Do You Love Me! 你爱我吗?

 

I love plants. When I drove or when I strolled in the park or even around the neighborhood, I will always be amazed by the various shapes and styles that plants have chosen to present themselves  for purposes of reproduction. I am sharing with readers some of the photos that I have taken around my neighborhood and around the net and hope that you can draw your own inspirations from the photos below

Today’s pictures are compiled from my trip to Singapore’s Garden By the Bay. If you visit Singapore, please ensure that this is one of your destination.

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Hai, Malaysian, South Koreans and Haitians, my family, hibiscus is your countries’ national flower emblem. Do you know all our families’ relatives. Look, these are my cousins currently lucky enough to live in Garden by the Bay. They are well fed and therefore they are able to afford beautiful cloths and see, they are so fat! It really make me jealous..

马来西亚人看到大红花或木槿花已经麻木不仁了,向小朋友手掌一样大的木槿花,你是否会从新珍惜及爱我呢?

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The above are hibiscuses that have ever mentioned in my posts. In the left picture, A is South Korea’s national flower – Hibiscus Syriacus (Mugunghwa); B for Rosella drink – Hibiscus Sabadriffa (Roselle or Rosella); C is Malaysia’s national flower – Hibiscus Sinensis.


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Hi, beautiful ladies, I know you like to put your nose near me to appreciate our fragrance, thank you very much! I am sorry my ancestors wants me to have stigma hanging down causing you inconveniences to appreciate me. Will you still love me when I have such an awkward posture?

我家族就是要我们把柱头向下垂。你还爱我吗?


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We are just tiny flowers squatting near corners of the walls. Sir, madam, can you please “donate” some love to me.

我知道人类都喜欢大又美的富贵花朵。像我这样的墙角野花,谁会喜欢?先生,太太,你们可以爱我吗?


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Hey, above, all of you are so self centered, that’s why nobody will ever love you. Look at us, we worked as a group, we go out together, we wear the same clothes and therefore we are definitely more presentable than you lonely little flowers! Sir, Madam, I know you will agree with what I said and shower me with your loves!

楼上的,团结才是力量!我和我的兄弟姐妹共同进出,穿同样的衣服,互相合作,我们肯定比你们更加出色。先生太太有把握你们一定会喜欢我们并给予最多的爱!


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We succulents, are hard to bear flowers. We believed we are beautiful enough. We don’t need flowers to reproduce and I refused to disclose our family secrets of reproduction. You human being, only like flowers. Look at us, our juicy leaves are even more beautiful than their flowers. Sir, come here and have a closer look at us, sure you will love us!

花花花,每天心里就只有花!!我们的叶子就比其他的花来的漂亮! 先生,请你靠近我一点,仔细地看,轻轻地摸,我相信你一定会爱上我们!来啊!

 


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Hey, don’t touch us! We are nice to see but definitely not nice to touch! Sir, sorry, we have selected these thorny clothes to protect our own self. Sir, do you agree that we are still beautiful with these thorns? You will not change your loves to us right? Will you?

先生,现在色狼很多,我妈叫我要懂得照顾自己,所以我们就选择了有刺的衣服。其实也是挺漂亮的,你同意吗?你爱我吗?


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Go and asked my mum why she want to born me with these funny shapes! It wouldn’t affect your love to me, right? Will it?

不要再问我了,去问我妈为什么她要把我生成这样的外表!这会影响你对我的爱吗?

Happy reading.

Macao and the Nobly, Elegant Lotus

National/State Flower Series – East Asia 7 – Macau Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China – Nelumbo Nucifera

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“Nelumbo nucifera, known by a number of names including Indian lotus, sacred lotus, bean of India, or simply lotus, is one of two species of aquatic plant in the family Nelumbonaceae. ……… This plant is an aquatic perennial. Under favorable circumstances its seeds may remain viable for many years, with the oldest recorded lotus germination being from that of seeds 1,300 years old recovered from a dry lakebed in North Eastern China. (Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelumbo_nucifera)”

Nelumbo Nucifera is  the “state flower” for Macao Special Administrative Regions of People’s Republic of China. Beside Macao, India and Vietnam are also using this flower as national flower. But that should not be confused with Bangladesh’s national flower, water lily (睡莲)which belong to the family of Nymphaea.

