Count Your Blessings!
With love and passion, everyone can have a nice garden...Elaine Yim
Count Your Blessings!
Count The Garden By The Flowers, Never By The Leaves That Fall.
Count Your Life With Smiles And Not The Tears That Roll.
..... Author unknown.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Ixora, from the family rubiaceae, is an evergreen, woody shrub native to the tropical Asia. Flowers bloom all year round. Other names include Flame of the Woods, Jungle Flame, Jungle Geranium and West Indian Jasmine. In malay, we call it the bunga siantan, pokok pecah perium or jarum-jarum (meaning many needles).
I do think that these tiny flowers look like needles, especially the flower buds. Guess what, when I was little, my friends would pluck out these flowers one by one, pull out the stigma and style, and then suck at the centre of the flower. The nectar juice tasted sweet. To be honest with you, I did mimic them and liked the taste too. Maybe you'd think that I am crazy but it is true. Come to think of it, we do learn a lot from our childhood friends, don't we?
Ixora is widely grown as a hedge which can be from 5 to 10ft tall. It is also planted in containers as ornamental plants. We also have the dwarf version where the flowers are smaller. Prunning helps to shape the plant and promote more flowers.
The ixora loves full sun and acidic soil. This is one hardy plant that will not die so easily. It can withstand poor treatment and need minimal care. This is what the nursery owner recommended to me when I first asked his advice on which plant to buy. I said I wanted a plant that required minimum care and no need to water everyday.
This potted ixora coccinea is blooming very well. I found this 'model' at a golf club.
This is a picture of my ancient looking ixora plant. Actually, if you look closely, you will see that the stems are very old and crocket/rugged. It had provided food and a nice home to many generations of hairy caterpillars that has since gone on to become beautiful butterflies. I guess it has so many leaves that even the caterpillars cannot finish off!
Today, my 3 potted ixora plants are still around after more than 10 years. They even followed me when I moved to a new house. I call them my Fu (Good Fortune), Lu (Prosperity), Shou (Longevity), just like the Fu-Lu-Shou deities commonly used in Chinese culture to symbolize the 3 attributes of good life.