Monday, 27 December 2010

coastal plants

Over the Christmas holiday, I partook in a reef walk at Sentosa. The area I was checking out was flanked by tall cliffs which had all sorts of plants growing on it. Apart from the N. Rafflesiana, I have not been able to positively identify the rest, some of which have thick, shiny and waxy leaves to deal with the constant salt spray. I should start focusing more on our coastal plants, in particular our mangroves which are increasingly becoming endangered.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

afgekia update

I saw this Afgekia growing very well on a trellis at the hort park. In fact, the car park area there is lined with different sorts of creepers on metal trellises. It's really good that they have these as it gives people like me ideas as to the type of creeper I want, and the location I intend to grow it. Seeing how dense the foliage can get, I think the Afgekia will do well on a fence or a green wall at my new place. Trellises are better left for plants with hanging flowers like the jade vine.

Alpinia pleuranthodium (pink pearls)

This is one of the lesser known or seen alpinias. I chanced upon this growing at the botanic gardens several months ago. It's not a frequent bloomer, but like many alpinias, it has a gingery fragrance. Unfortunately, not a lot is known about this plant.

alpinia formosana (pinstripe ginger)

Whilst potting around the garden, I noticed that my Alpinia fomorsana was blooming for the very first time. I've grown mine from a rhizome (which I imported from Aloha) in a pot for the last two years. The plant is about 1.2 to 1.5 metres tall and appears to do very well in our climate. The flowers are porcelain white with pink tips and have a strong gingery fragrance. However, unlike it's showy cousins the alpinia zerumbet, this species is grown more for its outstanding foliage consisting of glossy green leaves with fine white pinstriping. It grows well in pots, but probably produces larger inflorescences if grown in the ground. This species is often mistaken for the Alpinia vittata which is quite common in our nursery trade.