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.

Knowing me, Knowing you..... Aha.....!

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Malaysian Flora USDA Zone 11
Welcome to our exotic world of everlasting summers and tropical rainforests!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chain of Love and Tears of The Bride for Wildflowers Wednesday



The plant I am going to blog and brag about is full of LOVE. Yes, every leaf, every flower, every petal and even the seed pods are heart-shaped and love-shaped! This plant is full of LIFE, LOVE and PEACE. See the peace sign shaped tiny little tendril in the picture above?

If you look at their many common names later in my post, soon you'll see what I mean.
Just to let you know, all the pictures here were taken from a vacant plot of land by the roadside.





A typical scene by the roadside of suburban Malaysia. The vegetation is papaya, tapioca, mimosa and lalang (Imperata cylindrica) grass. The white and pink dots are the coral vine flowers, the same type of vine that I am now growing in my home garden. I purchased my coral vine plant from a local nursery. My plant is not as luscious nor beautiful as this one. Here it is blooming profusely in two varieties of pink and white flowers. Nobody cares, nobody wants them but they are happy as can be, so rich in nectar, a magnet for the butterflies, wasps, birds and honey bees.

These wildflowers are food for wildlife; the beneficial bugs and the pollinators, many of which are being exterminated because they are not welcomed in agricultural food farms and even home gardens.


Scientific name: Antigonon leptopus

Common names:
Coral Vine, Chain of Love, Hearts on a Vine, Coral Bell, Queen's Jewels
Chinese Love Vine, San Miguelito Vine, Coralita, Confederate Vine
Sandwich Island Creeper, Honolulu Creeper, Mexican Creeper, Rose of Montana Vine

Family: Polygonaceae (buckwheat family)
Category: Weak tendril climber
Origin: Mexico

Pictures taken at: Pasir Pinji, Ipoh


Chinese name: 珊瑚藤 (shan hu teng)
In Mexico, the plant is called "Cadena de Amor" meaning Chain of Love in Spanish.
In Indonesian and Malay language, it is known as "Air Mata Pengantin" meaning "Bride's Tears"

If it is truly a bride's tears, these would surely be tears of joy!


Botanically classified under Polynaceae, it shares the same family with buckwheat and daun kesum or laksa leaves.

Their leaves are food for caterpillars, their flowers contain nectar for butterflies and bees and their seeds feed the birds, racoons and other small animals. Their tuberous roots are strong enough to resprout after being cut-back for winter.

I have posted about this plant in my Penang Butterfly Farm Post - "Love on the Butterfly Swing" here. Over there at the farm, the coral vines were used to attract the most beautiful butterflies.

“Chain of Love and Bride's Tears for Wildflower Wednesday”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ http://www.mynicegarden.com/ on Wednesday, 23rd Nov 2011.

Can you see the honey bee?

Here it is, a Mexican beauty which was brought to our Malaysian shores a very long time ago. Now it is very much at home here in our equatorial climate of year round sunshine and plenty of rainfall. It has adapted well like any local born and bred.



Seed pods are produced in clusters and they turn from green to brown when ripe. The seeds are dispersed by birds and other animals which feed on the them. They can also be carried away by water to new locations.



Note: It is listed as a Category II invasive exotic by Florida's pest plant council (Reference: Wikipedia)

My questions to you:
a) Will you grow this wildflower in your garden?
b) What was the name given to the Hawaiian islands in 1770 by Captain James Cook?
c) Which is the common name you like best?

To all my USA friends, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


This is my entry for Wildflower Wednesday hosted by Gail at Clay and Limestone. Do hop over there for A Thanksgiving Weeklong Celebration.

49 comments:

  1. Chain of Love is very apt. I wish it can be called Chain of Hearts, then if I pick the flowers and put it in a jar, I will get my jar of hearts, hehe. Sandwich Island - after the 4th Earl of Sandwich, of which the sandwich that we eat is also associated with him.

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  2. Sean, the flowers indeed are good as cut flowers for a vase. They are quite lasting. Good answer for the Sandwich Island. Actually I only know of the first part, so thanks for the sandwiches!

