Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hoya lasiantha and H praetorii

This is a couple of exceedingly beautiful and closely related Hoyas ....
....Hoya lasiantha, found in Peninsula Malaysia and Borneo - has larger golden flowers with prominent corona protruding like eroded molars.
.... the umbels on my palm somehow reminded me of a hatchling of small chicks.

Unlike most Hoyas, it is a scrambling shrub. It is reported to be an epiphyte in the wild. It is not a difficult plant to grow in the lowlands, but can become straggly, so constant prunning is advisable to keep it neat and will also provide some backup cuttings in case something catastrophic happened to the mother plant.
....under suitable lighting, the white hairs seem to emit a silver glow.

The second plant, Hoya praetorii, is a rarer prospect, and smaller in stature too. Unlike the former, this a a decidedly more difficult plant for me. This is a native of Sumatra.

It differs from the former by its corona,which is salmon-pink, less massive and less angular than its bigger relative.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Blind date

Its no good, she thought .....this blind date thingy. She had been hurt before ..... as soon as they see her they left the table without even ordering beverages.
She dragged her limbs to the meeting place but lacked the courage to proceed.... until, at the corner of her eyes, she caught sight of him.....

He was a matter of fact he was relentless. And she relented...... ....and she felt she found love, at last.
Romance of thorny stick insects of unknown genus in highland forests of Pahang, Peninsula Malaysia.

Post Note : Epidares sp. (nolimetangere ?)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cicada tree

I encountered this weird sight near a trailhead in Singapore....
The tree itself was tall and errect so it was quite unusual to have this tangled mess of stilt roots growing from only one side, dangling in the air. I cannot explain its unnusual growth habit but I did manage to find its name from a friend - who coincidentally, volunteered in an organisation called Cicada Tree Eco-place, taking its name from this plant.

The cicada tree, Ploiarium alternifolium is a medium size tree usually found in freshwater swamp forests in SE Asia but I have also seen them populate very dry kerangas as well. The flower has up to 100 stamens and is typically white in Singapore but this specimen in Borneo has attractive intense pink petals. I had initially thought, looking at the flower, that it was a Melastoma but it actually belong to the family Bonnetiaceae.
The fruit capsule :

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