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.

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Malaysian Flora USDA Zone 11
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Torenia Fournieri Tale

This is my Torenia fournieri plant. My brother's neighbour in Ipoh gave it to me. She just pulled a seedling out from the ground and put it into a plastic bag with a little bit of water. Then it travelled all the way back to my home garden which is about 205 km or 2.5 hrs' drive by car.  It was in the plastic bag for 2 days before I planted it in a flower pot. It lived!

I started with a single blue Torenia. It had bloomed and died and disappeared from my garden with no offspring. Months later, I begin to notice baby plants near the area where I had placed my pot of Torenia plants. I had planted a blue Torenia but soon I was pleasantly surprised to find some pink ones too. I have 2 colours now. Ms Neighbour did inform me that she has the blue and pink ones in her garden. When she gave the seedling to me, she didn't know what colour the flowers will be.

Now, I am wondering how can a blue flower parent give rise to pink flower plants?
Did the seeds of the pink torenia came along with the blue plant?

After all of my second generation of torenias had died back, my garden was completely devoid of torenia plants for a few months. So I went shopping. The above was planted from a seedling purchased from a nursery.

Scientific name: Torenia fournieri
Common name: Wishbone flower, Bluewings
Chinese name: 蓝猪耳 (blue pig's ears)
Family: Scrophulariaceae
(same group with Snapdragons and Foxgloves, perennial plants in the Figwort family)
Origin: Indo-China

The name Torenia fournieri was given by Linnaeus, the father of modern taxonomy after a contemporary Swedish clergyman, Olaf Toren and also in honour of French botanist Pierre Fournier.

“My Torenia Fournieri Tale”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on October 10th, 2010.

A torenia seed has found its way into my potted pineapple plant. It is now the pineapple's room mate.
Hey, I think they look good as a couple!

According to the book "Tropical Horticulture and Gardening" by Dr. Francis Ng, this species of torenia tends to propagate itself by small seeds that are moved about by rain splash and perhaps by insects.

As for me, I have never seen their seeds or know how the seeds look like.

Now, this is supposed to be my potted kaffir lime plant. I didn't plant a torenia here.

I grow torenias in my front yard. Somehow, some seeds have spread all the way to the backyard where I have my vegetable garden. It has now taken up the whole space of the kaffir lime plant. Can you see the poor lone stalk of kaffir lime leaves jutting out on the left side? Do you think the kaffir lime will mind?

In life, have you come accross someone who moved into your abode without asking and and then proceed to share everything that you own?

Yahoo! Today I am posting this at 10:10am on 101010, i.e. October 10th 2010 at 10:10am. In Malaysia, many couples are tying the knot on this day. Today is supposed to be a very auspicious day for marriage with 10 signifying maximum or perfect 10! And this day only occurs once in a hundred years. Also, many people are planning some events to make this day memorable.  How about you?

Wishing you many happy days of perfect 10s !
Happy Thanksgiving Day, Oct 11th to my Canadian friends!

Thank you very much to Florentyne from Poland of Groszki i róże... blog for being my 201st follower. Welcome to My Nice Garden!

This is my entry for Today's Flowers, the link is here.


  1. Your garden is full with beautiful Torenia! I have the blue one in my garden right now and i thought it was courtesy of the birds but it is not? Ha, they propagate itself! Surprised to know that. I had this plant 2 years ago and it died back. Only recently that i found one in the shade bed.. After 2 years! Aint it's amazing? Thought of keeping the seeds this time... but where to find the seeds? haha
    Happy 101010 to you too, have a great day!

  2. Happy 10/10/10!

    Your torenias look lovely. Mines are all gone now, just a couple of dried sticks and some green leafs remain.

    I was also looking for seeds all summer but I didn't find any. I have no idea how they look, the dried buds doesn't seem to have anything seed looking on them.

  3. I was on my way home from Cerok Tokun at the time 2010-10-10, 10:10 am.

    So, have not read your post on time.

    Have a nice Sunday.

  4. Beautiful and colorful. I think my wife will like Torenias. *keeping fingers crossed that they are available locally*

  5. This flower is very cute. I like the one sharing with Mr. Pineapple.

  6. It is good when flowers that you love propagate themselves and re-seed for you! I like both colors but I am partial to pink.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge on Torenias. I have grown snapdragons but never knew they were "related."

  7. those are glorious blooms. i always learn something new when i visit you. :)

  8. oh wow, the blue is beautiful but the pink is exquisite! what lovely flowers you have in your garden!

  9. All are impressive shots of gorgeous blooms!

  10. You have it all perfect 10.10.10..10 for the pixz, 10 for the write ups and 10 for the beauty of Torenia Fournieri..tQ

  11. very very beautiful photos. I Love your post.

    Happy 10.10.10!