Species Information

Scientific name:

Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn

Family: Nelumbonaceae
Common name(s): Lotus
Chinese name: 古莲,莲花,荷花, 芙蓉

Lotus is a perennial aquatic plants with a long history and apparently is a leader in the midsummer seasonal flowers. In the heat of summer waves, pools were full of green lotus leaves that waved slowly and its flowers were emitting a fragrance resembling fragrance from the bathing beauties. Hence, In Chinese,  lotus were also called “gentlemen flowers 花中君子” or “flowers of beautiful ladies 花中美人”

  Pic courtesy of www.micefinder.com

Macau and lotus

  • A dike north of Macau which connects to Zhua Hai and Lianfeng San was said to look like a lotus stem. Therefore, in ancient times, Macau was described as a lotus that floats in the open sea and at times being called a lotus island. Due to its unique shapes, Macao people believed that Macau was the reincarnation of a lotus flower and called Macau as the land of the treasure lotus (“莲花宝地“)。
  • Macao people loves lotus as they believed that lotus symbolizes good fortune, peace and holiness. Macau’s literature, myths, proverbs, dramas and couplets etc. often uses lotus as an avenue to express their feelings. Macao peoples daily lives, thoughts and feelings are closely associated with lotus and a bond have been established. People generally planted lotus as a hobby. There are many cultures that have elements of lotus such as lotus wordings in their door couplets.
  • Macau’s also has a lot of streets, villages and buildings that have the name associated with lotus, such as Lotus Hill(莲花山), Lin Fong Temple (莲峰庙), Lotus Stream Temple (莲溪庙), Lotus Bridge (莲花大桥), and so on.

Macao Lotus Bridge stamp(Pic Courtesy: http://gulfmannmaxicard.blogspot.sg

  • Lotus Bridge  is Macao’s third bridge with a  length of 1.3 km connecting the islands of Taipa Macau and Zhuhai Hengqin Bridge. The bridge greatly facilitated people entering to Macau International Airport and Ka Ho Container Port and Oil Terminal from mainland China. This had brought  prosperity and developments to Macao  as a whole.
  • Lotus is also the official flower emblem of Macao and appeared in Macao’s flags. It is also a common item in Macao’s stamps and currency.

                   

File:Macau SAR Regional Emblem.svg

  • The Lotus Square or Golden Lotus Square (Chinese: 金蓮花廣場; Portuguese: A Praça Flor de Lodão) is an open area of Macau Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. The area features the large bronze sculpture Lotus Flower In Full Bloom (Chinese: 盛世蓮花) and is somewhat akin to the Golden Bauhinia of neighboring Hong Kong.  (PLEASE REFER HONG KONG’S STATE FLOWER HERE). The lotus flower in full bloom symbolizes the everlasting prosperity of Macau. The sculpture was presented by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China in 1999 to mark the Macau sovereignty transfer from Portugal to the PRC. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_Square)

Finally, I have finished my national flowers for East Asia and a summary will be compiled for your reference soon. Hope you enjoy the post.

 

Thank for reading.

 

The Beautiful Hong Kong Orchid Trees …..

National Flower Series – East Asia 6 – Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China – Bauhinia Blakeana

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Bauhinia blakeana or Hong Kong Orchid Tree is an orchid tree of the genus Bauhinia with large thick leaves and striking purplish red flowers. It is a native species discovered in Hong Kong was chosen as the logo of the Urban Council in 1965, it was later incorporated in the flag and emblem of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China after the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floral_emblem#Hong_Kong)

Species Information

Scientific name: Bauhinia blakeana
Family: Leguminosae
Common name(s): Hong Kong Orchid-Tree, Hong Kong Bauhinia, Butterfly Tree
Chinese name: 红花羊蹄甲 洋艳紫荊, 香港兰

Bauhinia Blakeana is a garden legume which is a close relative to garden peas and can grow until 20 to 40 feet in height. The leaves are large twin lobes, with grayish green color and can be as large as 6 to 8 inch in diameter.

Source: www.public.asu.edu

The large, orchid-like flowers are rich magenta purple with paler veins, and the uppermost petal is darker towards the base.

Source: www.gardenweb.com

The Hong Kong orchid tree is now widely planted as an ornamental within the Special Administrative Regions and many other tropical countries. Flowering seasons usually begins around December and closes in March each year.