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  3. It looks wild from far but very pretty from near. Better this way than the opposite. Sandwich? Now I know.

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  4. Your photos are very beautiful especially the first one. I just realized I am not familiar with that plant when just shown a photo. That is because it is very much commonplace here too, I know it very well even from afar, that i didn't have the excitement to come near and scrutinize or take the photos. I have some in the past but not thought of posting them.

    It is also called 'cadena de amor' here. One of the political leaders of Manila in the past planted all main roads with this because he knows it grows so beautifully on vacant lands. However, years passed and they don't grow nicely, with stunted growth. Who wants a very polluted roadside, plants don't like too much carbon dioxide too! They are eventually discarded together with tall metal trellises. I bet those trellis also cost a big sum.

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  5. Oh really? I've always made the assumption (silly me) that it will just wilt and drop all the flowers if cut and taken indoors. Thanks for the info, now I can literally have a jar of hearts, :-)

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  6. One, yes Sandwich for sandwiches!

    Andrea, the plant does look very untidy at the base due to dead leaves and the fresh green leaves are on top.

    Sean, I read the cut flower use from the internet but haven't tried yet. My flowers are too precious to be cut down, prefer them hanging on my plant!

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  7. Very pretty flowers on it. If you have to have something on roadsides, this is sure a pretty one.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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  8. Ma śliczne kwiaty i piękne oplata płot i jak jeszcze motyle go lubią, to cudowne. Pozdrawiam

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  9. Very pretty flowers, with heart shaped leaves and wonderful seed pods. I don't know that I've seen it and I live in FL. I wouldn't mind having this in my gardens, although, I've already got probably one too many vines growing here. :-)

    FlowerLady

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  10. You really have a beautiful roadside flower there. I love how it drapes. An apt name too. So many wild flowers are so pretty, but it is usually the plant form that is not.

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  11. My husband is always talking about Lord Sandwich. Especially when I make a sandwich. Seriously... that was one thing in history that stuck in his brain.
    The Wildlfowers you selected are beautiful! A lovely bit of eye candy since things are a bit dismal in the garden right now.
    Thanks for your comments on my blogs.
    Love,
    Rosey

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  12. Always so lovely to visit/learn/enjoy. Thank you for sharing.

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  13. They always look very beautiful in pictures.

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  14. I have heard it called "queen's crown" or "queen's wreath".

    I have had it in my previous yard. I love it as the bees are all over it in the late summer.

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  15. How lovely to see all the colour in your part of the world. Will check back over the weeks ahead when we're covered in snow and ice - something to dream about.

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  16. Your flowers are beautiful ... especially interesting is the white flower ...
    Best regards Karin

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  17. What beautiful vines they are. I am amazed that they are growing wild on that plot. I wish we had something as beautiful as those are. Sure beats all this invasive Honeysuckle we have for sure. LOL! Have a wonderful week Autumn.

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  18. Oh wow! This is growing wild in Malaysia? I have not noticed it before!

    The blooms are so pretty, it'll be lovely trailing along a trellis/pergola.

    I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for them henceforth! :D

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  19. Time to go hunting for those growing wild and armed with a pair of scissors to get the blooms, hehe.

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  20. Cher, people don't notice it when walking by the roadside but if only they look closer, they'll be able to see the beauty of these wildflowers.

    Giga says, "It has beautiful flowers and beautiful fence and butterflies like it, it is wonderful." thanks Giga!

    Flower Lady, Oh No!, you need to think twice as this plant is invasive C2 in Florida. In Malaysia, it is quite common in open spaces but I haven't seen its invasion into home gardens yet ;>)

    Donna, it is indeed a pretty plant. It attracted butterflies and bees to my yard.

    Rosey, my hubby and I like to talk about Blondie and Dagwood's multiple storeys sandwich whenever we create our own at home, especially late at night, lol.

    Joey, thanks for the visit!

    Rainfield, one can only appreciate the beauty of this plant when you go near. You won't notice it from far. Similarly, we can see the beauty of a person when we get to know someone better, haha!

