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!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Outdoor Wednesday - Lovely morning!

It rained early in the morning but by 7 am it stopped. Time for my morning walk. But today to another direction since my walking partner Noni, is still recuperating at home. So Im walking from my house to a nearby residential area just 10 mins away, called Taman Kosas. The air felt so fresh after the rain though the road coming out of the residential area was starting to get busy, people rushing to work or sending children to school. How wonderful life is without having to join in the rat race!

the morning sun was just showing itself behind the cloud - the air was so fresh and crisp

water cascading leisurely over the boulders in the river nearby, which is the same river that flows behind my house - the Ampang River

although the skyline is changing fast, the track around the residential area is quite peaceful for a morning walk

majestic willow trees on one side of the river bank behind the Ampang Waterfront, the IN place to chill out (lepak) with rows of restaurants, cafes, furniture shops etc etc...just 15 mins walk from my house

on the other side, cascading bougainvilleas and palm trees are lining the river bank

while walking near the houses, I saw some plants and flowers in their front yards...this is buah kedondong (Spondia dulcis or Ambarella or Malay Apple), sourish fruit which can be eaten fresh with a hot spicy sauce or salt, or it can be pickled in brine and sugar

this petai belalang (Leucaena leucocephala) is found near some secondary jungle or bushes.... the last of a green lung near the houses

betelnut tree bearing a bunch of little fruits

close-up of the betelnuts

spider of the oldest known species of orchid, blooming profusely in front of one house

a shrub of little white flowers found near the roadside, known as Asian rosebay or Tabernaemontana divaricata, a double layered variety, usually these are stringed to make a garland to be worn by Indian ladies on their hair, though it has no sweet fragrance like the jasmine

I saw lots of big bright orange flowers littered under their tree on the sidewalk on my way back

such lovely colour...African Tulip or Spathodea campanulata (thanks Arati for letting me know the name of this lovely flower)
near a modern apartment, lovely sepit udang are flowering, part of a beautiful landscape there

their bright colours are very attractive from far

just next to the apartment which is close by the river bank, I saw these polystyrene containers perched precariously on the narrow ledge, with okra, chilli and some other vegetables being grown by a garden enthusiast, probably one of the residents of that apartment!

this placid river, the Ampang River, is flowing down towards my nice if I can have a small sampan (boat) tied near hear and I can row back to my house!

Lets visit Susan of A Southern Daydreamer for more outdoor Wednesday postings!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Monday's Harvests

This morning I harvested my green vegetables and young sweetcorns. The hot and wet season we are experiencing now has done a lot of good to my vegetables. They are thriving but because of my busy schedule since last week, I have no time to harvest them. A few of them are showing some flowers!

from left: white and green pak choys (the stems), first time green and red spinachs (bayam), second time kangkung (water spinach) and eggplants

young sweetcorns and cute little capsicums for stir-fry mixed veggies

Milka and FoodsoDelicious were asking about my pumpkins. Here are some photos showing those little fruits. I tried hand pollinations to help them, not sure these will be successful in forming pumpkins. Hope they dont drop off please....

So my lunch today consisted of those greens I harvested this morning. I blanched everything. The kangkungs, long beans and bean sprouts are made into pecal, a local salad eaten with a hot spicy peanut sauce.

blanched kangkungs, long beans, bean sprouts and fried fermented soya bean (tempe) with the hot and spicy peanut sauce

The rest of the veggies - pak choys, green and red spinachs are also blanched with cauliflower, brocolli, sweetcorns, cubed red apples, pear eaten with mayonaise. Emmmm...I can eat this everyday!

Sorry, if my photos are haphazardly arranged...its just one of those things that is beyond my control..hehehe

Thursday, April 14, 2011

April Blooms Day!

Its that time of the month again for garden bloggers from all over the world, to show what's blooming in their gardens. Yes...the Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! Moreover today is Friday, a weekly flaunting of flowers at Tootsie Time!

Besides my white and peach hibiscus which have been blooming continuously for more than a month now, I have these blooming flowers to colour my garden!

very sweet and cute self-seeded pink/white Torenia Founieri

Bunga Melati scientificically named Wrightia antidysenterica or commonly called Artic Snow or Milkyway (thanks again to Bernie), also known as Thailand Jasmine ( courtesy of Milka), though not sure whether its under the jasmine family but this one does not have any sweet fragrance like jasmine. Love the pure white little flowers!

Ruellia Brittoniana purple, the pink one has not bloom yet

red balsams (Impatiens Balsamina)

pink balsams

the red and pink balsams are having a great blooming time in my new flower bed

even the wild morning glory in my backyard has a miniature version!

lots of male and female pumpkin flowers from my pumpkin patch - hope to have at least a few pumpkins soon!

the shocking pink flowers of Texas Sage

Have a nice weekend gardening!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wednesday Blues!

Today I have the blues!

Early morning surprise....the clitoria ternatea (blue pea) or bunga telang/talang blogger Adiwieyah sent me has finally bloomed! A bigger surprise is that the flower has a double layer petals, which is the first time I have seen one. Looking like a miniature blue rose or a double layered blue balsam, it is so lovely! Thanks Fie for the seeds!

clitoria ternatea (blue pea) double layer a miniature blue rose

the creeping vine is about 3 feet tall now with 2 vivid blue flowers

clitoria ternatea the common single layer bloom (Wikipedia)

clitoria mariana...light purple bloom (Wikipedia)

comparing this long bean (snake bean) bloom with clitoria mariana...almost the same

the blue flowers are picked for food colouring in our local cooking

Clitoria ternatea (bunga telang/talang) is a native of tropical equatorial Asia but has been introduced to other continents like Africa, Australia and America. They are creepers with vivid blue flowers, though there are some varieties of white and light purple/lilac. The plant is grown as an ornamental but mainly for its blue flowers as a food colouring in our local cooking instead of using the blue dye.

another blue in my garden - Tibouchina Urvilleana or Princess flower (senduduk)

a pretty blue wild petunias (ruellia tuberosa) growing everywhere out of cracks of cement in my backyard...but I have also taken cuttings to plant in hanging pots and the new flower beds...

miniature blue morning glory

finally something blue (morning glory), something white (anthuriums) and something wispy and soft (fountain grass/bunga lalang) to make up a small impromtu garden bouquet to brighten up my day!