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.....!

Notice Board

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

Friday, July 30, 2010

Floria 2010 P9 - Fascinating Rainforest Plants

This post is about the Corporate Gardens section of Floria 2010.

I was extremely hungry and thirsty when I arrived at this 'hut' entrance to the show garden of The Department of Agriculture of Malaysia. I almost wanted to give this exhibit a miss as I only had half an hour left and I still haven't visited the Garden Bazaar to do my shopping. Somehow, the strikingly showy heliconias and beehive gingers here were too tempting to be missed. So, I entered this area half-heartedly to have a quick look. Eventhough I was physically inside this show garden, my heart and mind were already busy shopping at the bazaar $$$

This is a flower wall of Alpinia purpurata /red gingers (above) and ixoras (below) decorated with bamboo and wavy rattan poles. The centrepiece is our traditional Malay styled garden oil lamp. You'll see plenty of these lamps during the festive Hari Raya season.

“Floria 2010 P9 - Fascinating Rainforest Plants”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on July 30th, 2010.

On the far right are some Heliconia chartacea Sexy Pink flowers cascading down seductively beside the red gingers.

The big clump in the middle of the 2 chairs is the Tiger Orchid (Grammatophyllum speciosum), our giant ground orchid. Also known as Sugar Cane Orchid and Queen of Orchids, it is the world's largest orchid. It is native to New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia and The Philippines.

Tiger orchids can be found in the lowlands of our tropical rainforest. It may take 4-8 years for a tiger orchid plant to start blooming but once it starts to do so, it blooms every 2-4 years and the fragrant blooms can last 1-2 months. Each stalk has up to 80 flowers.

This is reminds me of the idyllic lifestyle of our rural villages or 'kampung'. Bamboo seats are cool to lie on. In the kampungs, we use a machete called the 'parang' to split open the coconut husk and shell, then drink the juice directly from the fruit. We can also use the big banana leaves as an umbrella when there is rain. On a hot day under the equatorial sun, palms and banana leaves provide shade and at the same time act as giant fans whenever it moves and sways at the slightest hint of a breeze.

However, this doesn't look like our usual banana plant. I didn't see a plant label but I think it resemble the Madagascar banana (Ensete perrieri), a native of Madagascar that looks like the banana plant!

Underneath the banana plant, there is a clump of dwarf Strelitzias, the exotic Bird of Paradise flowers. Do you think they look like orange-yellow birds?

Again this is our topical kampung style, reflecting serenity and the laid back way of life. In front is a planter with honeycomb gingers and heliconias.

Can anyone tell me if the needle shaped palms are yucca palms?

This is a replica of the world's tallest species of Heliconia, Phenakospermum guyanense (which actually is classified under the family of Strelitzias). When alive, the whole plant and blooms are green in colour.

A note says that the tallest in the world was recorded at 38.9 ft.

Behind the pink ginger plants are the Platycerium coronarium (Staghorn Fern) and the beautiful palm is Johannesteijsmannia altifrons.

Johannesteijsmannia is a genus of 4 species of Fan Palms native to the tropical rainforests of Malaysia, Indonesia and Southern Thailand. They usually grow without a trunk (Source: Wikipedia).

The 4 species are
1) J. altifrons
2) J. perakensis
3) J. magnifica
4) J. lanceolata

J. altifrons is the most common. The other 3 are endemic and endangered and they are only found in Peninsular Malaysia, not anywhere else in the world.

This genus is named in honour of Johannes Elias Teijsmann (1808-1882), a Dutch botanist, plant collector and curator of Bogor Botanic Gardens.

A closeup of Alpinia purpurata (pink ginger)

Philodendron xanadu

Heliconia vellerigera (King Kong).
This species from South America can reach a height of 15-20 ft.
Inflorescences looks 'furry' or hairy

Calathea rotundifolia "Fasciata"

Nepenthes sibuyanensis

The above specimen was labelled as N.rajah by the exhibitor but Aaron, of Aaron's Gardening Blog has pointed out to me that the correct name is N. sibuyanensis, a tropical pitcher plant endemic to the Sibuyan Island of the Philippines. Aaron is a teenage gardener who has a wealth of experience growing pitcher plants. Aaron, thank you very much for highlighting this error.

