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, 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.


  1. Your tour has been beautiful, fascinating, and educational! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Autumn Belle thank you for a wonderful and educational tour of the Floria 2010 exhibition. Never have I seen such impressive displays of flora. Thank you!

  3. Thanks for sharing the photos and letting us know the names of those beautiful plants. Although I was there I didnt spend too much time in each booth and skip a heart was really at the Garden Bazaar couldnt wait to spend $$$$ too!

  4. Now that you mentioned it, its funny that pitcher plants are called monkey cups.
    For some reason - they are known as "periuk kera" which is somewhat translated back to English as monkey cup.
    Funny isn't it.

    I guess its very reasonable to have this Garden Fair using the Tropical Theme - imagine if they use Temperate Climate Theme - I would certainly rejoice and run there to see all the exotic ones - tulips, iris, hellobores, etc.
    Of course - it would be very expensive and I wonder if they are going to place the whole thing in an Air-conditioning room.

  5. Superb tropicals! Thanks for sharing. I liked the bamboo seats.

  6. Jim, Helen, P3Chandan, James, Lotus Leaf,

    Good Morning!

    Thank you for the visit and nice comments. Coming from a tropical country, I myself have not seen or heard of many of the exotic plants that are exhibited here. It is after the show is over and the flowers have faded when I sit down to do research on the plants that I found out even more interesting facts. E.g. The tiger orchids look like a clump of wild sugar canes when I first saw it!

    There are indeed many landscaping ideas from the show gardens that we can learn from.

  7. James, regarding the 'monkey cups', my grandma used to tell me we Chinese call it monkey cups because it is for the jungle monkeys to pee on! How true? I'm not sure, lol.

    It is only in recent years that some smart fella market it as an auspicious and feng shui 'money cup' and the plant vendors certainly made a lot of money especially during Chinese New Year time.

  8. Wow, I learned a lot of new plants here. Love the bamboo chair and would love to have a set for my backyard. The birds of paradise flower is a fave of mine. I don't know which orange yellow flower you're referring to but is there a flower out there that looks like birds of paradise??

  9. AB love this post for the information about a world of plants to far from GB. I thought that Strelitzias came from Canary Islands.
    V much liked fab images and the ending quotation.

  10. Dear Autumn Belle, How wonderful to be able to experience through this posting so very many trees and shrubs, as well as perennials, which are quite beyond the scope of what I know. The show appears to have been a most enjoyable place to visit - so much to see, so much to learn!

  11. this is a very nice garden, i feel so relax seeing all the greens around me.. and there are pitcher plant, amazing!! :)

  12. RoseBelle, the 5th picture is the Bird of Paradise flower, named so because the flower looks like the exotic bird with very colourful plumage.

    Catherine Howard, many species of strelitzias are native to South Africa.

    Edith, the Bird of Paradise flower will make a wonderful addition to your vase of cut flowers.

    SK, welcome to My Nice Garden. Glad to know that you find the greenery very relaxing.

  13. Thank you for being such a wonderful "flora guide"! There are many plants which I have not seen before and their names, goodness, some of them got my tongue twisted! Just kidding! I like the fan palm which usually can be seen in big garden areas or landscaping grounds. The heliconia vellerigera (you wouldn't want to hear me say that out loud!) is really interesting! Thanks for the great photos. Have a good weekend!

  14. Aaron, you mean the pitcher plant is N. sibuyanensis? But the plant label says it is N. rajah. There is only one pitcher plant at that location where I took the picture. Anyway it would be more appropriate for them to exhibit our own Malaysian specialty.

    Kitchen flavours, maybe you can use some of the coconuts and banana leaves here for cooking. I do agree that scientific names are sometimes difficult to pronounce, hence we have common names.

  15. I think I could have spent hours there, examining all of those fabulous exotic plants. And I might have had to rest a bit in one of those bamboo chairs — what an idyllic setting. I am glad you took time to visit this display and to share with us.

