Monday, April 25, 2011

Wildflower Wednesday - Simpoh Air










Simpoh Air scientifically known as Dillenia Suffruiticosa as illustrated in David T. Jones book Flora of Malaysia Illustrated






Malaysian wild flowers are really wild. Usually they are found in dense secondary vegetation (belukar), along the margins of forests and swamps in the lowlands and hills. As new highways are built across the country, cutting across mountains and forests, these can easily seen by the roadside as we pass up and down the highways. They are not found in the meadows or lawns of gardens and not as pretty like those from the temperate countries. Though some of these wild flowers are now being cultivated as ornamental plants to grace our home and gardens for example: Melastoma Malabathricum (Sendudok) with its many varieties (I have white and vivid blue/purple varieties in my garden) and Cassia Alata or Candlestick Cassia (Gelenggang), to name the two common ones.





Today Im featuring one those wild flowers called locally as Simpoh Air or the Dillenia Suffruiticosa. 'Suf' meaning under and 'fruiticosa' as shrubby which characterise the bushy growth habit of the plant.





its bright and broad yellow bloom






black ants love these yellow flowers for their sweet nectar...












the bushy plant are easily distinguished from other belukar vegetation by their everflowering yellow blooms (photos were taken by the roadside in Sepang)











flower buds covered by red sepals










the star-like pink fruits contain seeds enveloped by a fleshy red-coloured arils which are very attractive to birds which help to disperse the seeds across the landscape





The woods are good for making tools or fuel like in India. In some countries, the tannin is used as animal hide tanning and it is sold commercially. Simpoh Air is used to staunch bleeding wounds in those days where hospital and medical facilities were scarce and the fruit pulp was used for washing hair. I remember when I was a kid, their big broad leaves were used as wrappers of meat and vegetables in the wet market. And if Im not mistaken locally, they were also used to wrap fermented soya bean to make tempe but nowadays, I see the tempe are wrapped in banana leaves which are more readily available.



Im linking this to Gail's Wildflower Wednesday (Clay and Limestone) to see her pretty wild flowers!

21 comments:

Malar said...

beautiful flower! I think i have seen this Simpoh Air before in my hometown!
I didn't know it's so useful!

milka said...

Erm? What is this? Seeds look so 'ET'? First time i see this plant. The first 2 photos look like Mickey Mouse flowers.

MIA for so long ah, mana makan angin? Hehe. Welcome back.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Rasanya macam pernah nampak pokok ni kat kampung mak bila redah kebun getah yang dah tak terkemas. Klasik nama bunga ni Simpoh Air.

rainfield61 said...

I am glad to learn something from you.

kitchen flavours said...

I have seen these flowers before, always along the highway among the many trees growing and very scarce. I have always love to see the pretty flower against the bushy background of wild plants. Never knew the name. Did not notice the pink ones before, only the yellow. Thanks for sharing and enlightening on this beautiful wild flower!

perennialgardener said...

I've never seen or heard of this particular wild flower before, thanks for sharing some info & pretty pics. :)

Fifi Flowers said...

BEAUTIFUL... sooo unusual!!!

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

I am so in awe of the plants that grow in Malaysia. They are so different than here and so colorful. Your plants that are wild are so beautiful and not like our weed like natives. We do have some natives that are pretty in flower, but many have very homely foliage.

One said...

Thanks for the ID. I have seen this plant often but didn't know that it is such a useful plant. Every time I see it, I would be thinking why such big leaves. If the leaves are smaller I would like to grow them too since the flowers and pink fruits are beautiful.

p3chandan said...

Malar, Milka..the plant is seen on wasteland or secondary forests, and think its uses are not explored here. That was what I thought Milka, when I saw the flowers too, a bit like the Mickey Mouse plant only its much much bigger! Lately have been busy, didnt go for holidays lor..a lot of weddings, sickness...some social obligations I cant ignore.

Diana, dia memang tumbuh kat tepi2 hutan belukar, tepi2 jalan.Nama tu mesti orang dolu2 yang bagi kan,tak tau ape makna dia..

You are most welcome Rainfield, Fifi!

p3chandan said...

Joy, Raquel thank you.To us the plant is just a weed or wild flowers we see by the roadside, but to some countries they are very useful commercially.

Donna thank you, but Im in awe of your lovely weeds or native plants that grow in gardens in your part of the world! I couldnt differentiate if you dont tell,whether they are garden plants or weeds since most of them are so bright and beautiful!

One, the plant can be invasive.Though nowadays, some new housing estates are growing them for shades, but must trim them regularly so that the branches grow upward and not become dense bushes.

garden girl said...

Both the flowers and the fruits are really lovely! Such a useful plant!

Elephant's Eye said...

Good to hear that they are now being used as gardenworthy plants. Between the flowers, the seeds and the dramatic foliage they earn a place.

TheGardeningBlog said...

A lovely flower!!

Masha said...

Thank you for showing such an unusual flower. It was very interesting to learn about it, and I love the picture of the seedpod!

Sheila said...

I think you are underestimating the beauty of your native wildflowers! Perhaps it's human nature to think that more interesting/beautiful flora grows elsewhere? It's only been recently that people in the States started appreciating our native flora - and still, most of the plants we see available for sale at nurseries/garden centers originate in other countries!

PlantPostings said...

Simpoh Air. Seems to me I've heard of it before, but maybe listed as an ingredient in botanical products. Lovely, lovely plant and flower! Thanks for all the great info!

*The Old Geezer said...

I learned something new today. Thank you :-)

p3chandan said...

Thank you all..Gardengirl,Diana,TheGardeningBlog, Masha, Shiela,Beth and Ron..sorry for the late reply, my pc went kaput when it was struck by lightning on Thursday evening and have to wait for my IT savvy son to come back for the weekend to repair it!

One said...

Hi! I can meet you in Damansara Uptown one of the mornings so that it is more convenient for you.

My garden haven said...

Hi p3, good collection of simpoh photos. I thought I had left a comment here, but it isn't here. Anyway, I'm cordially inviting you to come join my new MISSION QUITE POSSIBLE meme in my other blog. It is quite a tough mission, but One has accomplished hers!
Rosie