A distinct species or A cultivar……?

Though the flower has been Hong Kong’s emblem since 1965, however, there are still debates if the trees is a true species by its own or a hybrid between Bauhinia Purpurea or Bauhinia Variegata.  In in the American Journal of Botany article published in November 2004, “Hybrid origin of “Bauhinia blakeana” (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae), inferred using morphological, reproductive, and molecular data” , it was written :

“…………..It is therefore evident that although B. blakeana is a hybrid that has resulted from a cross (probably natural) between B. purpurea and B. Variegate, it has only been perpetuated genetically by artificial horticultural practices: it is not capable of reproducing itself independently. It is therefore inappropriate to regard it as a distinct species and is better referred to as an artificially maintained cultivar. A new cultivar name is accordingly formally published here, replacing the previous specific binomial published by Dunn (1908):  Bauhinia purpurea × variegata ‘Blakeana’, cv. nov. “ (Source:http://www.amjbot.org/content/92/3/525.full)

However, it was written in Wikipedia that:

“….A 2008 research was able to identify the female parent as Bauhinia purpurea, but it could not differentiate the male parent as Bauhinia variegata var. variegata or Bauhinia variegata var. candida. This is not unexpected, as Bauhinia variegata var. Candida is a white-flowered form of Bauhinia variegata var. variegata, and not a separate specie or sub-specie. Interestingly, the 2005 research suggested Bauhinia blakeana is genetically closer to Bauhinia variegata, while the 2008 research indicated it is closer to Bauhinia purpurea instead.”

Bauhinia purpurea Bauhinia variegata var. candida

Source: kumarpati.wordpress.com

Source: www.tropicamente.it

Bauhinia Blakeana is very similar to Bauhinia Purpurea. One way of differentiating them is the number of stigmas/ Bauhinia Blakeana have 5-6 stamens whereas Bauhinia Purpurea have 3-4 stamens.

Another distinct differentiation is Bauhinia Blakeana can only be perpetuated by horticultural practices (e.g. Grafting) and seed pods are seldom noted. Whereas in Bauhinia Purpurea, being a parent plant, long seedpods are always being produced for future reproductions. In the above Bauhinia purpurea picture, take note of a brownish seed pod next to the flower.

 Source: www.efloras.org

Hong Kong and Bauhinia Blakeana

  • Hong Kong people call the leaf “clever leaf” (聰明葉/聪明叶), and regard it as a symbol of cleverness. Some people use the leaves to make bookmarks in the hope that the bookmarks will bring them good luck in their studies.
  • It is the official flower emblem of Hong Kong and appeared in Hong Kong’s state flag. Besides, it also appeared in coins, stamps of Hong Kong.

  Source:www.kakei.us

  • In North Wan Chai, outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, there is an open area with a 6 meter high giant statute of a golden Bauhinia Blakeana. This area is called The Golden Bauhinia Square (Chinese: 金紫荊廣場) and it is the place where the ceremonies for the handover of Hong Kong and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was held in July 1997. The major part is composed of a bauhinia on a base of red grantite pillar on a pyramid. It became a tourist attraction and a flag-raising ceremony is held every day at 8:00am.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Bauhinia_Square

Additional Notes:

  • The Genus “Bauhinia” is named after the 16th Swiss botanists and brothers, John and Caspar Bauhin and the twin lobe leaves were said to represent the two brothers.
  • Bauhinia Blakeana blooms can be used as cut flowers and in flower arrangements.

NOTES:

Theoretically, I have already finished the East Asia series of National Flowers after my post on Taiwan’s national flowers here, but I have decided to include two Special Administrative Regions of People’s Republic of China namely Hong Kong and Macau. Too bad, Mongolia does not have national flowers.

Rest be assured that this series (national flower series) will be continued and I am aiming to complete the series in one years’ time.

Thank for reading.

 

I Dare To Be Different ……I Am Who I Am..…….

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Hey, everybody, how is my little red flower, is it nice? I am old and sturdy but actually, I am young at heart…….

I love plants. When I drove or when I strolled in the park or even around the neighborhood, I will always be amazed by the various shapes and styles that plants have chosen to present themselves  for purposes of reproduction. I am sharing with readers some of the photos that I have taken around my neighborhood and around the net and hope that you can draw your own inspirations from the photos below

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If he chooses black and red, I will choose white and yellow….

