, right? – Yeah, as we see, just today
we saw lots of motor bikes and so this is difficult.
– Yeah. (motorbike engine revs) We’re heading back down
but we’re also going to see if we can find some more
interesting and rare flora. (electronic music) – [Doctor] Can you wait here for a while, I’ll go and check my plan.
– Yeah. – I think it’s growing
there on the wet cliff. You have to be careful huh? A new species of Utricularia described some years ago which is endemic to this mountain only, and you can see they have
a small leaf and trap along the roots, along the stems also. So they really need the
seeping water to survive and open platform like this. Once when it dries up and
you get the vegetation to cover this one, so it will be gone. Many years ago it was plenty
here, covered this wet rock, so I’m not so happy to
see a few plants here. Let’s get out of here. (upbeat music) (water running) Oops.
– Watch out. Halenia elliptica, it’s a type of ginger? – Yes. It actually looks, it’s
shaped a little bit like a small columbine. – This is actually,
it’s a Himalayan ilaman from the Himalay, but in Thailand it’s found
only in this mountain. One more here. – [Summer] Yeah. – Okay, you see this red ginger here, we call it jelly ginger, because if you take this one out and squeeze it, it
contains a lot of jelly. – Ooh, it’s like pectin almost. – Yes. – [Summer] Wow, oh my gosh, actually it’s a little bit more like snot. – [Doctor] Yes. – [Summer] Do people use
that as a medicine or? – No, no, no it’s produced by
itself to prevent the insects from eating the flowers and fruits. Here it’s a fruit, see? – [Summer] Is that characteristic
to a lot of gingers or only this one?
– No, no, no, only this species. – [Summer] Interesting. So does this have any digestive juices like if an insect gets caught in there? – I don’t think so, it’s just slimy– – Unbelievable how slimy it is. – Yeah.
(Summer laughs) I forgot to say the name, it’s Zingiber densissimum. – Zingiber dens–
– densissimum. – Okay, densissimum. – Yes. – This one I can’t remember. – The lemongrass. – Yeah, the lemongrass tree. – The fruits, the young fruits there. – Oh god, that smells so good. It’s like lemongrass and
a little bit of curry. – Yes. – Oh god, that is probably
one of my favorite smells of all Thailand. Wow, oh, this one’s brilliant. I don’t know what kind
of Coleoptera he is but– – [Doctor] Oh it’s hemip. – It’s a hemip?
– Yes. – Oh, where’s his, oh yeah, he has a little proboscis underneath. – It has only one wing, not two wings. – Oh so it doesn’t have like two elytra. – Yeah, so it opens like, yeah, yeah. – Oh, wow, it’s so cool, it looks like a beetle, but like you said it’s not. I’m just gonna just try
to see if I can grab it. If he allows me to. Oh, there he goes, wow.
– Yeah, it’s going to fly and it
will open like a volkswagon. – [Summer] Hatch, like a hatchback. Oh, he’s so cute. – You see, it has no–
– Yeah, no elytra. – Yeah.
– Open the hatchback. I see some wings in there. – [Doctor] Yes, almost, almost. (laughs) Too hard. And then it’s trying to, yeah, yeah. – Dink, come on, okay this guys not… Oh, he pooped on me, it probably stinks. Yeah, it does, yuck. Oh man that’s a cool bug, you’re so cool. He’s like let me go back to
my place where I just was. Well, that’s a neat one,
that a new one for me. I’m surprised that he’s a hemipteron. – [Doctor] Summer, this
is Thunbergia fragrans. – [Summer] It’s species name is fragrance? – Yes.
– So it’s fragrant? – I guess so, maybe at the night time. – Yeah, not now.
– No, no not now. – [Summer] What a disappointment
for that scientific name. (laughs) Is this a vining one? – [Summer] Yeah, it’s a vining one. Okay, yeah, I see the vine. – You see the small flowers here? – [Summer] Yeah, I do. – This is a Clerodendrum serratum, only one flower left for the season. – Wow, pretty cool flower. Glad we have one left. – Oh this is quite an interesting plant. It belongs to the orange family. Real tasty. This is Boenninghausenia albiflora. You see the small fruit there. – Yeah, very tiny. – Yeah, if you grab it and you squeeze it, it gives you a nice– – A little citrusy?
– Yes. – Ooh yeah, oh, that’s powerful, a lot of smell in that little fruit. – And for rotasie it can
be very easy to recognize, you get one leaf and if you try
to see it against the light, you will see the oil glands, the glandots. – Oh yeah, I do, so if you
hold this up to the light, you can see some of the
oil glands in the leaf. – And the flower is so tiny, white ones. – So tiny, but I can’t believe this smell that’s in this little packet of fruit. We’ve got some cicadas yelling at us. – Oh, here we have whey asparagus. – So cool. – [[Doctor] It has fruits on it’s– – Oh yeah, look at that. – [Doctor] Three couples so. – So does this have anything
like a regular asparagus like? – It has a tuberous root, and local people collect this
one for medicinal purpose. – Do you know what species this is? – I’m not quite sure,
I will check it later. – [Summer] Okay, Asparagus? – [Doctor] Actually, it’s
one of the common species. – As we’re going down the
mountain side we’re getting a lot more of that sun, and we’re not in the high
elevation any longer, so the clouds aren’t moving through here. – This is the usnea. – Oh there’s the usnea so it’s a lichen that looks like the
Tillandsia usneoides, yeah. Super cool. – See this is the transition
zone between the pine and the whole forest, the evergreen. Here, evergreen. You can see here, you’ve
got quite a clear cut. This side is no more pines and just only this side. – Yep, is all pine.
