Sunday, January 29, 2012

A sample of terrestrial Borneo Gesneriads

A mix bag of the ground herbs from the African Violet Family encountered during a couple of trips in Sarawak..... posting here in the hope of getting them identified.

This smallish herb with Henckelia-like habit appeared to be from genus Hexatheca, maybe H. fulva. It was found on shady ledges at the bottom of a limestone hill in West Sarawak.

Found on the same limestone hill as the previous species but on highly exposed high grounds subjected to dry winds and direct sun is this Paraboea with silvery felty leaves. It reminds me of Sinningia leucotricha commonly found in gesneriad collections and utilised the same strategy to reflect sun rays and heat from the leaf surface.

Borneo is very rich in Cyrtandra species and this is one of them - but exactly what species I do not know. The leaves are glabrous and quite succulent. It is also confined to limestone.

This last species is probably most horticulturally interesting, with its shiny variegated leaves - and tidy size (less than one foot tall). I had initially thought it was some kind of Scorpion's tail (genus Pentaphragma) but closer inspection showed Cyrtandra-like bloom between the leaves. Unfortunately the habitat which I had found it had been destroyed and had not seen it anywhere else. Unlike the other species, it inhabits sandstone embarkments by the side of the forest.

If readers can ID any of the plants please share it here.

Cheers.

4 comments:

Hermes said...

Sorry no idea but I would grow them all.

Stupid Garden Plants said...

These are all new to me but thanks for sharing your adventure. Tis a shame these habitats are disapearing... Time to create an ark and catalog the hillsides... Ho.. Hum...

Hort Log said...

Yes I would love to grow them too but they are fussy plants.

Habitat loss ? This is how it sounds like to some ....ka-ching !

Titania said...

Hortlog, many plants,not known to me by name. Gesneriads many used as short lived house plants. Short lived because they do not get the right conditions. The first flower looks like the popular African violet, not much help from me I am afraid.
I just saw your entry on my post Persimmons, went there for some reason. You asked if the P. were sprayed with something. NO, we do never spray our fruit, we cover them with nets. The white stuff is just the bloom of the translucent skin. They are still green at the moment; I am waiting for them.

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