Yearly Archives: 2011

Fiddlewood – Mayang Sari

The seller at Floria told me that the Malay name for this plant is mayang sari. Later I found out it is called fiddlewood or also known as Spiny Fiddlewood.

Here are some details taken from


The fiddlewood is a lovely West Indian native tree grown for its attractive foliage and fragrant flowers. Both the genus name citharexylum (from the Greek – kithara, lyre, and xylon, wood) and the common name of fiddlewood refer to the use of the tree’s timber to make sounding boards for musical instruments.

Common name: Fiddlewood

Botanic name: Citharexylum spinosum

Description: Fast growing tree to 10-12m (30-40′). In spring the bright green leaves turn an unusual salmon-orange colour, and in cooler areas about half the foliage falls. In tropical climates fiddlewoods do not lose as many leaves. Creamy white sprays of perfumed flowers appear at the branch tips from about midsummer to early winter.

Best climate: Tropical and subtropical zones, and also warm microclimates in cooler areas with protection from frost when young.

The plant has sweetly perfumed flowers which I love so much. Reading more about fiddlewood, I also found out that all parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested.

Upon further reading here – Fiddlewood, it seems that the plant has seeds that are edible. The flowers look the same as what I have in my garden but I am yet to see any of such seeds on mine. Maybe because it is Citharexylum fruticosum while my Fiddlewood species is undetermined. (How to determine whether it’s spinosum or fruticosum?)

Purple Cattleya Blooms In October

I almost didn’t realize that the purple cattleya has bloomed again. It has been raining almost every afternoon till evening that I hardly went out to the yard to check on my plants. And when I realized that there were flowers coming out, I quickly took some pictures.

I think the last time my cattleya bloomed was in February. Despite the extreme negligence on my part for the past few months, I was glad that I let my son played around with the fertilizer spray. We used seaweed extract mixed with plain water bought at Floria last year to fertilize most of the plants in the garden.

To read more about cattleya, check out my previous entries here – Cattleya Orchid and Repot Cattleya.

Jambu Laut – Syzygium grandis

I was browsing some of my last year vacation pictures when I found this plant. It is called jambu laut or sea apple. The scientific name is Syzygium grandis.

When we arrived at the beach resort, we were given welcome drinks. The fried keropok lekor which is a signature dish of Terengganu was served with a leaf. I asked the staff what kind of leaf and he told me it was called jambu laut.

As I google more on jambu laut, I found out that in the old days, people in Terengganu collected the leaves to wrap tapai especially during festive season. This is some info taken from

Syzygium grandis
jambu laut

Malaya, Siam, Borneo. Common on rocky and sandy coasts, never wild inland, but now commonly planted. Large broadly elliptic leaves with distinct down turned tip. Fruit oblong with green leathery rind, but edible. Thick bark can stand lalang fires.

Somehow I feel that the picture above would be perfect for beach postcard printing. Don’t you think so? In my younger days, I used to collect postcards whenever I go on vacation or travel. Perhaps it’s about time that I revive that old habit of mine.

Oh, this is another picture that I personally feel good as postcard printing material. Now I really feel like going on beach vacation. Anyone interested to come along?

Ylang-Ylang : Pokok Bunga Kenanga

All the pictures of bunga kenanga plant I have in may garden were actually taken in July. I was watering all my plants that day when I noticed that two ylang ylang flowers have bloomed. And then I noticed the white infestation on the flowers..huhu!

Afraid that it might infect the rest of the plant, I decided to pluck out those two precious blooms. I still couldn’t find what the white thing is. Since I have had bad experience with butterfly caterpillar eating the whole plant of curry leaves last year, I didn’t want to take the chance and let those white things manifest.

A few days ago I noticed the same white things grow on my roses and bougainvillea branches..sigh! This time I sprayed with water from the hose and they fell down from those branches. Next time I think I will have to dissect and see what it is, just for the sake of knowing..haha!

Anyone know what the white pest is actually is? Is it harmful to the plant?

Ethical Products Anyone?

Lately it’s been very hard for me to find time to do gardening in my mini garden. However I did notice that some of the plants and herbs have been attacked by bugs. Most of the healthy leaves have been eaten..huhu!

I was looking for recommended pesticides or herbicides when I come across EthicalOcean marketplace and blog. I have to find a suitable remedy to my bugs problem since I need to put the herbs in my cooking. It has to be plant based, eco friendly, non toxic and every bit ethical to the earth..huhu..tough selection, right!

While browsing through the marketplace, I also found recycled jewelry..(talk about procrastination now, after all who go and spray bugs in the middle of the night..haha!)

It is really inspiring to see how materials like coconut shells being crafted into beautiful and unique jewelry like rings and necklace. Those coconut shells are even dyed with vegetable base.

And not only that, some of the sellers on the marketplace are behind the idea of countering sex slavery in country like India. Their enterprise make social change by helping women all over the world earn money by producing all these wonderful products.

