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, August 19, 2010

The Yellow Saraca thaipingensis Tree At KLCC Park

This is one of our gorgeous indigeneous trees that are preserved at the beautiful KLCC Park. It bears bright yellow flowers that appear intermitently on the trunk and larger branches. The flowers which turn from yellow to orange to red as they mature look like big cauliflowers. These 'cauliflowers' measure up to 17 inches. The tree is medium sized. It can grow to a height of 15-20 ft with a spread of 8-10ft.

“The Yellow Saraca Thaipingensis Tree At KLCC Park”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on August 19th, 2010.

Scientific name: Saraca cauliflora
Synonym: Saraca thaipingensis
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Native to: Malaysia and Indonesia

Common names: Yellow Saraca, Yellow Ashoka, Handkerchief Tree
Malay name: Pokok Gapis or Gapis tree

Category: Evergreen tree

The signage at KLCC Park reads as follows:
Habitat: Found along forest streams, in damp but well-drained grounds.
The tree is from the Taiping town (in Perak state, Malaysia)
A spreading tree that grows up to 10m with a dense crown. It has large leaves.
Flowers are clustered, apricot-yellow, fragrant.
Seedpods are large, flat and dark-purplish red.
The timber is used for temporary light constructions, packing cases and wooden pallets.
The roots are used to make 'parang' (a Malaysian machete) handles.

This tree is grown for its beautiful foliage and flowers. The new leaves are pink or purplish in colour and they are produced in flushes, appearing soft and hanging limply from the branches, earning the name "Hankerchief Trees". Later the leaves will stiffen up and turn green within a week or so.

Grow in full sun to partial shade. Propagation is by seeds. Can be grown as an ornamental tree in gardens for its foliage and flowers.

I extremely delighted to receive a bounty of seeds sent by Wendy of Greenish Thumb blog. I was one of the lucky recipient of her First Blogiversary Giveaway. I am ecstatic and jumping with joy. Yay, yay yay! This is the first time I am receiving real seeds sent all the way from a foreign country, i.e. from Maryland, USA! Wow!

Today, I would like to dedicate this post to Wendy and I also have a Chinese legend to tell.

This picture was taken at the Art Gallery of Perak Cave Temple, Ipoh.
It is a hand painting by an artist and it depicts a fairy from heaven.

A Chinese Valentine's Day: A Late Summer's Tale
On Monday, August 16th, 2010 was the 7th day of the 7th month of the Lunar Calendar. Long ago, until the mid 20th century, we celebrated this 'Valentine' festival of romance between "The Cowherd And The Weaving Girl".

It is the story of a fairy princess from heaven, the grandaughter of the Heavenly Mother. She was Weaving Girl and the clouds in the sky are her handiwork. Bored with life in heaven, one day, she got into mischief and came down to earth with her 6 other sisters. She was the 7th and the youngest. In the events that followed, she was accidently left on Earth where she met a young and handsome cowherd called Niulang and both of them fell in love. They had a pair of kids, a girl and a boy but their happiness was shortlived. As it was against the rule for a Fairy Princess to marry an earthling, The Heavenly Mother was very angry when she found out and the pair of lovers were forcefully separated. Seeing the heartbroken Niulang, his ox began to talk and asked Niulang to slaughter it and put on its hide so that he could fly to heaven. When Niulang reached heaven, The Heavenly Mother was very angry to see him. She used her hairpin to scratch a wide river in the sky to separate the lovers. The river became The Milky Way with Weaving Girl on one side (the star Vega) and Niulang (the star Altair) taking care of their kids on the other side, forever separated. The magpies took pity on them and once a year, all the magpies in the world will gather together to form a bridge in heaven so that the lovers can be reunited again on this single night of the 7th day of the 7th lunar month.

You can find more details about this 2,000 year old legend by clicking this link: Wikipedia, Qixi Festival, (七夕节).

In the prayer ritual which my grandmother told me, ladies used makeup, flowers, fruits, sweet cakes and sewing/embroidery kits to pray to Weaving Girl, wishing to be blessed with beauty, excellent living skills and a good husband. Gentlemen used clothes, comb and wallet to pray to Niulang for good looks, job opportunities, money and a good wife.

At this age and time, this festival is no longer practised and almost forgotten in Malaysia but it is still celebrated in Taiwan, China and maybe Hong Kong.

We may see the story retold in movies and drama serials. In the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid, Jackie Chan's character attends this festival with his female friend and sees the story reenacted in a shadow play.

This is my entry for Fertilizer Friday. To visit other great FF posts, please visit here.
This is also my entry for Today's Flowers, please visit here.


  1. Great post. Ive heard this story because I lived in China for a year. Will go again in two weeks.

    I love this tree. To me the flowers look like small tree tops. It's like trees on a tree. Sweet. And that splashing orange is just wonderful.Thank you so much.

