Impatiens walleriana: flowers/foliage in psychedelic colours

Impatiens walleriana (Impatiens, Busy Lizzy/Lizzie, Touch-me-not, Jewel Weed, Sultana)

Colourful Impatiens walleriana (Touch-me-not, Jewel Weed, Sultana, Busy Lizzy/Lizzie) at Cactus Valley, Cameron HighlandsWhen mixed varieties are group-planted in garden borders, parks and the like, Impatiens will hold you spellbound with its carpet of psychedelic floral colours! It is one of the most popular and best known bedding plants worldwide for its profuse flowering year round and ease of cultivation. Also, America’s favourite annual for shady sites in colder regions.

September 2010: Monkey business at our backyard!

Sugar/Custard Apple (Annona squamosa) at our backyardOur Sugar Apple (Annona squamosa) tree started bearing fruits since early July and got us really excited as it had been sometime since the last harvest.

Though only numbered about half a dozen fruits that were somewhat much reduced in size since produced by an aging potted tree, we awaited eagerly to savour the ripened ones.

But sadly it wasn’t meant to be as wild monkeys prowling behind our backyard outran us! Aargh! They must have targeted the fruits for sometime. Though unripe, they unknowingly made a beeline for them inside our compound and exited as fast when we weren’t watching. Thank God it must have been times when our pet dog, Maxi, was having his afternoon siesta too, otherwise he’ll be no match against the matured and aggressive monkeys who are slightly larger in size than him.

Pyrostegia venusta, ablaze with radiant orange blossoms

Pyrostegia venusta (Flame Vine, Flaming Trumpet, Orange Trumpet Creeper, Golden Shower)

Pyrostegia venusta (Flame Vine, Orange Trumpet Creeper, Golden Shower) draped on a chain-link fence in Cameron HighlandsPyrostegia venusta (Flame Vine, Flaming Trumpet, Orange Trumpet Creeper, Golden Shower)

With such brilliance in its flaming orange-coloured blossoms, it’s inevitable that Pyrostegia venusta has been reputed as one of the most spectacular flowering vines in cultivation. A vigorous and rambunctious climber with tendrils, Flame Vine will produce abundant clusters of brightly coloured trumpet-shaped flowers practically all year long. Truly a traffic stopper when in full bloom, especially if the vine is draped over a large pergola, fence or espaliered on a trellis or building structures.

Thunbergia mysorensis with fascinating slipper-like blossoms

Thunbergia mysorensis (Clock Vine, Lady’s Slipper Vine, Dolls’ Shoes)

Thunbergia mysorensis (Mysore Clock Vine, Lady's Slipper Vine, Dolls' Shoes)Wanna buy a pair of lady’s slippers, anyone?

Aren’t they gorgeous! No wonder, it’s pretty obvious why this tropical climber has been lovingly nicknamed Lady’s Slipper Vine and Dolls’ Shoes!

Even the other common name, Brick & Butter Vine suits it fine, seeing the similarity in the colours of the attractive flowers! But why name it Clock Vine too, I wonder? Is it because the flower clusters that hang on long strings do somewhat resemble the pendulum of a grandfather’s clock as well?

Solanum macranthum with gorgeous tri-coloured blossoms

Solanum macranthum (Potato Tree, Giant Star Potato Tree)

Solanum macranthum or S. crinitum/wrightii (Giant Potato Tree) at St Paul's Church, Kuala Kubu Baru, June 2009Truly an exotic and impressive tropical specimen! This Giant Potato Tree is a large bushy shrub that can grow into a medium-height tree, and be beautifully adorned with stunning flowers all year round!

A rare treat indeed to see purple blossoms on a tree! And more amazing is that its gorgeous blossoms come in three wonderful shades, changing successively from deep purple to lavender to white.