Nepenthes rajah is an insectivorous pitcher plant species endemic to Mt Kinabalu and Mt Tambuyukon in Sabah, Malaysia.

We commonly call pitcher plants 'monkey cups' but some people cleverly call it 'money cups' and market picther plants as auspicious plants for good fortune.

Platycerium ridleyi (Ridleyi's Staghorn Fern), a rare fern.

Licuala grandis or Palma Kipas (fan palm)

Now, looking back at the pictures, I have no regrets that I had to forgo my shopping for this educational tour. It really opened my eyes and mind on what rich treasures lies within the jungles of the tropical rainforest.

Today, we have come to the last episode of my hightlights about Putrajaya Floria 2010. Hope you have enjoyed the journey in the quest for knowledge. Whether your are bored to death or happy with excitement, I'd like to end my post with the following quote:

When student is ready, the teacher will appear
..... a Buddhist proverb.

P/S: Today, I am joining Tootsie in Fertilizer Friday. To join or view other FF post, visit this link.
This is also my entry for Today's Flowers. To view other entries, visit here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Floria 2010 P8 - Bird of Paradise Flower at Heliconia Garden

Strelitzia reginae

The theme for Floria 2010 is Heliconia. At the Heliconia Garden, the Heliconia Society has put up a massive display of showy and spectacular flowers under the order of Zingiberales. Zingiberales has 8 families, namely:-

1. Cannaceae (Cannas)
2. Costaceae (Spiral Gingers)
3. Lowiaceae
4. Marantaceae (Arrowroot Family)
5. Musaceae (Bananas)
6. Strelitziaceae (Bird of Paradise)
7. Zingiberaceae (Gingers)
8. Heliconiaceae (Heliconias)

I have photographed quite a number of species and will be showcasing them one by one later as a single post is not enough to do justice on this fascinating group of exotic plants that are often associated with the humid Tropics and Tropical styled Gardens.

In this post, I start with Strelitzia which is a genus of 5 species of perennial plants that are native to South Africa. Strelitzias are often confused with Heliconias although they are from different families.

Strelitzias look like Birds of Paradise, the exotic birds with attractive plumage and estounding beauty native to the Maluku (Spice) Islands of Indonesia and Eastern Australia. Heliconias in turn look like Strelitzias, hence they are also called False Birds of Paradise. The common name for Strelitzia is Bird of Paradise Flower. It is also known as Crane Flower in South Africa.

Strelitzias are named after the duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, birthplace of Charlotte, Queen Consort of King George III of the United Kingdom. (Source: Wikipedia).

In Los Angeles, strelitzias are extensively planted and regarded as the emblem of the city. Source: , this link.

Scientific name: Strelitzia nicolai Regel & K. Koch
Common name: White or Giant Bird of Paradise Flower, Wild Banana, Blue-and-white Strelitzia
Family: Strelitziaceae

The leaves are similar to banana leaves. Its flowers are produced in a horizontal inflorescence and pollinated by sunbirds.

“Floria 2010 P8 - Bird of Paradise Flower at Heliconia Garden”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on July 26th, 2010.

I think this is the dwarf version Strelitzia reginae
Common name: Bird of Paradise Flower, Crane Flower
Family: Strelitziaceae

Most of the plants in this garden has a display label but I can't find the name label of this plant. The display board beside the plant is an explanation about Strelitzias.

Bird of Paradise flowers are highly valued as cut flowers and in Malaysia, they are expensive, therefore not every florist carries their stock. It forms only 0.02 % of our total cut flowers production.

They thrive in the cool temperatures of the tropical highlands. In the lowlands of Malaysia, it is very difficult to get them to flower.

My next and final post on Floria 2010 will be on the outdoor corporate showcase gardens.

This is my entry for Today's Flowers # 103, 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.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Putrajaya Floria 2010 P7 - Acerola Cherry Bonsai

This year's Floria 2010 is the third Putrajaya Flower and Garden Festival. At the Outdoor Themed Gardens, I was very much attracted to the Bonsai Garden where the exhibitor SanFong Bonsai and Art Garden had put up an impressive array of bonsai specimens, some of which are from priceless private collections.

You can read more about SanFong Bonsai, the nursery here.

