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. Each of these 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 flower 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.
It is a favorite plant as an ornamental plant because of its unusual flower color. People of Philippines and Hawaii make Lei* using these flowers.
The fruit of the plant weights around 1.5 Kg and each fruit contains 5 – 6 seeds that should be sowed within 9 to 10 days.
The plant can be grown by seeds or by cuttings. Plant the creeper in sunny and moist region with support like a pergola, grilled fence or a tree. Add general fertilizer twice a year.
Insects like aphids, mites, mealy bugs and scale insect might attack the plant. Spray pesticides immediately to control the pests.
*Lei is a Hawaiian word for a garland or wreath.