Category Archives: Green Plants

Update On Labu Manis (Pumpkin)

After 12 days of sowing the seed of labu manis which I bought at pasar malam for the purpose of cooking sayur air, this is how the leaves look like, very green and healthy.

But check out 3 days later, a bad and evil grasshopper (as reported by Mr Hubby) has been eating the leaves. My son said, bad grasshopper, bad grasshopper..haha!

I am yet to see the large grasshopper in person every time I go out and water the plants. I hope it won’t continue digesting all the leaves as I plan to pick the young shoot of labu manis (pucuk labu) to cook masak lemak.

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 rimbundahan.org:

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?

Henna – Revisited

For those interested to know the facts about henna, please refer to my previous post about it here – Henna – Lawsonia inermis.

When I moved to the new house, I brought the henna plant in the pot along. It grew quite well until up to a point where all the leaves dropped and day after day it showed the sign of dying..huhu!

After about two months ago of not showing any sign of reviving itself, I decided to relocate the pot from its current spot and was thinking to dig out the plant from its pot. But I was busy and kept on postponing the plan to uproot the henna from its pot.

And then one day, while watering the plants, I noticed this..

See those tiny leaves, it was such a joy to see what a miracle of growth could bring to a garden..

I was so glad that I didn’t uproot the plant when I first thought that there was no hope. That’s the thing with plants, just as you thought you have exhausted all the effort to bring it to life, it surprises you with new leaves.

I hope the henna will live a long life as it is the marker of my wedding anniversary. May you grow old and stronger, henna!

Asplenium australasicum – Bird’s Nest Fern

It took me some times to identify the name of this plant. I only know it as Bird’s Nest Fern. But when I did some research, there are actually many species. I hope I get it correctly after reading the description on the page of Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) – ANPSA – Asplenium australasicum.

At first I thought it is Asplenium nidus or Asplenium phyllitidis after reading the page of Tropical Fern and Exotic Plants Society on Bird’s Nest Fern.

It is said in most website that this Asplenium australasicum may be confused with Asplenium nidus. Taken from wikipedia,

“Apparently, most plants sold in America as A. nidus are actually Asplenium australasicum. A. australasicum has longer sori, and the midrib has a different shape.”

Quoting from tfeps.org page,

“A. australasicum is nearly always epiphytic, growing on the limbs and trunk of trees but it will occasionally be found on rocks or even in the ground when a mature plant has fallen. There is a variety that has lobed fronds and is known as A. australasicum ‘ Multilobum’.

As epiphytes, all of these bird’s-nest ferns should be potted in a very coarse mix with great drainage. They should be under-potted to prevent accumulation of too much moisture although double-potting with the outer pot filled with gravel or the like may be necessary to provide a heavy enough base to support the large fronds. They should be lightly fed at frequent intervals during the growing season.”

Oh, Malays call this plant pokok langsuyar which somehow gives a spooky and horror connotation to the ghost of lady with long hair..huhu! One thing I noticed since I grow this plant, it could not stand direct heat and drying sun as the leaves will get tattered, turn brown and withered very fast.

I am yet to try spore propagation. Will share later if and when my Bird’s Nest Fern has spore to propagate..heh!

Aloe Vera – A.barbadensis Mill

I’m sure many of us are very familiar with these Aloe Vera plants. While researching for this entry, I found out that it actually belongs to lily family. The species also has many synonyms : A. barbadensis Mill., Aloe indica Royle, Aloe perfoliata L. var. vera and A. vulgaris Lam.

It has been suggested that the species is originally from Southern Africa and was introduced to China, India, Pakistan and various parts of southern Europe in the 17th century. Known for its medicinal purpose, Aloe Vera is a stemless or very short-stemmed succulent plant which can grow up to 60–100 cm. It spreads by offsets. The side of the leaf is serrated and has small white teeth.

From my experience, it is quite a hardy plant that prefers to be completely dry before re-watering. It is also resistant to many insects although mealy bugs, scale insects and aphid species may cause decline in its health.

Aloe Vera has been utilized by many for its healing benefit, mostly to cure injury and wound. The gel derived from the plant are used as a first aid for burns, injuries, eczema, sunburns, insect bites and fungal infection prevention.

Henna – Lawsonia inermis

I took this picture of my henna plant in January and totally forgot about it. Browsing through my whole year of picture collections make me realize that I never mention about Henna in my gardening blog. As a person who love arts and craft, I also love the art of henna tattooing.

This henna plant is cultivated from the cutting that my aunt used during my wedding ceremony. As henna leaves have many other useful benefit (some people use it during confinement) I decided to keep it alive.

Taken from PlantCultures.org, here are some descriptions on the henna plant’s parts:

Leaves – used as a skin and hair dye and in traditional medicine. They are almond-shaped, tapering at the end attached to the tree.

Fruits – seeds are used in traditional medicine and oil for perfumery. They are spherical in shape, about the size of a small pea (5-7 mm wide), brown when ripe and contain many little pyramid-shaped seeds.

Henna is a shrub that can grow up to 7 m high at its tallest, with greyish-brown bark. Its wood is close-grained and hard and is used to make tool handles and tent pegs.

I am not sure how tall my henna plant will be in years to come, since I plant it in a pot. It is surely a hardy plant that is easy to maintain. It’s growing well so far and I still don’t have the chance to pound the leaves and use the paste to dip my fingertips.

Mother In Law’s Tongue – Sansevieria trifasciata

At first when I edited the picture of this Lidah Mak Mertua plant, I thought it belongs to dracaena family. But after searching for the info, I realized that it is a species of Sansevieria plants. It is also known as snake plant because of the shape of the leaves and mother in law’s tongue for the sharpness.

sansevieriatrifasciata.jpg

I was not really fond to have this plant in my house as it has very sharp thorns at the end of the stiff leaves. But since my SIL gave me the almost dying plant last year, I thought what the heck, just give it a chance to grow..heh!

So here is the picture of my snake plant after some tender loving care. The best part is you don’t need to water it very often as it will rot easily if overwatered. Good for someone with hectic schedule and lack of time to do gardening on daily basis.

Dracaena

I am sure this is one of the dracaena genus but I still couldn’t find the exact name of it. I have checked in my The Complete Guide to Houseplants book but I couldn’t figure out if this belongs to Dracena Sanderiana or Dracaena Reflexa Variegata.

dracaenabig.jpg

When I first bought her about 3 years ago, it was in a small pot. Now it has grown so big and I even take the cuttings and insert in another pot, creating an instant “tree” effect.

pokoksiett.jpg

I am planning to give this new pot to a friend who is interested to try her hands in gardening for her new home. Hopefully her Dracaena will grow as tall as mine.

From what I read, it can grow up to 150cm height.

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