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
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Blooming Friday - Week 3

Hey, today is Blooming Friday, Week 3 and the theme is Leading Ladies and Figurants. My Leading Lady today has to be the senduduk. Its scientific name is Melastoma Malabathricum. It is an evergreen shrub, sometimes regarded as a widespread weed in tropical forests. This plant has multiple medicinal and other uses. For example, if you are lost in the jungle and get a small cut or minor wound, you can pluck the leaves of this plant, crush it and use it to stop the bleeding. Some people put it into their mouths to chew before applying it onto the wound. In the old days, villagers used its dried branches to make brooms and used it to sweep their house compounds.

I bought this senduduk seedling at a nursery in Sungai Buloh for RM 5.00 a few months ago. It has started to bloom now, eventhough it is only about 3 ft tall. Their purple flowers are very pretty and looks something like your clematis flowers. Bangchik, my fellow Malaysian blogger of My Little Vegetable Garden has dedicated quite a number of posts about this plant. Like him, I too have fallen in love with this beautiful native inhabitant of our swamps and forest motherland. Besides purple, there are also those with white flowers.

Next comes the Figurants, the hardy plants with many flowers that have not stopped blooming. My choice would be my Cat Whiskers (Orthosiphon Stamineus) plant. This is also our native plant, my faithful bloomer. It is an everygreen woody shrub and blooms the whole year through. Mine produces white flowers now. It started with purple flowers during the first batch but it has been white flowers ever since. This plant is very very easy to grow. When its stems touches the ground, roots will form. It makes a very beautiful groundcover. Cat whiskers are also known for their medicinal value.

Well, does it ring a bell when you look at the header of my blog again? It is a picture of the leaves of the cat whiskers plant!

A biotech company in Malaysia has started commercial production of cat whiskers herbal tea bags using the leaves of this plant. Many people also started growing this plant for their leaves (fresh or dried) which is steeped with hot water and drank. Have you heard about it or tried this before?

This is my coral white vinca plant. It has not stopped flowering since the day I bought it and now producing seeds. I am planting some of its seeds to see whether all the plants will bear pure white flowers. Can you see a dragonfly resting on one of the blooms?

My portulaca grandiflora in shocking pink. Both buds will open as the day gets warmer or brighter.
This portulaca shares a container with my pomelo plant.
Its bud is half opened now.

This bud is going to open soon too.
Fully opened, the petals look like 5 hearts or love notes in pastel pink and white. I especially like the pointy stigma that makes it look like a 6-point star wand. Can you imagine a beauty queen carrying her victory wand?

Here are four friends. Usually the bi-colour ones outnumber the whites.

This is my marigold. Their heads are getting too large for their own good. They are now suffering from droopy head syndrome.

This is my Torenia Fournieri (bluewings or wishbone flower). I got this from a neighbour in Ipoh. It is growing wild lie a week in her garden. She just pulled out one of them and handed it to me in a plastic bag. I put some water into the bag and it travelled with me in a 2 and a half hour journey to my home. As I arrived home late at night, I only planted it in a pot the next day. I think it has the same survival instincts of a weed!

This is my heliconia flower. It requires minimum care and flowers the whole year through.

I came accross this little fella during my photography rounds. So I might as well include him in. He has just jumped from my bamboo plant to this palm leaf. He thinks he is very clever and hidden from my view since his whole body is in camourflage. I think he loves the leaves of my torch ginger. You should have seen the zig-zag patterns he has made to their leaves. I think he has a sharp cutter in his mouth. Anyway, I have no heart to kill him.

This time the cape honeysuckles are not blooming in big numbers. Maybe its because I have trimmed it almost bald. But I like this solo picture.

Finally, my bunga kantan, the torch ginger. I didn't cook it, so now it has opened up all its petals and showing me how happy it is.
I hope you like my parade of blooms this week and I wish you a wonderful weekend.

This is my entry for Blooming Friday. My grateful thanks to Katarina at Roses and Stuff for hosting Blooming Friday. To see what others have posted or to participate, click here.


  1. Wow Autumn Belle! You have very pretty blooms in your garden now. I like that bunga kantan, the flower is very charming. Oh I read Bangchik's senduduk post too. Too bad I don't have space, if not I would get more shrubs to be planted in my garden. And no I have not tried the cat's whisker's leaf yet. The alitea bags too... I have not tried. I am just bad at trying out this kind of things. I have two herb plants in my garden that my neighbour's mom passed me. They are growing nicely now but I am just not using them. I am just not used to it. Also, have to take it regularly at a long period of time to see the effect. I think I am just not that discipline type of person. I wish you have a wonderful day today!

  2. Thank you for showing, I did enjoy your parade of blooms, and luckely you didn't cook your ginger :)

  3. Hi :D, the senduduk looks very familiar. I have a plant here that grows all over the place with an identical flower. It seems to spread quickly by underground runners, also sending shoots across the surface until they it an obstacle then they too root and grow. It's a pest but does had a beautiful flower.

  4. Like the colour of your "leading Lady"!Have a great weekend//Eva

  5. i like what is blooming at your side. because its almost the same as in my garden. i have never grown torch lily though, it is not available here. The torenia we grow here has smaller flower but same color. senduduk is looking lovely as well. thanks for sharing.