  16. The staghorn is amazing! I'm happy you found our blog too :) Your pictures are fabulous.

  17. Hi Autumn Belle so many exotic, beautiful and exciting plants you are showing. I thought first it was in your garden. Probably you have a similar garden. I love this style. It is very liveable. I can grow some tropical plants but not everything as my climate is subtropical. Cheers. T.

  18. I have always been fascinated by pitcher plants.

    I like the pink ginger....very delicate and lovely!

  19. What amazing and exotic plants you've shared! I can't imagine being able to attend a garden exhibit like that. The pitcher plants are neat.

  20. The bamboo loungers were a new sighting for me. They looked very comfortable, too, which is always a plus in outdoor furniture. As for the plants, besides the few I recognized (as houseplants here where I live) most of the rest were surprises. Very exotic!

    Christine in Alaska, very unexotic

  21. These tropics are my kind of place. How I would love to take an entire day and just explore there. Your photos and information are so inviting and welcome. Thank you.

  22. Autumn Belle, what a fascinating post! It was so enjoyable seeing all of the wonderful plants you have; the bananas, the bird of paradise, just lovely!

    I will be back! Karen

  23. Deb, Megan, Titania, Rosey, Suzy, Christine B, Poetic Shutterbug, Karen. Thank you very much for the nice comments.

    Aaron, thank you very much for coming back again to let me know. I certainly believe you as you are an expert here. I have amended my post accordingly.

  24. Everything looks so lush exotic and beautiful. A far cry from my dried up northern garden not used to all the heat and lack of water.

  25. SIMPLY...


  26. Fantastic show of the most exotic flowers and such a wonderful variety. Thanks for sharing.
    An English Girl Rambles

  27. What an amazing and beautiful pictoral journey you took me on. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Many of the plants were not totally new to me because I have been blessed to do a good bit of world travel - in far flung places which include the equator, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, the islands of the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico and its rainforest, Hawaii. It was fun to see these plants again since, of left, I've been more in Europe and I live in northern California. You did an excellent job of photography and teaching as well.

  28. Hi Autumn. What a fantastic tour.The Nepenthes sibuyanesis is so fascinating. I love the foliage and the fuzzy blooms on the Heliconia vellerigera. Just beautiful!

  29. your post today shows a very different garden style from mine...I LOVE it! very beautiful...I could not grow any of these plants outside here...they are all just for indoors here...damn harsh winters! lol

  30. The heliconia is magnificent.

    Lovely blooms

    Moon Flower

  31. What a beautiful place to visit! Love all the flowers. Thank you for sharing information and beautiful photos. I enjoyed it so much.

  32. The wonderful flora of a tropical garden!! Great pictures!!
    Thank you for sharing.

  33. Thanks for your knowledgeable information! I did learn a lot from your blog!

  34. Autumn Belle, i've been absent from posting again. It's also been awhile since i visited garden shows, i wasnt able to view it here last time. How i wish we in our countries have gardens perennially designed for viewers as they do in garden shows, just like in temperate country gardens. Then it will become famous also thru time. There are some gardens but they are mostly forest trees with limited ornamental plants. Maybe it is difficult and expensive to maintain, so our countries are not keen on those. I am also glad you already talk like an expert, hehe. One of them is by writing the Sci names perfectly. Congratulations! hehehe.

  35. Since I live and practice GARDENING with capital letters a mile away from the
    ATLANTIC OCEAN, these plants, bushes, palms, are forbidden for being invasive, water, maintenance and humidity needs.

    However, some are really beautiful.

  36. You certainly covered a lot of ground during the Floria event. So many wonderful pics to showcase the tropical beauties. Bravo!

  37. too bad the birds of paradise aren't as lively anymore

  38. Wow! Just followed through the whole wonderful series you've presented on Floria 2010 in one seating and enjoyed them tremendously! Thank you so much for taking us along the awesome garden tours and sharing such wonderful details. I can see that you've put much effort in your lovely posts with great writing style, lots of plant info that's educative and intriguing and packed with exceptionally large photos to give us much to appreciate and be awed with the wonders of nature and the ingenuity of humans. You're a gem of a friend, Autumn Belle! I salute you! :)


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