(Pic source:  a plant in Garden’s by the Bay)

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Anybody want to join me to bear my fruit in the trunk?

(Pic source: another old plant next to my apartment’s car park)

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 I am just some little white dot flower in a patch of green.

(Source: a grass patch below my apartment that blossoms beautifully after a heavy downpour)

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I have the strongest will to survive.

(Pic source: A crack in the block next to my Apartment)

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I don’t know why my ancestor choose this color of clothing and live in this type of ugly environment

 (Pic source:  Mushrooms I found when I strolled in Bedok Reservoir Park, Singapore)

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You are ugly but I am beautiful. My mother just make me this hat! Don’t ever come close to me snatch my hats away! I will poison you to death

(Pic source:  Amanitas Mushroom, University of Connecticut)

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“Competition is tough but  I chose to disguise as a pink little bird.. Hopefully, this will attract more people to shower me with their lovesbut I am lonely.”

(Pic source: A Pedilanthus Tithymaloid planted in Apartment with its first ever blossom)

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“Hi, don’t feel sad, just come and join us for a chat”

(Pic source: internet www.visoflora.com)

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I have to make myself stand out in the cold winter, wearing the most eye catching and beautiful clothing and diligently present myself. I hope my dearest bee guest and other pollinator guest will visit me and help me to deliver some pollens to my loved ones in the next branch.. Hi bees, welcome. Here is my pollen for you..”

(source: www.wikimedia.com)

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Me, too..Even you are  cherry blossoms and we are plum blossoms. we shared the same objectives. We are strong, we are tough, we are hardworking, we flower long before other plants even have a leaf.. and may be that’s whyI am chosen to become national flower of Republic of China???

(Source: internet- www.absolutecinatours.com)

Happy reading!

 

My House Plant Series–Epipremnum Aureum- Golden Pothos Plant

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“ I AM SIMPLE YET ELEGANT. I MAY BE COMMON, ORDINARY, NOT EYE CATCHING BUT IF YOU KNOW HOW TO TAKE CARE OF ME, I AM SURE YOU WOULD BE PROUD OF ME…”

Epipremnum Aureum also called  golden pothos vines is an extremely easy to grow houseplant. It is also a plant that thrives well in most types of soil conditions and can be found everywhere in Singapore and Malaysia including the road side. Due to its abundance and easy propagation plus an ordinary looking, it  is usually not consider as the prime candidate for ornamental house plants. 

Upon counting my house plants, I have at least 4-5 pots of Golden Pothos Vines and all these plants have been with me averaging about 10 years.

Scientific name (s) : Epipremnum aureum
Synonym: Scindapsus Aureus
Common name(s) : Golden Pothos, Pothos, Devil’s Ivy
Family: Araceae
Plant type: Ground over
Uses: ground cover; container or above-ground planter; naturalizing; suitable for growing indoors
Chinese name: 绿萝 , 黄金葛
   

Golden Pothos displays best leaf color when grown in bright diffuse light, such as in the shifting shade of a pine tree, but the plants seem to grow quickest in deeper shade. Moist, rich soil is recommended, although any well-drained soil is sufficient as long as plants are regularly watered during dry periods. The vining habit makes it unsuitable for planting in and around a shrub border since stems will grow up into the shrub. Frequent trimming (several times each year) is required along the edges of this groundcover to control growth.

Golden Pothos is easily propagated by tip cuttings, rooting and growing quickly, even in water. Stem cuttings can also be rooted in moist peat and vermiculite or soil.

Source: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp194

 

Common cultivars of golden pothos vines are:

MARBLE QUEEN SPECIES

TRICOLOR SPECIES

WILCOXII SPECIES

NEON SPECIES

White to creamy leaves, blotched with green and greyish green Green leaves marbled with deep yellow, cream and pale green sharply-defined variegations of green and white leaves with ivory white stem. solid yellow-green leaves with no variegation

 

Interesting points to note:

  • The plant is listed as “toxic to cats, toxic to dogs” by the ASPCA, because of the presence of insoluble raphides. Care should be taken to ensure the plant is not consumed by house pets or children. Symptoms may include oral irritation, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epipremnum_aureum)
  • Most plants that are sold as household plants are considered as juveniles and usually have a different growth habit, leaf shape and than fully growth adult plants. Plants allow to climb a pole or tree in good light and humidity will eventually develop monstera-like perforations and splits in leaves though this often won’t happen until a good amount of height has been attained first, and isn’t easy to achieve indoors. Mature leaves can be as big as 30 inches (75 cm) across. Only adult plants flower, and not very often, though it can be done in cultivation. (Source: http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.sg/2007/11/john-q-public-epipremnum-aureum.html)
Adult leaves with perorations  
 
http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Epipremnum%20aureum%20pc.html  
  • According to the NASA/ALCA study on the use of common indoor plants for indoor air purification, Golden Pothos is one of the top 3 plants besides Philodendron and Spider Plant that has been labeled the most effective in removing formaldehyde. It has been found effective in removing benzene and carbon monoxide too. (Source: http://www.jaycjayc.com/epipremnum-aureum-pothos/)

MY GOLDEN POTHOS VINES

As mentioned above I have encountered golden pothos vines averaging for about 10 years. If I don’t remember wrongly, I just pluck a stem the road side, starting from planting in water and transfer to a pot when becomes big. When I need some more house plant, I just get some cuttings from the mother plants.

It is the plant that I have not really taken care of. I seldom watered it or only watered with grey water; I used the worst soil that I have  for the plant. I never wanted to use fertilizer on this plant for fear that it will grow too big and become invasive. That is how I restrict the growth of the plant and ensure that the vines will not stretch across to other pots. However, they are still stretching but unsure how long it is. I just periodically bundled it into my desired shape and they are really flexible. Apparently they are happy with this arrangement and growth healthily.

4 years ago, my neighbor gave me one golden pothos that have a pole in the middle of the pot to support its growth. The leaves are very big and the roots are coarse and hard. It made my apartment look like a “forest”. I periodically trimmed of the large leaves as I found that the size of the leaves did not fit the overall image of the plants and my house décor in general. It is still very healthy but at any time I still prefer the juvenile version. 

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Hanging in the balcony. This pot is propagated from its mother plant on the left. I put some small white, red and yellow artificial flowers around the plant to negate its ordinary looks. A super big pot in front of my house. I think it comprises only one of two plants but every time when new plant sprout out, I just shaped them around the pot. Pot given by neighbors hiding in one of the corners. I don’t really like it because the leave is too big..

It is my humble opinion that all plants are beautiful in their very own ways. You need to understand and take good care of them before you can be proud of them. You can transform an ordinary non eye catching plants into one that looks noble and untouchable…

National Flower Series–East Asia 4–Republic of Korea (South Korea)–Hibiscus Syriacus

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Hibiscus Syriacus (木槿 (mu jin) in Mandarin or 무궁화 , 无穷花 (Mugunghwa) in Korean) is a hardy deciduous shrub belonging to the species of flowering plant in the family Malvaceae, native to much of Asia.  Other common name include Roses of Sharon which is called in the United States.

The shrub is upright and vase-shaped, reaching 2–4 m (7–13 ft) in height, bearing large trumpet-shaped dark pink flowers with prominent yellow-tipped white stamens.    Shoots make interesting indoor vase cuttings, as they stay green for a long time. In the vase some new flowers may open from the more mature buds. The species have naturalized very well in many suburban areas, and might even be termed slightly invasive, so often does it seed around. The flower language is delicate beauty.

There are many cultivars or sub-species of Hibiscus Syriacus with beautiful names such as the name Diana (one of goddesses) and marketable names liked ‘Lady Stanley’, ‘Ardens’, ‘Lucy’, and ‘Blushing Bride’ were being used. Colors can range from white, pink, lavender, or purple large and red. Some of the cultivars were as follows: 

  • ‘Bredon Springs(rose-pink with red centre)      
  • ‘Cicola’ (double white with maroon centre)
  • ‘Diana’ (single, pure white)
  • ‘Hamabo’ (pale pink with deep red centre)
  • Lavender Chiffon ‘Notwoodone’ (pale lilac)

The South Korean Context of Hibiscus Syriacus L.

  • There are about 100 cultivars of Mugunghwa indigenous to Korea but it is understood that the correct cultivar should be the Tashim sub-species, single pink blossom with the red-centre as the national flower.
 