Well, there’s a lot more of ethical aspects that we as consumers have to take into consideration. Next time when I go shopping, I will try to think of how the products have been made and the people behind it.

Oh, this gardenia plant is still safe from the attack of the eating leaves bugs..heh!

Floria 2011

For those with green fingers looking for productive ways to spend your weekend (apart from gardening in your own garden), you still have the chance to visit Floria 2011. Here is the details:

Putrajaya Flower & Garden Festival 2011

Date: 9th – 17th July 2011
Venue: Waterfront, Precinct 2, Putrajaya
Theme: Roses Are Forever

Opening Hours:
9am – 10pm (Monday-Thursday)
9am – 12midnight (Friday-Sunday)
Admission : FREE

I was there last Saturday during the launching by the minister, but it was too dark to take pictures of the outdoor garden display. I hope I could make it again this weekend, this time in broad daylight..haha!

I managed to get some herbal plants from a booth selling such plants there. If you are looking for fragrance flowering plants like akar dani, kesidang and kemuning which were hard to find several years back, do check out the booths there.

Oh, all the pictures above were taken in the indoor garden exhibition hall. Imagine coming back to a home with such rosy entrance..heaven!

Vallaris Glabra-Kesidang Flower

I found these pictures in my May 2011 folder.

It has been a while since I have any good gardening material to write about. I think the Kesidang plant I have at home will only bloom like once a year..haha!

I am not sure whether I have mentioned that I got another pot of Vallaris Glabra or bunga kerak nasi from a nearby plant nursery.

When I bought the second bunga tikam seladang plant, it was flowering. Now I am still waiting for it to bloom again. I have tried using the tut lentur technique (propagate by layering) to propagate the first Kesidang plant I have many years back, but it failed.

I love the sweet scented smell of pandan leaves that come from the blooming Kesidang flowers.

They are such a joy to my heart, see even the ants love them.

I hope I will be able to grow a tall and big plant of Kesidang in years to come so that one day I would be able to make bunga rampai for my own son’s wedding using the flowers..hehe!

More Cape Jasmine In The Garden

Last week my gardenia – Cape Jasmine or as Malays call it bunga cina has bloomed again. This time there were 5 flowers altogether.

I was so busy inside the house and didn’t realize that the gardenia has bloomed and missed taking pictures of the first 3 flowers.

As mentioned in my previous entry about gardenia, my favorite picture of gardenia is when it is not fully bloomed like the picture shown above.

This is the picture of the last flower for this month. I already pruned the plant today and hopefully it will bloom again next month.

Let’s Go Green!

This year I decided to start making effort on going green in most aspects of my life.

After all in the state I am residing now, every Saturday most of the shops no longer give plastic bags. It is a hassle at first, so I either don’t do most of my shopping on Saturday (especially if it’s wet groceries like fish and chicken) or else I will bring my own cloth bag.

Certain times we just bring the shopping trolley to the car, and load everything we buy into the car – no additional packaging apart from the packaging those stuffs come in.

I think if we were to start going green, it doesn’t have to start with making sure everyone plant at least one tree on their own yard (which actually is a good idea considering how hot the weather is these days).

On personal level, we can start rummaging through our stuffs at home and see whether we can upcycle them.

For companies and people in business, they could do their green part by doing one thing or another that is more practical – using digital prints instead of printed promotional materials (which are usually end up being tossed into the bin after a glance or two) and use recycled papers.

One of the best marketing effort I read in the website is how companies should start printing business card info on seed packets or paper containing embedded seeds (I like!!!)

Recently, I’ve also came across several website on social entrepreneur conferences.

I learned that social entrepreneurs are visionary individuals with creative solutions for solving some of the world’s most perplexing social problems. With all the world problems like extreme poverty, educational deficits in developing countries, and the spread of diseases, we certainly need more people with the ideas and the drive to fundamentally shift society.

We might not be one of those social entrepreneur in the making but still we can do a little bit on our part by going green.

Cattleya Blooms For 2011

I was looking for other pictures to write a blog entry when I found these cattleya images. They were taken in February 2011. It must be one of those days that I managed to snap some pictures of my plants.

It has been a while since I fertilized my cattleya. I think the last time was in 2010. Sometimes I just didn’t have the time and chance to go out to the lawn to water them..sigh! Luckily most of the plants including cattleya are still alive and standing..huhu!

As you can see the new flowers of cattleya come from the new ‘pseudobulbs’. I’ve quoted about this in my previous entry – Cattleya Orchid.

Each year a dormant bud at the base grows into a new shoot. This thickens to produce the current year’s pseudobulb.

The flowers arise from the axil of the current year’s leaf where a protective sheath usually develops.

I will try to make time to fertilize the cattleya one of these days and see whether it will bloom again. As they say, some cattleya could flower twice yearly.

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