Monday, January 3, 2011

Travelling out on New Year..

New Year's eve saw me busy at home with a family gathering until past midnight. Then the next day on New Year 2011, saw me travelling out of town to Bentong, Pahang about 2 hours journey. The destination was a place called Mepaga I think, an outskirt of Bentong. Travelling to a new place always keep me on a look out for new plants, trees and sceneries to delight the senses.

I never thought I would actually see this plant after seeing it in Milka's Jishiben, the Mickey Mouse Plant. Before it was featured in her post, I have never seen or heard of it! I was so delighted when I laid my eyes on this plant on new year's day and the owner, a relative gave me two branches to propagate at home!





There were yellow blooms and of course the red blooms...




bunga dedap, Erythrina

Another plant I saw and have known since I was a kid is the Bunga Dedap or scientifically known as Erythrina spp. also known as the Coral tree or the Flame tree because of its mostly red colour of the flowers. Though some species have white, pink, orange or yellow flowers. A genus of a flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae, it has about 130 species throughout tropical and subtropical regions in the world.


The red clusters of the flowers are very eye-catching indeed. The birds and the bees love the sweet nectar, though the beautiful flowers have no sweet scent at all. There is a saying in Malay "laksana si bunga dedap, merah ada berbau tidak" direct translation " like the coral flower, red yes, fragrance, no". It refers to a beautiful female, who is beautiful in the physical sense but without good manners to compliment the beauty.
I love these flowers not only because they are red and gorgeous, they reminded me of my grandma who taught me to eat them as kerabu (salad)! Yes, they can be eaten just like papaya flowers salad, you have to blanche them first, then add pounded dried shrimps, kerisik (roasted coconut) belacan, onions, chillies and squeeze the kasturi lime juice with salt and sugar to taste. Wallaa!!


Those days, these trees are found lining the beaches or river banks but now they are mainly planted in parks, housing estates and on the roadsides. It can be grown by propagating the stem but I have not been successful when I tried a few months back to grow a stem given by a nursery owner, when I told him I was growing it for the edible flowers! You cant find the seedlings in Sg Buloh or elsewhere, I have tried looking for it since....

Come 2011, I have added a few more plants to my list to be planted and nurtured! Happy Gardening in 2011 to all bloggers out there!


13 comments:

milka said...

Happy that you found your Mickey Mouse plant. My daughter actually hates this plant, the 'biji' looks like a dog's kutu very geli she said haha. Hope you succeed in the propagation and have fun looking at the flowers turn into Mickey Mouses ;)

Lady of Leisure said...

happy new year to u and family.. may 2011 bring us brighter tomorrows.. and owh i love yr ati2 so much in the prev entry..

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

It looks like the start of 2011 have been great for you. You got your wish with the Mickey Mouse plant. Oh rupanya ini bunga dedap dalam peribahasa tu, tak pernah tahu. Now I know , thanks:).

rainfield61 said...

What a name, Mickey Mouse Plant, I can find many in Cerok Tokun. The trees are tall.

p3chandan said...

Haha Milka..dog's kutu! Your daughter gave a very cute name for it! Yes Im lucky to get this plant on new year's day and hope Im successful in propagating the stems and have many Mickey Mouses to show to my nephews and nieces!

Thank you Lady, Happy New Year to you too!

Diana, the new year started off nicely for me, so hope it will be great throughout the year too, thanks. Yes, thats the bunga dedap as in the peribahasa, red and gorgeous but no fragrance!

Really Rainfield? That means the trees or shrubs are naturally found in our forest and not imported from the temperate countries. I wonder if they have any medicinal values?

Malar said...

I have heard the "peribahasa" but now i know which is the flower! Great that you have mickey mouse plant in your garden now!

Bangchik said...

Dedap is quite visible at many hills as we pass through highways.. red dots over green.

Stephanie said...

p3chandan, I like coral tree! Love the outstanding red flowers. Oh they are edible? That's great to know. I hope you will find one for your garden soon. It's a beautiful tree. Maybe try propagating again if you still cannot find one at the nurseries.

p3chandan said...

Yes Malar, what a find and all the way from Bentong on new year's day!

Bangchik, when they bloom they can be soo beautiful with their lovely red clusters.

Steph, thank you..Im trying to get one again from the nursery owner.

joey said...

A joy viewing your harvest ... it's so bleak here!

p3chandan said...

Thank you Joey..

My Garden Haven said...

Interesting that there is such a peribahasa...so it is not a compliment to be called bunga dedap.And you are always sharing with us fascinating info about edible plants, thank you.
Rosie

Sunray said...

Interesting plants. Nice photos.

Cher
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