 
  • The name “mugungwha” was first used by the poet Lee Gyu-bo (이규보,1168 – 1241) of Goryeo Dynasty
 
    • Korean is passionate with this flower as shown from Korean literature 1400 years ago. It is the national emblem of South Korea that appears on many official documents and is also written into the National Anthem as follows:

    A thousand miles of splendid rivers and mountains, filled with mugunghwa—
    Great Korean People, stay true to the Great Korean way.

     
    •  
       
      The Mugunghwa is known to survive harsh environments,  and spreads out from its origin. This reflects Korean history and reflects Korean people’s survival through times of trials and sufferings; and this is embodied in Korea as an independent nation with a long history. In addition, its tenacity characteristics were reflected in both the tenets of  ITF (International Taekwon-do Federation) and WTF (World Taekwondo Federation). Besides, for its toughness and respectability, mugunghwa is a name bestowed on Korean high-speed trains and even football teams. 

    DO YOU KNOW:

    • These beautiful flowers are edible. The tea is popular as a natural diuretic; it contains vitamin C and minerals, and is used traditionally as a mild medicine. A 2008 USDA study shows consuming hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure in a group of pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults. In Indian and Chinese traditional medicine, hibiscus is considered as herbs that have medicinal values.
     
    • Hibiscus are also national flowers of  Malaysia – Hibiscus Rosa Sinesis and Haiti (Species unsure and may be still unofficial)
     
      • A mythological fiction, Xuanzhongji (Hanja:玄中記), written in the Eastern Jin Dynasty (Hanja:東晉) of China mentions, “The Land of Wisemen is spread for 1,000 li where mugungwha flowers bloom plentifully.”(君子之國,地方千里,多木槿之華) .
       
       
      • Hibiscus Syriacus L. are also called Roses of Sharon but Roses of Sharon not only refers to Hibiscus Syriacus L. but also Hypericum calycinum (picture below), another evergreen flowering shrub native to southeast Europe and southwest Asia

       Hypericum calycinum

      Source:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibiscus_syriacus;
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_of_sharon;
      http://www.matthewsata.com/songahm-tradition/korean-tradition 
      http://www.exploringkorea.com/national-flower-of-south-korea
      http://www.visitkorea.or.kr/ena/AK/AK_EN_1_4_1.jsp

        

      Pedilanthus Tithymaloid- My Pink Little Lover..

       

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      “COMPETITION IS TOUGH BUT I CHOSE TO DISGUISE AS A PINK LITTLE BIRD… HOPEFULLY, THIS WILL ATTRACT MORE PEOPLE TO SHOWER ME WITH THEIR LOVES…”

      During one of the Chinese New Years about 4-5 years back, I went to a nursery and found this plant. At the time when I bought it , it is just a very small plant about a few inches tall. I tried to give her the best care and last month, it blossomed its very first flower as shown in the picture above.

      That is the reason why I have chosen to start this series by writing about Pedilanthus Tithymaloides or Eurphorbia Tithymaloides. Based on my research, I am surprised to find that i have at least three Pedilanthus Tithymaloides but unsure of the sub-species or cultivars.

      GENERAL INFORMATION
      Scientific name: Euphorbia tithymaloides | Family:Euphorbiaceae |
      Synonym: Pedilanthus tithymaloides
      Common name: Devil’s Backbone, Japanese Poinsettia, Redbird Flower, Slipper Flower
      Chinese name: 红雀珊瑚 , 银龙木, (俗称小鸟花)

      image

      Pedilanthus is very easy to grow as a houseplant. It needs some protection from hot summer sun, but it will be happiest in full sun cloudy days. Take care not to over-water, which can cause rotting. Water sparingly, just enough to make the potting mixture moist. Water even more sparingly if the room temperature is below 60 degrees; the temperature should never go below 55 degrees. Liquid fertilizer should be used once a month. Plant in well drained sandy mixture. It does best in a small pot; you can change pots to just one size larger when roots become extremely crowded. The sap is moderately caustic, although mild by Euphorbia standards, it should still be handled with caution.

      source: http://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/Pedilanthus_tithymaloides.htm

      Things to note

      Pedilanthus tithymaloides has been evaluated for use in controlling the organisms that cause malaria, schistosomiasis, and tuberculosis.

