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!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bees Love Turnera subulata (White Alder)

Common name: White Alder, Sulphur Alder, Politician's Flower, White Buttercup, Dark-eyed Turnera
Botanical name: Tunera subulata
Family: Turneraceae (Yellow Alder family)

Turnera Subulata is a perennial herb, woody at the base and can reach 30-80cm in height. Native to the West Indies, Florida, Brazil and Central America, it has a strong tap root. The flowers are white with a yellow halo around black centres. Leaves are bright green in colour. This species is also found here in South East Asia.

I usually find these plants in sunny places near the roadside, rubbish dumps and outside house compounds. Sometimes it is planted as a bush and used to decorate entrances to homes and properties.

Whenever I see this flower, there will be many bees swarming around it or busy collecting nectar. In fact, these bees are so busy, they didn't even notice me snapping away with my camera.

Look closely at the flower. Can you see a cat's tongue? In Malay it is known as 'bunga lidah kuching' meaning cat's tongue. Another name for it is 'bunga pukul lapan' (8 O'clock flower). The flowers open around 8 am in the morning and there are so many blooms, it can brighten up any area. By 11am - noon, all the flowers would have withered away. Such a short life span but contribute so much. No wonder the bees are so busy in the mornings. Like the saying "As busy as a bee".

They love the sun and grow well in sandy soil.

This tunera bush at the riverbank next to a bridge, has an abundance of flowers.
There are many bees here. Strangely, I don't hear the buzzing sound.
The bees are deeply engrossed in their nectar collecting tasks.
The picture is taken at the park near my home.

This is a welcome sight. Quite often, I have come accross gardens that have no signs of wildlife. These gardens have bright and beautiful flowers, but no bees, no butterflies and no scent. Is this a sign of heavy pesticide usage?

Bees are often associated with honey, pollen, royal jelly and their painful sting. Bees are also important as crop pollinators. Can you imagine a world without bees? How then can I get to eat my cucumbers, tomatoes, beans and carrots?


  1. My husband and I just started beekeeping this year. We have two hives. It had been a joy to watch the bees as they gather pollen and nectar from our garden, fruit trees and fields.

  2. I did see a few bees in our garden.. Putrajaya reserves a large portion for green lungs here, bees could just survive and have their hives there.. I was bitten once or twice decades ago. Huh, such a pulsating pain.. worse than lipan.

  3. Yes I do notice this plant, White Alder. This plant grows very fast. I love it when all the flowers are in full bloom. It is very beautiful when the bush is all crowded with flowers. Happy gardening Autumn Belle!

  4. A gorgeous flower! I love how you captured the bee on it. I love watching bees humming ever so busily on my plants. They are fun to watch as long as they keep their distance! (=

  5. Thanks for showing us the close up, medium and long view of this plant. This is a great way for us to know it better. I loved seeing it by the bridge and am happy to think of all the wonderful pollinators working so hard collecting nectar as they spread the goodies from flower to flower. Well done! :-)

  6. simply beautifully captured shots....lovely!

  7. I like these flowers. Pity they do not show off the day long. Used to plant them but now they're gone.They do give a nce splash of colour tho when they are open.

  8. I don't think I've come across this plant. Loved all the shots and the bees as well. The blooms are pretty and the river bank shot looks really nice.

  9. Beautiful flowers -- I especially enjoy the dark center and how that dark shade veins into the yellow. Just beautiful!

    Seeing all of the orchids at the show reminds me of a large show in Baltimore Maryland I attended. SOOO many orchids at a large show, aren't there?

    I have raised orchids in my greenhouse in the past and miss not having them, but the price of fuel for winter heating forced me to close up the 'hot house'. Loved those photos you shared -- the colors of each orchid, so bright and happy.

  10. Its a beautiful flower, pity its last only a moment. And people like me who leave very early to work and arrive home later in the evening - don't really get to enjoy these types unless in the weekend.

    I guess there are few types with different colours? I have seen one like it but not sure whether its a same genes.

  11. Bees are good to have but as crop pollinators they do cross pollinate our heirloom tomatoes.
    We can't complain it's nature.


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