Looking for Wakonai.

Tuesday, 7th October.

Back to The Brown River.
I was told about a place where there were "near-citrus" plants and maybe another variety. So I organized an outing. We had to go to the foot of the mountains. I leave with a son of the family to reach a hamlet near the mountains and the people of the village will take us to the place.

We have to cross the Brown River.

In the distance you can see the mountains where we are going.

We call a ferry.

A child takes us across.

The house and the family of the ferry-boy.

We arrive at the village at the foot of the mountains which are really only hills at this point.
The family of the chief.

We wait for the village chief or one of his sons. These are the only people who know where to go.
Notice the 'de-lousing' - a constant activity in PNG.

We leave when the son arrives. Very quickly we find the small-leaved near citrus, the one which I already knew about.
Young fruit just formed. In the following pictures, my fingers should give a sense of scale.

The leaves are between 1 and 2 cm.

Then close by is the other variety.The leaves are between 4 and 5 cm.

An unopened flower.

Fruit. Note the oil glands which are characteristic of citrus.

Fruit cut open. The structure is that of citrus, but there are no vesicles. Seeds are immersed in a gelatinous liquid as with other near-citrus.

Leaves like holly are a characteristic of this plant.

The resemblance between the two plants gives me an idea, and by searching hard we find there is a mid-sized plant that carries both kinds of leaves, small and large from bottom to top.
This is the same plant that makes small leaves up to one meter in height and large leaves thereafter.
In contrast, the fruit is always the same size.

We start on the way home and find the village chief in the hamlet.

He has his grand-daughter between his legs, a branch of the plant in one hand and a local tobacco cigarette rolled in plain paper in the other. Note the red marks from betel juice on the cigarette and on his lips.

A house on the way home. There is a hammock which is rare in PNG, and a very rustic "ladder".

We return by another track in order to see some new places.
It has been a long, eventful day!