      As the stem changes direction each time it grows a leaf, forming a zig-zag pattern. This is the reason for the common name of “devil’s backbone,
      image
      The plants are classified as poisonous plants and their saps can cause irritations of the mouth and throat, vomiting and diarrhea when ingested. Skin irritation, rash, and blistering and eye irritation upon contact. If latex or root juice gets on the skin, the victim should immediately wash with soap and warm water. Advise your cats and dogs don’t eat this plant….Smile

      Though, it is classified as poisonous plant but they were used in some traditional or folk medicines . PLEASE DONT TRY!!

      The root is known to be a powerful emetic.An enzyme known as pedilanthain can be extracted from the plant’s latex and has been shown in experiments to be effective against intestinal worms and to reduce inflammation when ingested. In 1995, a galactose-specific lectin was purified from the plant’s latex, and indications are that it might be useful in combatting diabetes.

      In folk medicine, tea has been brewed from the leaves which has been used to treat asthma, persistent coughing, laryngitis, mouth ulcers, and venereal disease. Tea brewed from the root has been used as an abortifacient. The latex has been used topically to treat calluses, ear ache, insect stings, ringworm, skin cancer, toothache, umbilical hernias, and warts. None of these uses has been scientifically verified as effective. In the West Indies, a few drops of the latex was added to milk and used as an emetic.

      Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphorbia_tithymaloides

      A search using the internet shows that there are many sub-varieties of Pedilanthus Tithyamaloides and at least I have 3 species that are in my house.

      PEDILANTHUS TITHYAMLOIDES EMBRACEABLE YOU
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      Never seen this species before in Singapore But it resembles one species that I planted for many years but not sure of its name. However, I am sure it is their” relatives” as it possess all the characteristics like white saps, zig zag pattern…

      My plant:

      PEDILANTHUS TITHYMALOIDES NANUS
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      Quite common in Malaysia and Singapore but not planted in my house.

      PEDILANTHUS TITHYMALOIDES SMALLII
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      This resembled one of the favorite plant as shown below. I understand that no flowering have been noted in plant literature.
      My Plant:
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      PEDILANTHUS TITHYMALOIDES VARIEGATUS

      Looks like the one I found near the neighborhood gardens but the leaves are slightly different.

      Plant in my neighborhood:
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      PEDILANTHUS TITHYMALOIDES SPLISH SPLASH
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      Never seen before. Look like Golden Pothos plant.

      PEDILANTHUS TITHYMALOIDES MARBLESTEM
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      I thought I have seen it before. Rather common but don’t known where I have seen this.

      Source of picture: http://www.glasshouseworks.com/succ-pr.html

      HOPE YOU ENJOY THE POST AND SHARE WITH ANYBODY THAT LIKES GARDENING.

      National Flower Series – East Asia 2- China (Mudan) – Unofficial

      National Flower Series – East Asia 2 – People’s Republic of China – UNOFFICIAL

      Although People’s Republic of China has not officially declared a national flower, everyone in China knows that the Republic’s unofficial national flower is peony (Paeonia Suffruticosa) also called 牡丹 (mǔdān) or 富贵花 (fùguìhuā) “flower of riches and honour”, 花王 (huawang) “king of the flowers”, and is used symbolically in Chinese art and is considered as a symbol of prosperity.

      The Qing Dynasty adopted Poeny as the national flower for China. However, over the past 20 years, numerous attempts have been made to select a national flower. The two front-runners are the peony and Chinese plum blossom. Some people believe China is too large and diverse to be represented by just one flower. The idea of a dual national flower (including both the peony and plum blossom) is growing in popularity. Another suggestion proposes having a different flower to represent each season. In 1994, a panel from the Chinese Flower Association recommended the peony as the national flower, along with these seasonal flowers: orchid (spring), lotus (summer), chrysanthemum (autumn) and plum (winter). This, however, was not ratify by the National People’s Congress. In 2003, another selection process had begun but until to date, no decision had been made.

      The ancient Chinese city Luoyang has a reputation as a cultivation centre for the peonies. Throughout Chinese history, peonies in Luoyang have been said to be the finest in the country. Dozens of peony exhibitions and shows are still held there annually.