– Yeah, all pine. And the seedling of the pine
would not be able to grow in that kind of nature. – Yeah because it would need
a little bit more bare land. – Yeah, more sun. – This is a Strobilanthes. This is popular in the
states as a bedding plant or sometimes you’ll see the purple version or the green version for
an indoor houseplant. Although, it’s probably
better as a bedding plant. But, it has these really
cool silver markings on it’s really neat to be
able to see it actually in the wild. Ooh, what’s this? – Here is the Crypsinus rhynchophyllus which is a, has a quite
distinct dimorphic form. This is the sterile one, it’s smaller and quite oval shaped. And this is fertile
leaves, pretty much longer, you see the–
– Oh yes, so you can tell this is a fern, because it has the spores. And then that’s an
elaphoglossum, isn’t it? – The elaphoglossum.
– Yeah. Oh that’s beautiful, you
can just see a little bit of the sheen on that, which is also a fern. – And look at this correlation
on the leaves here. – Oh, yeah, it’s beautiful, looks like little ink markings
– Yeah, darker rings. – Oh look at this, wow that is super cool. – It’s a kind of grasshopper. – Yeah, I see, I see that
it’s like rearing up. It’s not jumping,
– It’s not jumping. – Yeah, it looks like a cicada. Ooh, there it goes.
– See! (laughs) That’s so cool, wow. He just stained me. It looks like a reoccurring
thing with insects is just like taking a little piss on me. (upbeat music) You may think people do
etchings on the tree, but this is actually a
mining insect that does this. You can often try to
determine what the species of insect is just by the
way that they actually mine. (upbeat music) So what is this fruit? – It’s the Castanopsis diversifolia, it’s one of the whole family. – Yeah, I guess you need a machete because they look so spiny. Is it edible? – It’s edible. – Hmm, a little mealy but good. Do they roast them as well? – Yes, much better when you roast them. Oh, look at this interesting plant. – [Summer] Ooh, it’s pretty. – [Doctor] It’s a Polygala, Polygalasee. – [Summer] Is this the
seeds starting over here? – [Doctor] Yeah, the seeds,
it has a heart-shaped fruit. – It has a couple seeds
in it or multiples. – Yes, yes, yes, I think two seeds in it, yellow color you see? Yellow color and then– – Yeah, I see the yellow color, and then it gets a little red. – Yes, and then it turns to a
little bit of orange, right? – There’s an Aeschynanthus up there. – Oh yeah. – We’re like wow. (both laughing) Great another rare plant. – Great.
(both laughing) (upbeat music) This Aeschynanthus is a
little bit better to see than that one up in the tree. – [Doctor] Yeah, this is a
Aeschynanthus andersonii, sometime they said it’s a hemiparasite, because it seems to go
in the crack of the trees and you know, sometime
it has also the root between the bark and the
vascular bundle bundle. – So this what we call
the lipstick plant often, and as a common name. – Right, this is a small
species, quite nice. – So if you actually
remove this from the tree, since it’s a hemiparasite,
it will still be able to live on it’s own? – This one I tried before
and it can stay alive. – [Summer] So it’s not
fully parasitic then? – It’s not fully, maybe
it’s not a parasite at all. – It just happens to like
little crooks and crannies of the tree. Oh! – [Doctor] Yeah, it’s harmless you can. – Yeah, oh my god, such
a tight little ball. Gosh, it fits so perfectly together. So supposedly this is one of
their edible mushrooms here, It seems quite large. – It can feed the whole family. – Yeah, at least for one day. (speaking foreign language) Is he gonna take it?
– Yeah, he’s going to take it. – [Summer] See, he is gonna
feed his whole family tonight. – [Doctor] Yeah. (speaking foreign language) Oh the sour curry. – [Summer] Oh, I was gonna
say, how does he cook it? Oh my gosh, two nights
of mushrooms. (laughs) – Oh, look at this tiny orchids, sitting on the bark like this. – [Summer] This one’s really cute. – [Doctor] Yes, it’s a
miniature eria, this one. – Eria?
– Eria, yeah. – [Summer] Is this the
flower or they past flower? – This is the fruit already. Look at the pseudobulb,
that’s some kinds of nectar. Now it nearly dies because
the tree just fell down. – Oh, so it actually
really needs, the tree needs to be standing.
– Right. – It wouldn’t typically
be on decaying wood. This is one of the smilax vines. You can see it has really funky leaves at the base of the pedial. These are vining creatures so this one will eventually probably
find a tree and climb up. (phone ringing) (speaking foreign language on telephone) – [Summer] What, are you serious? – [Doctor] Yes, I just got a call. – [Summer] Oh my god, like
just at the space, place. – Yes, half an hour ago. – Oh my God, oh my God, unbelievable! That’s insane, I don’t know. – [Doctor] I think we’re heading back. – Yeah, I think we should head back. – [Doctor] The van is coming. – Yeah, we just got some really bad news. One of the botanists that we came with who was feeling sick a little earlier actually just had a heart attack and died. His name is Chanin, he’s a great botanist, and we actually got
some film footage of him actually talking about plants, and we are going to be
heading back down right now to the hospital to go check
in with our other friend. (slow piano music) As one of my mentors has said,
sometimes you think life, and sometimes life thinks you. Experiencing loss has
a way of refocusing you through the blur of tears, the fogginess of mind, comes a sobering clarity that reminds us to pursue our passions
fully and to fill our lives with the people we love
and who love us back. (slow piano music)