  6. So many, for me, totaly strange plats. I love that Cat whiskers. What a strange and funny flower. thank you for showing and have a nice weekend!

  7. I love those senduduk flowers, seen here in my neighbourhood - they are full of flowers and lovely.

    You should try drinking tea with the misai kucing - using those fresh leaves tips in boiling water.
    Somehow, they are refreshing.

    I envy your white vinca. I had found those white vinca with a red dot. Collected those seed pods and planning to plant them this weekend.

    Do watchout for those grasshoppers - once they lay eggs - you will have thousands of them and eating away your flowers!

  8. Your blooms are stunning!!! I first saw the senduduk at Bangchik's blog. Wow,I'm completely bowled over by the native plants. The torch ginger is really something! Loved the insect shots too!

  9. You never cease to amaze me with your variety of blooms. You let that grasshopper live? oh my , you are very kind!
    The ginger is so stunning!

  10. Stephanie, due to limited space, I’m growing the senduduk from a container. I hope it works out. The senduduk reminds me of my late father who thought me about its use to stop bleeding. He taught me this during a field trip to the mining pool when I was little. These senduduks were growing wild there.

    Mia, I’m glad you like my ginger flower. It smells great too. I think very therapeutic.

    Barry, thanks for the visit. My senduduk has woody stems and it grows upright. Sometimes weeds do have pretty flowers and many wildflowers are beautiful, aren’t they?

    Angel Pearls, welcome to my blog and thanks for the nice comments.

    Muhammad, I have not seen the bunga kantan at nurseries here too. The flower is available in many wet markets and supermarkets but the rhizome (root) is difficult to get. We need to grow bunga kantan from a rhizome and usually we get it from other gardeners. The torenia comes in pink and white flowers too. This plant can be grown as a ground cover and it looks very beautiful in clumps. I just found this out from a local gardening book.

    Lillibeth, if you google this cat whiskers plant, you will be intrigue by its usefulness. There is quite some research done on this plant.

    James, I am just like Stephanie when it comes to herbs. I have tried and like the taste of the Alitea tea bags but fresh leaves, I haven’t tried yet. I will do this soon enough because I love tea anyway. There are also other herbs in my garden waiting for me to try. Thank you very much for the encouragement, just like how after you commented in my first hibiscus post a long time ago, I actually tried eating the hibiscus flower petals and found that it is in fact quite tasty! The reason I planted the cat whiskers in the first place was because of its unique beauty and out of curiosity. I like the vinca with a red center too. Do plant the seeds. Will be interesting to know the outcome.

    Kanak, thank you so much for the lovely comments.

    Rosey and James, I think I’d better catch the grasshopper and give it a new home far far away from my garden. This fella has been around here for months already and it can certainly hop very far. Maybe it’s a male, that’s why no eggs and babies yet.

  11. Ah, at first I thought your Leading lady was in fact a Clematis - they look quite a bit alike. Very lovely! As are your figurants...

  12. What beautiful flowers! I've never seen cat whiskers before. It's very pretty.

  13. I know all these flowers but come to know their names only by now.

  14. Still so many blooms in your garden. I envy you the torenia. It grows so well for you, while I struggle to keep it alive for a month or so.

  15. Lovely to see what you've gotb in the garden. I especially enjoyed the senduduk.

  16. wow. These photos are beautiful. THe torenia has my favorite colors and the cat whiskers are so cool - I've never heard of that tea before. Of course, my fave is probably the torch ginger . I've probably mentioned so before! Just gorgeous.

  17. I just love the white airy blooms on your senduduk.
    I have never heard of that tea. What does it taste like?
    The bi-colored portulaca is a beauty.
    Got to love the velvety blooms on torenia.
    Such wonderful pictures.

  18. Hello, thank you very much for stopping by my blog. You have a very beautiful garden and I enjoy all you have posted. I love hibiscus but they don´t grow very well here in Chile because of the cold weather in winter, sometimes minus 2 Celsius, they simply die.
    Thank you
    María Cecilia

  19. What pretty bloom, Autumn!!
    Thanks for sharing, they are lovely.
    The coral white vinca grows pretty much in the wild here...and you find them in bright colors too...
    I love the torch ginger pic, it's fabulous.

  20. Thanks for this lovely parade of flowers. So much colour to add to your garden.

  21. Autumn Belle, enjoyed your last couple posts I've missed. I love learning new plants like this cat whisker..really pretty! My fav is the torch exotic looking! That is one BIG grasshopper.

  22. Hi Autumn Belle,
    Your sendaduk flower reminds me of a perennial geranium bloom. I think the cat whiskers blooms are my favorites this time. I've never head of them or the tea made from them. All of your blooms are looking happy and healthy.

  23. Katarina, Evolutiongardener, Rainfield61, Mary Delle, Sue, Wendy, Sunshine Girl, Lynn and Sue. Thank you so much for your visits and nice comments.

    Hocking Hills Gardener, I think the tea bags version tastes like the Japanese rice tea or ‘ocha’ served at Japanese restaurants.

    Maria Cecelia, welcome to my blog. Thank you for visiting and for the nice commens. Do join us at Blotanical if you like gardening.


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