      General
      Paeonia (peony or paeony) is a genus of flowering plants, the only genus in the family Paeoniaceae. They are native to Asia, Southern Europe and Western North America. Boundaries between species are not clear and estimates of the number of species range from 25 to 40.

      Most are herbaceous perennial plants 0.5 to 1.5 metres (1.5 to 5 feet) tall, but some resemble trees 1.5–3 m (5–10 ft) tall. They have compound, deeply lobed leaves and large, often fragrant, flowers, ranging from red to white or yellow, in late spring and early summer.

      http://www.ehow.com/facts_6813892_national-flower-china_.html#ixzz2S9D0XzoX
      http://www.prcservice.com
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paeonia_(plant)

      National Flower Series–East Asia 1–Japan–Chrysanthemum

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      National Flower Series – East Asia 1 – Japan (De-facto or non-official)

      Japan do not have officially declared national flowers like other countries. However, two flowers that have significant influences in Japanese cultures and histories : Chrysanthemum (菊花) and Cherry Blossom (樱花) were deemed to be the de-facto national flowers.

      Chrysanthemum

      Chrysanthemums, often called mums or chrysanths, are perennial flowering plants of the genus Chrysanthemum in the family Asteraceae which are native to Asia and northeastern Europe.Chrysanthemum are herbaceous perennial plants growing to 50–150 cm tall, with deeply lobed leaves with large flower heads that are generally white, yellow or pink in the wild.

      Chrysanthemum had a deep rooted relationship with the royal family as evidenced by the following observations. It is believed that chrysanthemum may have been brought to Japan in the eighth century AD and the Emperor adopted a 16 petals yellow chrysanthemum flower design as his imperial seal (菊花印章) which shall solely be used by the members of the Japanese Imperial family. The Emperor also have chosen to name “Chrysanthemum Throne” to represent the periods reigned by Japanese emperors. A number of formerly state-endowed shrines (官国弊社), kankokuheisha) adopted chrysanthemum in its crest, most notably Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine. In addition, the Japanese honor awarded by the emperor were named as the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum.In Imperial Japan, small arms were required to be stamped with the Imperial Chrysanthemum, as they were considered the personal property of the Emperor.

      Cherry Blossom (Sakura)

      A cherry blossom is the flower of any of several trees of genus Prunus, particularly the Japanese Cherry, Prunus serrulata, which is sometimes called sakura after the Japanese (桜 or 櫻; さくら). Many of the varieties that have been cultivated for ornamental use do not produce fruit. Edible cherries generally come from cultivars of the related species Prunus avium and Prunus cerasus.

      In Japan, cherry blossoms are richly symbolic, and have been utilized often in Japanese art, manga, anime, and film, as well as at musical performances for ambient effect. There is at least one popular folk song, originally meant for the shakuhachi (bamboo flute), titled “Sakura”, and several pop songs. The flower is also represented on all manner of consumer goods in Japan, including kimono, stationery, and dishware.

      The Sakurakai or Cherry Blossom Society was the name chosen by young officers within theImperial Japanese Army in September 1930 for their secret society established with the goal of reorganizing the state along totalitarian militaristic lines, via a military coup d’état if necessary.

      During World War II, the cherry blossom was used to motivate the Japanese people, to stoke nationalism and militarism among the populace. Even prior to the war, they were used in propaganda to inspire “Japanese spirit,” as in the “Song of Young Japan,” exulting in “warriors” who were “ready like the myriad cherry blossoms to scatter.” A cherry blossom painted on the side of the bomber symbolized the intensity and ephemerality of life;in this way, the aesthetic association was altered such that falling cherry petals came to represent the sacrifice of youth in suicide missions to honor the emperor.The first kamikaze unit had a subunit called Yamazakura or wild cherry blossom.The government even encouraged the people to believe that the souls of downed warriors were reincarnated in the blossoms.

      In its colonial enterprises, imperial Japan often planted cherry trees as a means of “claiming occupied territory as Japanese space”.

      http://www.examiner.com; http://en.wikipedia

      It is such a coincidence that the two countries (Japan and China) I have selected to kick off the EAST ASIAN COUNTRIES NATIONAL FLOWER SERIES do not have officially declared national flowers. However, its is still included as part of the National Flower Series because of their significant influences in these countries’ culture; that particular species’ origins; uniqueness to the countries; likability and perception by the people that rendered their de-facto status.