Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis

Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis flowers throughout the year.

This flower is found in abundance in Malaysia. 
As such, it was chosen as Malaysia's National Flower in 1960.
It is called the 'Bunga Raya' which means 'Flower Celebration'.

This five-petaled red hibiscus was selected amongst the many varieties of hibiscus as the national flower. The five petals represent the five principles of nationhood whereas the colour red symbolizes courage. This flower can be found imprinted on Malaysia's dollar notes and coins.

It is usually planted in clusters or as hedges alongside the roads.

I think they look really good in the form of a tree.
These beautiful hibiscus are found around my house.
They are planted by our housing developer, SP Setia.

Today is Malaysia's Independence Day. This is why I am posting on Malaysia's National Flower. It is meant to be posted in the earlier part of the day. But we had too much fun building a camp made of rattan. I will post about it in the future.


Vegetarian Ladybugs

It has been generally mistaken by some of us that all ladybugs are predators and feed on aphids.
Actually, some ladybugs are vegetarian.

Unlike other ladybugs, this species which is known as the Mexican Bean Beetle (Subcoccinella Vigintiquatuorpunctata) doesn't fly around as much. 

It is not shiny like other ladybugs but is completely covered with tiny hair instead. 
This ladybug is feeding on a tomato leaf. It feeds by clinging to the under surface of a leaf and eating irregular sections of the lower leaf surface.

It lays yellow cluster of eggs on the underside of leaves. 
How many eggs do you see up there?

Despite the damage done by these ladybugs, my cherry tomatoes have been growing acceptably well. Perhaps, it is not just these bugs that been having a good meal, so have the birds and dragonflies. Thank you to the existence of ecology.

In case you are wondering, the snake plant is there to provide a sturdy support for the tomatoes. 


On a Palm Tree

A palm tree CAPTURED my attention today. 
So, I CAPTURED what CAPTURED my attention.
Hope you enjoy the photographs on display,
Delighted with Mother Nature's creation.

These were captured from the trunks of palm trees.
Do you think they look pretty or is it just me?


Wild Mushrooms

Mushroom grows on soil but it is not a plant.

(Looks like a matchstick?)

Mushroom takes in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
Yet it is not an animal.

Mushrooms are classified in a separate kingdom called fungi.

Some mushrooms are edible
(Some even look like pancakes to me.)

(Anyone feeling squashed?)

Many mushrooms have gills that produce millions of spores.

(A chef's hat?)

However, puffballs which are fist-size or larger, do not have gills and contain their spores inside it.
Puffballs are supposedly edible but I have not tried them before.

(A lovely lampshade?)

(Reminds me of Sunflowers without petals.)

Mushrooms have been used as medicine since thousands of years ago. 

Fungi is a great decomposer, serving an important role in ecosystem.

(Err... a goblin?)

(The elixir of life?)

Amongst all the fungi in my garden, there is one that I must show you.
It is a golden heart that says, 



Red Harvest

What is your harvest this week? The few I have are are all red!!!

My 2-year old dragon fruit plant has been bearing big red dragon fruits regularly, but only one or two fruits at a time. The dried flower is still intact.

Do you see a big cloud of smoke above the dragon's snout?

Bird's Eye Chillies are also called Thai Dragon Chillies.  Unlike the dragon fruit, there is no smoke coming out from Thai Dragons unless you consume it. Then you might just see little puffs of smoke coming out from your ears! It is HOT!!! 

One particular chilli plant which I planted on the ground  has produced several kilos of chillies.  Some of the branches broke off due to the heavy load. That is why I have to harvest some of the green ones as well. Of course, not all my chilli plants are this fertile. Thank goodness they are not all the same as none of my neighbours welcome any more chillies.

I am delighted to see my very first ripe cherry tomato. Looking forward to more tomatoes. My neighbours are already flooded with chillies. Cherry tomatoes will be a good change.


Sadness in The Air

 A friend of mine who has the gift of foreseeing certain future events sent me a poem earlier today. I thought I would just share it here.  


There is sadness in the air,
It came again TODAY.
Is it from me, inside me, or is it from

A Vision:
Of an old woman,
wailing and crying,
amidst the fallen white rubbles of buildings.
Hopeless hands beating bloodied chests
tears flowing unceasingly.
Injured people are groaning from within
While some lay STILL
and breathless.

Sirens blaring from afar,
Drowning the fears of loss and sadness.
People digging for the living,
Whilst from a-distant,
A silent rumble in the earth
Continues to seek
Ever more new victims.

Aug 16, 2010

Anyone feeling the same?


Growing Stevia

Stevia is a plant that I have been wanting to grow due to its many health benefits but mainly because it is deliciously SWEET. I have got what I wished for. How wonderful!!!

Stevia is many times sweeter than sugar, calorie-free and is said to regulate blood pressure. It is also said to inhibit bacteria growth, even those that causes gum disease and tooth decay. That is excellent news for someone with a sweet tooth.

Stevia is a perenial plant that can be propagated via stem or seeds.
To avoid dogs from digging this precious plant, I have placed rocks all around it to protect the roots.

Goldee says stevia smells sweet.

Clifford checks it out too.

Clifford didn't smell anything but thought the rock made a good head/chin rest.
Me? I breathe deeply... not attempting to smell the stevia but I needed to calm my nerves while watching my newly planted baby stevia plant in close proximities with two of the worst garden pests I have ever seen.

As of now, stevia roots are still intact. I'll add more rocks just in case. But somehow, two twigs are broken this morning. I had taken the opportunity to stick the tiny broken twigs into some soil in a pot. I shall consider this incident as an accidental propagation.


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