Saturday, December 1, 2012

Henekelia platypus and a crinkly relative

I have sighted Henckelia platypus numerous times in primary forests of Malaysia and Thailand and it seemed to prefer slopes near the water. This is one of the habitat of the plant, perched on a rocky bank beside the stream. It is supposedly still found in Singapore BTH but it must be very rare now.
It has a trunk up to waist high with a rosette of textured leaves, which in itself would be quite attractive. When in full flowering glory however, the plant is magnificent. The flowers may be white or mauve with yellow stripes at the throat.
There is also smaller relative of this plant growing in my plot which has similar flowers but extremely crinkly leaves. It is very neat - but I have yet to find a name for it since these plants are so little known and literature is scarce.

Cultivation of these interesting gesneriads are not widespread however, as they like hot humid environment which are not easily replicated at home. On top of that, their sensitive foliage is very sensitive to stagnant water and chemicals.

1 comment:

Titania said...

Hortlog, one more wonderful plant from the rainforest to be admired, That's all I can do but it is enough.
Those leaves are so different. I guess there are so many plants which are not yet known and some are already gone forever. The cycle of evolution. Like with the warming of the planet, what do we know, even if we drill deep we still do not know all. I guess we need bandaids, as the planet gets more and more abused by greed and more greed. I guess all this is evolution as well and we the brainy ones are no exception. I wish you a happy New Year for plant hunting.

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