Today, I would like to invite you on a trip to Port Dickson and explore a garden by the beach.
Port Dickson aka PD, is a coastal town located 80 km or about an hour's drive by car from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital city. It is a holiday and leisure destination for tourists as well as locals. PD was founded by Sir Frederick Dickson during the 1880's colonial era as a deep seawater port. When PD failed to live up to its expectations as a busy performing port, it was later developed into a seaside resort, frequented by the British and the local people.
Today, we are visiting The Legend Water Chalets resort and I'll be showing you around the gardens there.
This is a Hymenocallis speciosa or the common Spider Lily. I think it is called the bunga bakung here. It is an amazing plant that is very useful in landscaping. It is a herbaceous perennial that flowers the whole year through. I'm sure many of you have seen this plant before. It has long glossy leaves and pure white flowers. Does it remind you of spidey and perhaps Little Miss Muffet too? The resort here uses this spider lily as a border plant surrounding its signage near the main entrance to the lobby.
The botanical name of this vine with bright yellow flowers is Tristellateia australasiae (Maiden's Jealousy). Its common names include Shower of Gold, Vining Galphimia or Vining Milkweed
It is a vigorous climber. Each flower has 5 petals and red stamens. Leaves are ovate to lance-shaped and has a lush green colour. The flowers bloom in clusters of up to 30 flowers. Native to South East Asia, it is a woody, evergreen vine that flowers the whole year through.
Here, this shower of gold climber is planted on the ground and trained to sprawl beautifully on a trelis next to the wall of this buiding that houses the gym and sports room. Sharing the same space with it, we also have the Sansevieria Trifasciata aka Snake plant aka Mother-in-law's tongue. We also call it the Lidah Jin meaning genie's tongue. Which name do you prefer, the genie's tongue or a mother-in-law's tongue?
|Christmas Palm (Adonidia merrilii)|
The people working here tells me that this is the Areca nut. Areca nut, also known as the pinang or betel nut is the fruit of the Areca Catechu tree, a species of palms that grows in South Asia and the tropical Pacific.
If it is pinang, then I have a story to tell you. In the old days, slices of the areca nut is wraped in betel leaves and chewed for its mild stimulant effect. Lime and sometimes other spices like clove and cardamon or even a tobacco leaf or two are added to the wrap. This method of chewing blackens the teeth and stains the mouth deep red. The red saliva is spit out and we used to see this red slime staining our roads and floors. Chewing of the areca nut is a tradition that dates back to thousands of years. This ritual used to be pratised widely by the local people but now it is no longer popular among the younger generation.
There is a malay proverb, "bagai pinang dibelah dua" which can be translated to "like an areca nut cut into half". It is used to denote newly weds who are very compatible with each other.
Updated on 28 Oct 2011 - The tree above is Adonidia merrillii, synonym Veitchia merrillii, common name Manila Palm or Chrismas Palm.
Along the path that leads to the beach, you will come across this beautiful Thunbergia Grandiflora, growing vibrantly along the fencing. It is a giant vine with cascading pale lilac flowers and large green leathery leaves. Native to India, this plant is also known as the trumpet vine or Bengal clock vine.
This signage says that turtles come here to PD beach during the egg laying season from February - June. Glory Beach Resort is just next door to The Lengend Water Chalets Resort.
This time, I was very excited to see a flock of Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis Panayensis) feeding on some oil palm fruits. I think they are having a buffet breakfast just like the one I had at the resort cafe.
|Urapteroides astheniata (Uraniidae)|
Updated on 10th March 2011. The above moth is Urapteroides astheniata (Uraniidae).
Sources: Wikipedia, Moths of Borneo and Moths of Australia.
Updated: The fruits of Scaevola taccada are white when ripe.
This picture shows the fan-like flowers of the same plant. The white creature above was resting on the leaves of this plant.
Scientific name: Scaevola taccada
Finally, to complete the day, I wish to show you this photograph of the beautiful sunset that I had captured from my hotel room balcony.
This is also my entry for Today's Flowers #59. To view other posts around the world, click here.