As you traverse into the rain forests of Western Ghats, you will notice orchids, lichens, ferns, and moss attached to tree trunks and branches. In the midst of these green epiphytes I noticed red flowers in bloom on tree branches. Took pictures of these and identified them as Aeschynanathus Perrottetti also known as Lipstick plant.
Aeschynanthus Perrottetti and Aeschynanathus Radicans belongs to Gesneriaceae family and is an epiphyte that grows on branches in the rain forest. The lipstick plant is like any other epiphyte and takes nourishment from fallen leaves and twigs that accumulate in the crevices of branches. It is native to the Java and Malaysian peninsula.
Bougainvillea is the most colorful plant and also the most preferred plant by gardeners worldwide.
Bougainvillea belongs to Nyctaginaceae family. It is a native of Brazil and was discovered in 1760 by botanist Philibert Commerson. He named it Bougainvillea in honor of his friend, who was a multi-faceted person from Canada Louis A. de Bougainville. The flower is also referred to as paper flowers.
The plant is an evergreen vine and a mature plant’s stems can become knotted and wooded. Bougainvillea grows to a height of 10 – 15 feet. The branches have thorns and cascade with cluster of flowers. Hence it is preferred to grow n hanging baskets, on hedges, or on arches. Bougainvillea can be trained as a tree or a bonsai.
The flower bunches of this creeper is like a readymade delicate garland. It is very ideal to grow this creeper on pergolas and to line the compound. It adds a bonhomie feeling to the house or the garden.
I came across this vine in Lalbagh, Bangalore climbing up the nursery mesh with Red flowers. Red Passion Flower is very similar to the Purple Passion flower and belongs to the same family Pssifloraceae. The botanical name is Passiflora coccinea.
Red Passion Flower is native of South America and is widely grown in other tropical regions. They are planted on hedges and fences. Passion fruit obtained from this plant is ovoid, about 5 to 6 cm in diameter.
I rushed to Lal Bagh, when I read the news that the rare Philippine Jade Vine also known as Emerald Vine had bloomed. It was a rare sight of this bloom with an extremely rare color.
The Jade Vine is indigenous to Philippines tropical forests and the botanical name is Strongylodon Macrobotrys belonging to Fabaceae/Leguminosae family. In Philippines it is known as Tayabak. It is a creeper that can grow up to 70 feet in length with large pinnate leaves, and mint green (aquamarine) flowers are 8 cm long with petals like a claw. I was remembering the color of Ganges in some places as she tumbled down the Himalayas. The flowers bunches droop down to 2 – 4 feet in length and they last for 15 to 20 days. Up to 40 – 50 pendulous bunches of flowers bloom in a mature single creeper during the month of November and December in Bangalore.
The other common names of this exotic flower are Tiger Claw, Bachnag (Hindi), Agnisikhe (Kannada), Agnimukhi (Sanskrit). Because of the curious shape and colors of the petals of the glory lily the names in different languages link it to snake, tiger claw, fire flames etc. The botanical name is Gloriosa Superba and belongs to the Liliaceae* family.
Glory Lily is a creeper that climbs up with tendrils formed at the tips of the leaves with an amazing display of flowers. Found in the wild in South India, I have come across this in Bandipur and Masinagudi during monsoons. I also had this rhizome planted in the flower bed and after a few days of continuous rain, the creeper would grow with high speed reaching 5 feet in a matter of few days and burst out into this incredible spidery green flower, which would turn to yellow and then to crimson. In winter and summer the plant is dormant.
Garlic creeper is a delight to grow as it shoots up very fast and when in bloom it is a sight to behold!
The name is derived because the leaves when crushed smells of garlic. The smell is because it contains sulphur compounds like alliin and allyl sulphides that the garlic has.
This plant is a native to Amazon rainforests, but is grown widely in South India. The natives of Amazon use the leaves as a condiment to flavor their food.
It is a beautiful ornamental vine with opposite leaves divided into two ovate leaflets. The flowers are funnel shaped and purple to pale lavender to white, which become lighter as they age.
The vine can grow up to 12 to 14 feet and is propagated from cuttings. It climbs with the help of its long tendrils. It is usually used to decorate the fence, trellis etc., The plant needs to be trimmed after each flowering season. There is no flowering season for this plant as the buds appear after few days of trimming.
This garden plant requires well-drained soil with moderate watering. The vine grows well in full sun to half shade conditions. Medicinal Value:
Garlic vine has a long history of use in herbal medical systems in Peru and Brazil as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic. Indian tribes in Amazon basin use the poultice of bark on bumps, swellings and inflammatory conditions of the skin.
The name of the flower is derived from the Passion of Christ on the cross. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish Christian missionaries discovered this flower and adopted its unique physical structures as symbols of the death of Christ. In North America they are also called the Maypop, the water lemon, and the wild apricot (after its fruit).
Passion flowers are pernnial climbing woody plants, mostly grown in tropical America but with a few species originating in Asia, Australasia and the Polynesioan Islands. They climb by means of coiled tendrils. Many of them have beautiful frangrant flowers and several produce edible fruits.