Our tropical garden happenings in June 2011

Yippee… a newly purchased plant for our garden in June 2011!

Aglaonema ‘Miss Thailand’ (a Thai hybrid)

Beautiful variegated foliage of Aglaonema 'Miss Thailand', new addition to our tropical garden in June 2011We got this beauty for only RM20! A very good bargain indeed as there were 4 plants in the pot. Had they been separately potted, each would had been sold at RM10 per plant or more.

I love surprises! This purchase was not pre-planned. We had gone to a nearby nursery to capture some pictures of Dwarf Podocarpus and got side-tracked by the numerous pots of colourful Aglaonema cultivars on display, including Aglaonema cv. ‘Valentine’ that’s already happily residing in our garden.

Pseuderanthemum reticulatum (Yellow-vein Eranthemum) simply adores the sun!

Pseuderanthemum reticulatum (Golden Pseuderanthemum, Yellow-vein Eranthemum, Golden Net-bush)

Pseuderanthemum reticulatum (Golden Pseuderanthemum/Net-bush, Yellow-vein Eranthemum) at St. Francis Xavier Home for the Elderly in Cheras, KLThese stunning sun-loving flowering shrubs, growing at the The Little Sisters of the Poor St. Francis Xavier Home for the Elderly in Cheras K.L., certainly caught our eyes.

Golden Pseuderanthemum simply adores the sun. From afar, we saw smiling and sunny faces, reverberating in the sunlight that was showering them. The variegated leaves shone vibrantly in varying shades of yellow, chartreuse and green.

Alternanthera ficoidea (Parrot Leaf) in a non-stop riot of fall colours

Alternanthera ficoidea (Joseph’s Coat, Parrot Leaf, Calico Plant, Sanguinarea)

Alternanthera ficoidea with colourful variegated foliage in our gardenAlternanthera ficoidea (Joseph’s Coat, Parrot Leaf, Calico Plant, Sanguinarea) with colourful variegated foliage in our garden

Simply gorgeous! A non-stop riot of fall colours greeting us each day ever since we planted these dazzling Alternanthera ficoidea plants as ground covers in our garden beds last March! Being in tropical Malaysia, we do not have the joy of watching the autumnal turning of the leaves, so colourful plants such as Joseph’s Coat, Croton and Coleus, to name a few, that provide a spectacular show of ever-changing foliar variegation give us much pleasure.

Agave desmettiana with flowers to signal its approaching death!

Agave desmettiana (Smooth Agave, Dwarf Century Plant, Smooth Century Plant)

Agave desmettiana (Smooth Agave, Smooth/Dwarf Century Plant), showcasing its captivating flowering scape (about 3m tall) - April 28 2011Wouldn’t you be captivated with this 3-meter tall flowering beauty if you chance upon it?
We were very impressed, indeed! And, captured a lot of pictures too as we monitored its blooming progressively for several months.

A pity though that Agave desmettiana is monocarpic and will exhaust all its energy for just a one-time flowering in its life-span, typically about 10 years of age and awaits its approaching death after showing off its blooms.

Ricinus communis (Castorbean): beautiful & useful but deadly!

Ricinus communis (Castor Bean Plant, Castor Oil Plant)

Ricinus communis (Castor Bean Plant, Castor Oil Plant), an ornamental cultivar with reddish-purple leaves and seedpodsCruising our neighbourhood one afternoon late last year, we came across this lovely shrub flourishing along the roadside and were hypnotized momentarily by its eye-catching foliage.

The Castor Bean Plant was adorned with beautiful leaves that were uniquely coloured. A purplish-maroon shade that is rarely seen in our neck of the woods and beautifully shaped too, like those gorgeous palmately lobed leaves of the Red Ribbonleaf Japanese Maples that we admire.

The next feature that caught our eyes was the clusters of fruits and seed pods that hung temptingly on its shrubby branches like decorative prickly ornaments on a Christmas tree. Simply fascinating!