  2. Dear Autumn Belle, What an amazing tree, about which I have not heard before now. I do think that trees are the purest form of gardening.

  3. As i put in FB, Saraca is considered the King of the Flowering Plants. We have a nicely flowering species here in the University near the administration building, and we always appreciate its flowers. However, i forgot the species but its not the same as this in KLCC. I also saw that when we were there. If Saraca is the King, do you know which is the Queen? Anybody who knows?

  4. Thanks Autumn Belle. Lovely photos. Now I know how a Taiping tree looks like. Congrats with the seeds. That looks like a whole lot of seeds and cards...

  5. The tree is related to bean (legume) very interesting although it does not look like one.Happy sowing with your new seeds.

  6. This story has long been forgotten.

    Ask the youngster, who else know about it.

    This proves we are getting older.

  7. What beautiful photos of the flowering tree Autumn Belle! I loved standing under them with you. I will never look at the river of Milky Way in the same light again. Thinking of it separating lovers is sad. What a magical river though! ;>)

  8. Beautiful! Love the first pix the nice big bunch of flowers tQ

  9. That tree is gorgeous Autumn. The flowers are a very pretty colour. I love how different cultures have different stories to explain things.

  10. Thanks for sharing this tree . It is so pretty. It reminds me of some underwater sea coral.

  11. aloha,

    that is really an amazing many beautiful flowers from one stem and the color is so vivid!

  12. Congratulations for winning the seeds! Cool! Yes, I have seen this tree, the clusters of flowers are really outstanding! Look at the bees, the flowers must be real sweet too!

  13. I used to work somewhere near KLCC, usually I went walking at least 2 rounds on my way back home at the park n Ive seen this tree n some others which are rarely seen elsewhere. Thank you for sharing photos of the blooms which reminded me of old times at the park..

  14. I have been to the park few times before but never really take note of this plant!
    Congratulation on the seeds winning!
    The story is really cool & romatic!

  15. Thanks for sharing the age old legend - its really interesting to note all of this rich diversive cultural stories where during these modern times - one rarely come across such stories.
    Do you know any stories concerning Buddha Jasmine?

  16. Gorgeous Saraca! It's been a while since I took a walk in the park. You have a great story to share - someone will have to tell it for it to be remembered. And it's you! Thanks.

  17. Hi Autumn. What gorgeous blooms. A feast for the bees.
    Congrats on your win and enjoy experimenting with all those seeds.

  18. What an amazing and beautiful tree. Something we would not see here.

  19. Oh my, what absolutely lovely coloring! Thank you for sharing these delightful flowers!

  20. wow the yellow is so vibrant and looks like pompoms, cute!

  21. The yellow Saraca blooms are stunning!

    I also enjoyed the story. We were talking about this 7th Day of the 7th Month while we were in the car on Sun nite. But none of us know the actual story of this. I will share this with my friends. Thanks!

  22. Beautiful tree! And very pretty story. I've never heard it. Thank you for sharing with us.

  23. What a beautiful tree! My first time to see such kind. I love the yellow flowers. Great photos. Thank you for sharing.

    Have a great week.

  24. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post, Autumn Belle ... hardly know where to begin. The tree, stunning, and the Summer Tale, delightful.

  25. The tree looks so exotic, unusual and beautiful. You show so many plants that we don't have here, Autumn Belle. Thank you for that!

  26. Wow! very beautiful ornamental flower trees.

  27. Those trees are beautiful - not just the flowers, but the whole tree! The flowers are so unusual!

  28. What an amazing tree, and such wonderful photos of it!
    Amazing... L

  29. These are so beautiful! there's one tree near my house, within the compound of a Chinese Temple ( there's 2 actually, very near to one another). Now I know it's name, thanks to you.

  30. wow, the flowers are stunning! the tree must be quite beautiful when the flowers are in bloom.

  31. AB, first, that tree is spectacular! I love everything about it! And the seeds...lucky, lucky you!! Congratulations!
    Secondly, what a sad, but beautiful story. Like so many folk stories, this one is getting lost in modern culture. I'm so glad you told it!

  32. Have not seen anything like it, Autumn Belle, it's lovely! :)

  33. Never in my life did I think that there was such a tree!!! what a beautiful thing! I love the color..and they seem to have such great shape!
    thanks for sharing and linking in to FF this week...I hope to see you again soon!

  34. Hi Autumn! Was googling for Saraca flower & was delighted to read up the info which was well covered by u! Also enjoyed the interesting tale wh I've no clue till now. Thanks, Jackie Teoh Hooi Koon

    1. Hi Jackie, TQVM for the feedback! Appreciate it very much.


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