    Tufa Girl, yes the honey bees and butterflies are coming to my garden. Hopefully the birds too but I won't find a racoon in the city, ;P

    Babarapc, do come back to view our tropical blooms. Similarly I look forward to your snow and white Christmases.

    Karin, you do have good taste in the choice of colours. I forgot to mention that the pink ones are common but I have yet to find the white ones for sale at nurseries.

    Lona, I hope my plant spread more in my garden too. Children will surely love the flowers as Queen jewels and crowns during play.

    Tanntoot, Yes, it grows wild in Malaysia! I have seen them in many places in Perak. Now that you know about this, you'll soon see these coral vines around you. Same goes for the papaya and banana plant which are growing wild everywhere but many of my friends never noticed them except at the market :)

    Sean, yeah, it can be easily grown from a cutting. Alternatively, you can pluck the ripe brown seeds too.

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  21. That's a really beautiful wildflower. Never knew such a plant existed here. Well you learn something everyday haha.

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  22. I never seen them before! It's so lovely! I definately will grow them at home!

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  23. I don't think I have noticed this beautiful flowers before. Really pretty, at first I thought they are bougainvilla.
    p/s thank you for offering your butterfly pea seeds. i have them too as my sister grows it. cheers!

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  24. Very pretty wildflowers, I have never seen that kind before. I think Chain of Love is the perfect name!

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  25. Such a beautiful flower. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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  26. Hi everyone,

    I remember that my mother had this flower long time ago....
    Recently went to several nurseries looking for this flower (and plumbago flower) but have yet to find.
    Anybody can show where I can buy these plants? FYI I live in southern part of Malaysia.

    cheers
    -haikano-

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  27. I would love to have in my garden.
    Still haven't found its secret yet as I noticed that they do not bloom so well all the time.
    Often I seen more foliage but no floral in their vines & they do get very messy all the time.
    Somehow - I have managed to used these flowers as pressed flowers for hand made cards and they really look very lovely.

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  28. Eh why I never notice this flower by the roadside before. Sangat cantik!

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  29. What beautiful and delicate flowers! I was so impressed that these beauties are growing by the roadside in vacant plots! In vacant plots here, we have weeds and thistles - you have these enticing, butterfly attracting beauties! I'm sad that these wildflowers are not appreciated and are being exterminated. I hope something ugly doesn't spring up in its place.

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  30. What a beautiful wildflower! I love the pink and white together. I love that it is a vine too.

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  31. What gorgeous roadside flowers! I love flowers with a lantern like seedpod like these.

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  32. These are indeed gorgeous! Have seen them before but did not really notice them up close! Beautiful and the name sounds so romantic! Thanks for sharing!

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  33. As expected to see nice lovely pixz here. Wow the lovely caterpillar.

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  34. I see this flower a lot around here they call it the "Indian widow" sad name for a pretty flower

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  35. Aaron, Malar, Petite Nyonya, Diana, Kitchen Flavours, Bananaz look again around you, soon you'll find in the our bushes!

    Lotusleaf, Diana, Scarlett, Wonders of the World, Indie, Wendy, Thanks!

    James, you are right. The dried leaves do look messy at the base.

    Holly Garden, it is the butterflies which are being exterminated because their caterpillars damage crops and ornamental garden plants while these 'weeds' are left alone because nobody wants them nor notice them. But these weeds provide food for so many wildlife. I hope more people will appreciate their beauty and benefit to the environment.

    Anonymous, I bought my Coral Vine plant from Selangor Green Lane in Sg Buloh. Perhaps you can get your local nursery to propagate some from cuttings for you or you can gather the seeds/cuttings from the wild and plant them.

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  36. The roadside scene is a great snapshot. It reminds me how prolific tropical weather is- we have flowers, fruits and weeds growing together so lusciously. Chain of Love was a childhood favorite for play and a money saver in high school - used it for table setting for home science instead of purchased flowers!!

    I am laughing as I am going have to buy Chain of Love seeds/plants when it is everywhere in Malaysia. I also been noticing seeds of the mimosa/ touch me not plant for sale here in the US!! Sold under Sensitive plant. Who knows, maybe I be buying lalang next!!