  12. I hate to throw cold water on a beautiful flower but his one isINVASIVE in Central Florida. many years ago, early 1970's, I was working at Disney and they planted them inplanter boxes at the ticket center to the Magic KIngdom. The next year they were in the planters again, inthe cracks in the pavement and then in everyspot they could find a place to put down a root. Beautiful, but beware.

  13. Pink or blue, they are exquisite flowers. Thank you for this very interesting post. Have a great week.

  14. I like this plant in both colours!

  15. I have no experience with torenia, but think I like the pink better - it just glows. Like the other commenter wrote, I always learn something new in your blog.

  16. Nice flowers and I enjoyed my visit to your blog.

  17. I hope you dont mind, but i dont like them specifically of their invasive habit like that. There's a lot of them in the office grounds too. YOur kafir lime don't like a promiscuous mate in the pot! It will be deprived of food and later on with sunlight. They are competing for much needed resources. It will not be bothered much if only one slow-growing invader will be there, but with them so prolific, the lime might be sad and eventually show you its disgust.

  18. You have many Torenia now! They seems to enjoy your garden very much!
    I have purple and pink Torenia too. Hope they will propogate well like yours!

  19. The pink color rarely's nice!

  20. Hi Autumn Belle, I bought the pink one before. After a while, the blue one appeared on its own. The seeds must be very tiny. I haven't seen them before either.

  21. Hi Autumn Belle, It is pretty exciting to get pink from blue! Both are such pretty annuals. The tiny seeds must catapult themselves into the pots which is quite ingenious. Many years I grew the blue Torenia. I have never seen the pink one. the flowers look so velvety and exotic. Perhaps one of the"must have" annuals?

  22. Love the last shot of the pink torenia - it's beautiful!

  23. Hi Belle,

    Thank you for your lovely comment in my blog.
    I would like to share few matters concerning torenia.
    You will find them suddenly making their appearance every Sept-Dec. By January - you will find them slowly dying away and disappearing.

    They will reappear from all the pots that had visited or dwelled again next year but its Sept-Dec.
    These plants are suspectable to whitefly and mealybug - so do watch out for the invasion.

    As for the seeds - ok..
    Look very carefully at the spend flowers, you will find the seeds like grains of dust - something like a bag cupped inside the sepal.
    Looked for the dried ones. Practically all the sepals have 100
    of seeds.

    I too have got few different varieties from the same plant - I guess it must be the cross genes thing. Sometimes I get the blue & whites too. Right now all my wishbones are growing way below the monsoon drain along my garden.

    Somehow I find them a nice surprise but they are very short-lived. They just tend to die immediately if you forgot to water your garden even for one day.

  24. Looks like they are comfortable in your garden, and invading all space! lol

  25. I have only seen that grade of blues here, with Commelina elegans and Clitorea ternatea. Your collection is out of orbit.

    Congratulations! Blue is one of the scarce, difficult colors to add in any garden.

  26. I have this plant too, a few colours of them. These are very easy to grow. I find them growing everywhere! The seeds are very light, so when it dries, it gets blown easily away and it grows everywhere. So I collect the baby plants and grow them in a pot, and I have a new pot of plants! Wish I could do this with all the plants!

  27. I have not seen Torenias before. They are quite pretty. I know that with some plants the seeds don't come true and look like the parent. Perhaps this is the case with your Torenia.

  28. Your torenias are lovely. Wishing many happy days of perfect 10s to you as well.

  29. AB, You are brilliant! I totally agree with your deduction on cross pollination for quality seeds. I have posted an update on my post and mentioned your lovely name twice. Thank you.

  30. It is a very pretty flower Autumn. It is amazing how far some seeds can spread.

  31. Milka, fer, Rainfield, Bom, Malay-Kadazan girl, Rosey, Life Ramblings, Luna Miranda, BJ Roan, Bananaz, Dani, Denise, EG Wow, Anonymous, Babara, Chubbskulit, Digital Flower Pictures, Andrea, Malar, Orchid de dangau, One, Titania, James, Carletta, Jama, Antigonum Cajan, Kitchen Flavours, Patty, Jenifer, Melanie.

    Thank you very much for the visit and nice comments. I am so glad you have given me your opinions about your encounter with this plant.

    Special thanks to Anonymous for highlighting its tendency towards invasiveness in Central Florida. I do agree that some gardeners find them invasive because they seem to appear everywhere and difficult to eradicate completely. In my garden, they are always welcomed because at the moment I can’t have enough of them yet. They are easily removed and also easy to transplant to wherever I want to place them. When they sprout out from the ground, they are like free gifts waiting to be enjoyed. I don’t even have to germinate any seeds or cuttings!

    James, thanks for the informative details. Now, I understand their behavior more.


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