Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lok what?

Its called Lokwat or Loquat or pi pa ye (China) or formally called Eriobotrya Japonica, a fruit tree belonging to the family Rosaceae, indigenous to southeastern China. I have not seen the flowers or the fruits but I got the plant, given by a good friend who planted it from seeds given by a Chinese friend. Actually I didnt even bother to fertilise it and left it on its own. Surprisingly its grown taller and taller!
my Loquat plant still in its original pot left on its own...

the original shoot was broken by a strong wind and
since then has grown 3 new branches

these are the Loquat flowers which give a heady aroma that can
be smelled from a distance (Wikipedia)

Loquat fruits (Wikipedia)

Loquat fruits are rounded, oval or pear shaped, with orange, yellow or red colour skin which can be peeled manually when ripe...the flesh is white, yellow or orange, succulent, tangy and sweet just like its distant relative the apple..with a high sugar, acid and pectin content. Can be eaten as fresh fruits, mix with other fruits in fruit salads or can be made into jelly, jam, chutney or light wine. Loquat fruits are also made into syrup in Chinese medicines just like a cough drop. The fruits if eaten in quantity have a gentle sedative effect which can last around 24 hours. It seems the seeds (pips) and the young shoots are poisonous which have some chemicals that release low content of cynide but because of its low content and its bitter taste, normally prevent us from consuming it so not enough to cause any harm.

Loquat tree with lots of fruits (Wikipedia)....cant wait for my own
Loquat to flower and bear fruits!

Now that I know what Loquat fruit looks like, I must give a lot more attention to my own Loquat plant so that it will bear lots of flowers and fruits. Thank you my friend Prof Abdul Wahab Arbain for giving me that plant.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

You are blue..and Im purple with envy!

Just realised today, Im surrounded by a lot of blue and purple blooms in my garden!
Well, I dont mind that at all because I just love them...though I dont know some of their names..

glory, glory, morning glory!

cute blue flowers almost like the Japenese rose but not...

yesterday, today and tomorrow flowers with different shades of purple
and with a bit of sweet scents at night

a type of cekur, a herb I think, with small purple flowers but the tubers are usually used
as traditional medicine and the leaves are used in nasi ulam

the blue flowers of coleus (pokok ati-ati)

not sure of its name..can it be African Daisy?

very light purple petunia

the purple flower of eggplant

delicate, paper thin flower of water hyacinth

dark purple flowers of angelonia

dark purple of petunia

So what about your garden...any particular colour that dominates or are they filled with a good mix of vibrant colours?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vomit fruit

Yes it does smell like vomit and who would have thought that you could actually eat them! Well I did...with salt....just like eating young mango!
Vomit fruit, cheese fruit, noni (Hawaii), Indian mulberry, beach mulberry, nunaakai (Tamil Naidu, India) are some of the names given to mengkudu (Malaysia), Morinda citrifolia, a tree in the coffee family Rubiaceae, a native from South East Asia to Australia (from Wikipedia). The plant is shady, It bears flowers and fruit all year round with a pungent smell more like vomit when ripe.

My late father planted this tree so that he can have abundant supply of mengkudu leaves to wrap the tungku (hot brick) for his 4 daughters' post maternity confinement! The kampung folks knew so much about the medicinal benefits of this great plant. I started eating the young leaves with sambal belachan as ulam since in primary school when balik kampung for school holidays. Now we have more than one plants around the house, which are becoming a bit of a nuisance because they shed their leaves all the time, and the ripe fruits falling on the ground, are germinating new seedlings all over the garden!

ripe mengkudu fruits smelling like vomit falling on the ground, can
be a health hazard if you step on it and slip..

the not so ripe fruit can be eaten with salt just like mango..

young mengkudu fruit

mengkudu white flowers

my shady mengkudu tree where I can sit to rest
and a shady place for my new seedlings...

Here are some of the medicinal values of mengkudu plants. The young leaves although blanched in hot water are still bitter to eat but said to lower your blood pressure. The ripe fruits are blended and strained for the juice, a good healthy drink..must add a bit of sugar or you can't drink it! And you have to pinch your nose to drink it....Aptly named vomit fruit!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hey beautiful!

The rains make the garden looks greener, fresher, dewy...expecting some garden fairies among them...haha...And the WEEDS are having such a roaring field day in my garden! Both the grass and the weeds are looking lushier, healthier than my plants, especially with the long festive celebrations, Im yet in the mood to do the weeding....
But this morning, while hanging out my clothes to dry in my backyard, I noticed clumps of weeds growing out of cement cracks there...and look at that...with such sweet lilac flowers! Are they really weeds or some new flower seeds brought by the birds?

hey beautiful...

clumps of them growing out from cement cracks...

will try to plant them in hanging pots....

...or as garden hedges...such delicate colour and flowers...