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  37. Mom on Blog, there are many things about our own country that are unique but we didn't notice because they are so "common", hence taken for granted. It will dawn on us when appreciated through the eyes of another. I think this applies to all nationalities.

    Many of us still grows leaves and struggle with spindy, stunted temperate plants which can't adapt to our climate when there are so many gorgeous native flowering species like orchids, gingers, bananas we can grow. People still laugh at me for growing weeds like this Coral Vine, purple Senduduk and the purple Vinca!

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  38. I had to look up Purple Senduduk! Another childhood friend. I was quite the tomboy when I was little. Catching grasshoppers and keeping fighting spiders in matchboxes. I would find Senduduk growing wild on wasteland or jungle. It is a favourite of ants!

    I love your blog! It is nostalgic for me and makes me research stuff. I think I know quite a fair bit about plants but.... I am discovering, not so much! I did not know senduduk was used to color nasi ulam or that it has edible fruits.

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  39. Mom on Blog, so nice to know that we discovered each other via blogging!

    My late father used to bring me on nature field trips at the 'lombong bijih timah' areas and tell me how people can crush the senduduk leaves (some inside their mouth) and apply the herbs to stop bleeding in minor wounds - a jungle survival skill. Kids would eat the berries which make their tongue turn purple and they also use the berries as bullets for catapults. They used the senduduk dried up branches as brooms to sweep house compounds!

    Those were the days when kids play in the outdoors and learn to socialise this way. Now, I wonder how many of our kids know the difference between a blackberry and a Blackberry!

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  40. Hi Autumn Belle and Mom on Blog, I am back because i am curious of your discussion, and "senduduk" and "nasi ulam". What are those? Of course we have them here too, though I dont know them yet. "Nasi" i know is rice but what is nasi ulam? Maybe yellow rice? haha.

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  41. Haha! Andrea welcome!

    Mom on Blog, Andrea also shares our stories about spider fights and childhood stuff.

    Andrea, Ulam is a rice dish, Malaysian/Indonesian style - steam rise eaten with herbs, vegetables, salted fish, egg and crackers and of course can't do without the 'sambal belacan' dipping sauce/accompaniment. Sambal belacan, like kimchi to Koreans and butter & cheese in Western dishes - a must have.

    More info about nasi ulam here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasi_ulam

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  42. Oh yeah, Senduduk is melastoma malabathricum or Straits Rhododendron.

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  43. Autumn Belle, Andrea - we are the lucky one who got to explore our world in a simpler time when nature was our playground. Today's kids because of crime and grow up fast lifestyle seldom enjoy. Good one Autumn Belle- juicy blackberry or Blackberry with juicy updates!! LOL

    I am glad to find you Autumn Belle- all because of BK!! Andrea - will be checking out your blog. Already I see we have similar ideas- I too took photo of my shadow in my gardening gear :)

    Talking of spiders, I have been missing a special spider in my garden. Check out this blog posting http://kumquat-sugarnpixels.blogspot.com/2009/02/spidy-chronicles.html

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  44. Every time I visit your blog, I’m wowed at the incredible photography here. It’s amazing.

    Did you know, by the way, that the Antigonon leptopus is more , commonly known as the Mexican Creeper and that it’s part of the buckwheat family? And yes, it is absolutely beautiful.

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  45. Beautiful presentation, Autumn Belle. I'm not familiar with Bride's Tears. Coral Vine is common to these parts. I don't grow it but I think it is a lovely flower. Here it dies back to the roots at frost but comes back in spring.

    I rarely plant anything ending in 'vine' because vines tend to take over the garden here.

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  46. I was taught that crushed senduduk leaves can be used to stem the bleeding of leech bites. But never have a chance to try it as I always cannot find senduduk when I got bitten by leeches and vice versa :-p (senduduk - exposed places, leeches, damp dark areas)

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  47. Halo...where n how can i get this flower seed in malaysia??

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    1. You can get the seeds from those wild plants that grow like weeds in empty spaces here in Malaysia or buy a young plant from nursery and save the seeds.

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