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!

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.


  1. Good afternoon ~ We have some orange-red colored ones here at Plum Cottage. They sure are hardy.

    The yellow is very pretty.


  2. We have a row of ixora... not the dwarf type.... red flowers, and long leaves..... Cheers and Selamat Berpuasa, ~ bangchik

  3. when i was a child we would pick the stamens out of honeysuckle and suck on the flower as well! and, um well i just did that the other day just to see and it was still delicious!

  4. Hello Autumn Belle, it is so nice to see yellow flowers here. Your earlier post, Allamanda is beautiful and this ixora is pretty. I like to watch yellow flowers as they always never fail to brighten up my day. Moreover today is Monday... so all the more I need some cheer... So tq for this post and have a cheerful Monday!

  5. Interesting! Do you do this with honeysuckle like we do here in the US? Does the Ixora smell like Jasmine at all? I love that name Ixora - it would be a nice name for a child! Too bad I'm done with having kids!

  6. What lovely colors. Very nice collection of pictures.
    Sunny :)

  7. They are so lovely. I too used to slip the nectar from these flowers when I was young.

    They make beautiful press flowers.
    I use them for handmade cards, the colours retain and quite hardy when dried.

  8. I tried sucking nectar from this flower before too. My friends showed me how when I was living in Japan. I don't think kids in Hong Kong do that though :)

  9. I have seen the red and the pink Ixora's and have them both but the yellow one is simple beautiful. :)

    Wishing you n your family much Fu-Luu-Shou for all times to come. Thx for sharing.

  10. I'm a big ixora fan too and your photos are stunning! The golf club 'model' is a ravishing beauty but your pink one is no less!! Loved your post! Enjoyed going through your last post...great shots of the allamanda.

    Have a lovely gardening week!

  11. What lovely plants and photos too.

  12. This is a beautiful bush -- I can just imagine the aged stems!

    I believe my favorite one is the yellow Ixora because there are not many yellow bushes in America.

  13. Lovely pictures. It's a pleasure visiting your blog. Will keep coming back for more...

  14. lovely pics. Red tall variety is common lahore-Pakistan but there is a white variety and that is fragrant too. i think its name is ixora parviflora. i have the plant but not blooming right now.

  15. They are gorgeous and I love their names may they bring you health, wealth and happiness.

  16. Yes, they are sun -loving plants,hardy and colourful. I have the red and yellow varieties.

  17. Flowerlady, I’m glad that Ixora is growing well over there too.

    Bangchik, Selamat Berpuasa. I bet your hedge must be very beautiful indeed. What's so special about houses in Putrajaya I noticed is that there are no walls or fencing to separate from neighbours. How wonderful.

    Urbanfieldguild, it is nice to know that you have experienced taking the nectar from flowers too.

    Stephanie, I like yellow ixora too, especially the pale colour ones. When I look closely, the flowers seem to be slightly different between cultivars.

    Wendy, I haven’t try it on the honeysuckle yet because I didn’t know about this. I guess it is because honeysuckle is not commonly planted here. My Ixora doesn’t have any smell. And yes, I do agree that Ixora is a nice name for a girl. We also have apartment houses named Ixora.

    James, thank you for visiting and for the useful tip on how to make press flowers from Ixora. Why didn’t I think of this before? I will certainly try it out.

    Sandy, you too? I mean, Urbanfieldguide, Wendy, James and you too have tried sucking nectar from flowers. How wonderful to know about this.

    Sunny, EverGreenTree, Joanne, LynnS, Urbangardener, Re, thanks for visiting and for the nice comments. I appreciate it very much.

    Kanak, welcome to Ixora fan club, HaHa.

    Muhammad, white Ixora? That’s wonderful. I can’t wait to see them from your post.

    Thank you all for visiting and taking time to write comments. They are music to my ears. Will be visiting you soon. Cheers!

  18. Sunshine, you have it too. Oh, how wonderful. Ixora is everwhere around us. Nice name, nice flower.

  19. The flowers so beautiful

    Hi I am Benghui

  20. Wow, the flowers are gorgeous! :) Happy WW!

  21. Benghui and Judy, thank you very much for the nice comments. I appreciate your visit very much.

  22. Oh all of these Ixora blossoms are lovely. Good luck with your cutting.


  23. Jessica, thank you very much for the nice comments and good luck wishes.

  24. Hi!

    I just got an Ixora today, the man who sold it said it was a dwarf plant and its got these tiny pink flowers!
    I had no idea how to take care of the plant so I stumbled on your blog while searching!
    It was really informative, I loved it! And your blog is ADORABLE!
    If you have any other tips on them, I'd love to hear them :)
    Thanking you


  25. Hi, Elaine. Thank you very much for your nice comment. I'm glad our paths crossed via this pretty ixora plant. In our tropical climate, ixora is very easy to grow; just water regularly and fertilize once a month.

  26. Hi! My friend is looking for Ixora flowers for her university project. Do you know where can she get it from? She needs about a few kg-s.

    1. Zarrionette, if you stay in Klang Valley, you can try Selangor Green Lane in Sg Buloh:

      In Malaysia, many nurseries have ixora because it is a common ornamental plant. I have some photos of ixora fruit berries at different stages of ripening. If he/she needs them, you can write to my email address.


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