Incorrectly applied named: Strobilanthes cusia
Common names: India Blue Bell, Chinese Rain Bell, Assam Indigo, Pink Strobilanthes, Vein Leaf Acanthus
Chinese name: 叉花草 (cha hua cao - forked/branched flowering plant)
Origin: Himalayan region of India, Bhutan, Nepal and Myanmar
Strobilanthes hamiltoniana plants have smooth green leaves that point downwards while the herbaceous stems are arched. The flowers which hang solitary on each node are pale purple and bell shaped. They droop downwards, one by one, each separate and at a distance from the one another in loose, highly branched panicles up to 30cm long. The shrub is about 5-6ft (0.5-1.5m) tall.
The display of flowers is especially beautiful after the rain. Water droplets that collect on the unopened buds look like clear crystal beads hanging in the mid-air.
A very showy plant that looks better in real life than in photos.
“Strobilanthes hamiltoniana - India Blue Bell or Chinese Rain Bell”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ http://www.mynicegarden.com/ on February 26th, 2012.
There is an article at the STG Community Blog website (a magazine for sub-tropical gardening in Australia) that:
1. This plant is commonly mistaken for S. cusia, another species which is widely cultivated in China as a medicinal and dye plant.
2. They have a picture of the real S. cusia
3. In Australia, S. hamiltoniana can be grown in the humid tropics of northern Queensland and the frost free warm temperate New South Wales.
According to Flora of China, S. hamiltoniana is native to the forests on the mountain slopes (800-2000m) of Bhutan, India, Myanmar and Nepal.
HOW TO GROW
You can also find information about S. hamiltoniana in page 133 of the book "Tropical Horticulture and Gardening" (click here), by Dr. Francis SP Ng. He describes it as "an erect herb, to 1.5m tall, flowering in loose terminal branched inflorescences; the flowers tubular and hanging downwards. Grow in full or partial sun. Propagate by cuttings. Origin: India."
You can find S. hamiltoniana plants at the rooftop Secret Garden of 1-Utama. It is planted near an artificial pond filled with Water Hyssop plants. There by the side of the pond, it shares a place with an Australian willow tree and a row of Star Calathea plants.
Ami of Southeast Florida Garden Evolvement Blog has a plant in her garden. You can view here blog post here.
Remember my post, "Tawny Coaster Butterflies Mating at the Rooftop Secret Garden of 1-Utama"? Well, in this Nov 2011 post, I wrote about the courtship of 2 tawny coaster butterflies that mated successfully.
On a cool morning of end January 2012, at the same area/zone, I found this newly emerged tawny coaster butterfly with crumpled wings perched on an inflorescence stalk of the S. hamiltoniana. It was probably drying its wings.
You can now add a Reply Button to your comments. This feature is called "threaded commenting". I have just enabled mine today. Here's how:
1. From your blogger Dashboard, select Settings and Site Feed. Set your feed to "Full"
2. Under Settings menu, select Comments - set your comment form to "Embedded"
You can read more at Blogger Help by clicking here.
This is my entry for Today's Flowers # 183, a meme which opens every Sunday, 2pm GMT. My grateful thanks to Today's Flowers team members; Luiz Santili Jr, Denise in Virginia, Laerte Pupo and Sandy Carlson. To participate and view other gorgeous flowers around the world, click here