There are labels in almost all the exhibits displaying the name of the tree, author and / or collector. Just look at this ceramic pot. These are intricate carvings of beautiful mountain and lake (shan shui) scenery.

Looking into this one, I feel like a Giant in the land of Little People.

Scientific name: Malpighia emarginata
Common name: Acerola Cherry, Barbados Cherry, West Indian Cherry, Wild Crapemyrtle
Origin: Tropical America

It is unbelievable that these miniature trees are real and living and they go through the normal cycles of leaf fall, blooming and fruiting. Just look at this tiny red cherry. Do you think it can be eaten?

It is captivating and amazing, almost magical to see big trees and shurbs shrunk to one twentieth or less of their normal heights and sizes. I could imagine all the hard work, patience, preseverence and painstaking efforts that had been put into each bonsai. As I know, it takes many years of labour and attention to bring a bonsai to perfection or near perfection, not to mention the detailed horticultural knowledge one has to gain about a particular tree before the masterpiece finally takes shape.

Finally, I would like to dedicate this post to 2 Blotanists who are bonsai lovers and from whom I have learnt a lot about this fascinating hobby from their blogs. They are Ms Radhika of Every Green Tree blog and Ms Sandy of Cloud 9 blog.

Recently, I also had the chance to meet up bloggers, Keats The Sunshine Girl and M.Kate of La Vie Est Belle blog. This was our first time meeting in real life and it was fun. We chatted over tea and coffee at a cafe in Kuala Lumpur.

Coming next..... The Heliconia Garden

“Putrajaya Floraia 2010 P7 - Acerola Cherry Bonsai”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on July 23, 2010.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Putrajaya Floria 2010 Part 6 - Outrageously Sexy Orchids

“Putrajaya Floria 2010 Part 6 - Outrageously Sexy Orchids”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on July 18th, 2010.

Orchids are my favourite flower anywhere, anytime!

Do you know my name ???

Its me again!

Name ???

Please help Autumn Belle because she does not the name of both of us,
the yellow and orange-red orchids!

This is my entry for Today's Flowers # 102, 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.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Putrajaya Floria 2010 Part 5 - Lovely Lilies

“Putrajaya Floria 2010 Part 5 - Lovely Lilies”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on July 17th

Thanks to Floridagirl of Peace in The Valley blog who helped me identiy this flower correctly, I have updated my post. I initially thought it was daylilies, but it is in fact Liliums, the true lilies that are native to the Northern Hemisphere.
Scientific name: Lilium
Common name: Oriental Lilies, Asiatic Lilies
Family: Liliaceae

2. Pink Stargazer Oriental Lily

3. White Stargazer Oriental Lily

Liliums display at the Indoor Floral Pavillion


This is my entry for Today's Flowers # 102, 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.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Putrajaya Floria 2010 Part 4 - Fun At The Indoor Floral Pavilion

“Putrajaya Floria 2010 Part 4 - Fun At The Indoor Floral Pavilion”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on July 16, 2010.

Heliconia display at the entrance to the Twilight Garden.

I'm sure you know all the plants here.

This happy guy charmed a lot of ladies. Many wanted to pose with him.
The Celebrity Musical Garden is just behind him.

This funny guy is standing in front of the Kiddy Garden. All the 'toys' here are made from flowers.

This is the Fauna Garden.

I have some important datelines to meet until July 24th, hence will be visiting and commenting less. My sincere apologies. My next 2 posts are scheduled on 'auto mode'.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Putrajaya Floria 2010 Part 3 - Annuals Garden

“Putrajaya Floria 2010 Part 3 - Annuals Garden”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on July 15, 2010.

This floral logo at the entrance to the Annuals Garden depicts our 1Malaysia Concept. 1Malaysia is an on-going campaign announced by our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on September 16, 2008, with the aim to promote national unity among Malaysians.

When there is beauty all around us, few words are needed, so enjoy .....


Earth laughs in flowers. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Does anybody know the name of this plant?

Answer: Salvia splendens (Scarlet Sage, Tropical Sage),
my grateful thanks to Nanina of As The Garden Turns blog. She is our new  member at Blotanical. My dear friends, do check out her lovely blog and give her all your encouragement.




This looks like our Kampung (Village) Garden style.

Lastly, today is Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Do visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens to see what garden bloggers all over the world have in store for today.


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