Thursday, May 19, 2011

The common and the unusual

I can't seem to find anything to post today, much more so with the title for it. If you are from the temperate climes, even our common plants might however be unusual also to you. If you are from the tropics, we have the same standards of knowledge for them. My familiariy for these plants is just based on the frequency of seeing them.  But at least I know their requirements and propagation. Also as a word of caution, i post spontaneously using only what comes out from memory. So in case of mistakes or false information, I apologize! I just am too irresponsible today to be searching from the net. Yet, i am still very eager and enthusiastic to post something for you, my dear friends and followers. In any case, please tell me any mistake, and i will definitely try to change them. Thank you.

Portulaca oleraceae - very sun-loving, withstand hot climates, very easy to propagate by cuttings, hate too much water and oversoaking; however if neglected can be invasive in the tropics

Bougainvillea glabra - needs bright full sun and flower the whole year in equatorial countries. The very many colors we can see today are mostly varieties out of breeding 3 species (though there are 18 species), or from normal mutations. Do you know that the resulting plant from these variegated cultivar depends on which twig you will propagate? Since the red color is more genetically dominant, planting twig with dominantly red will produce both red and white, as in the one above. However, planting twig with only the white will give you very seldom red in the resulting flowers or none at all.

A purely whitish-yellow flowered variety. Bougainvillea flowers are those small yellowish corrugated structures at the middle. The papery structures surrounding the flowers are called bracts. Have you seen a bougainvillea fruit? I also haven't seen one, but they say it has small fruit. Of course they must have fruits, or how else can breeding succeed!

Since i've put the very common ones, this type now is the unusual. It looks like an epiphyte or a plant which gets food from the air, but it anchors on a tree trunk to multiply and might probably kill it. If its roots dig on its bark getting its food, which eventually kills the tree, then it is a stem parasite. I took this photos from a mangrove forest. It also has some very minute reddish flowers, which my camera cannot get well. I don't know this plant, but maybe this can also be grown in hanging baskets.  

My appreciation and gratitude for Rico of Philippine Native Forest Trees in leading me to the ID of this last plant, Dischida spp. He suggested D. platyphylla, but i will be more content with putting only Dischida spp., as there are at least 80 species known and the exact species identification is a tricky business, which i better leave for the taxonomists. 

Please visit other Fertilizer Friday posts by Tootsie



  1. Hi! You have attempted to make different kind of collages. Was it fun? I like the portulaca. I have them too. Looks like you still need help with the badge's link.

  2. I have that sweet portulaca too, also the bougainvilleas. So nice to see the familiar blooms. Now I miss my red bougainvillea. It outgrew its container causing the pot to split open into two, so I murdered it! I had to do this to make way for other plants :(

    I find that doing collages takes up a lot of time.

  3. One-tomorrow when Tootsie's post is up i will try again. It's difficult to teach old dogs tricks!

    Autumn Belle - you seem so busy since your daughter graduated! What have you been doing extra these days? If you murder the bougainvilla, i also murder trees, annuals, etc. But of course they are all mine and i plant replacements too!

  4. Andrea,

    I really like portulacas, never thought of them being invasive, they are annuals here. Used to see a lot of Bougainvilleas around here in hanging baskets, being an annual here there must have lost favor.

  5. The flower photos are so pretty. I love the portulacas. My mom always planted them when I was growing up.

  6. Hi! The epiphytic plant you found growing onto a mangrove tree looks like a Dischidia platyphylla, according to A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants by Dr. Domingo Madulid. If not, then maybe from the same genus at least.

    The one you have in the picture looks so vigorous and took a long time to grow.

  7. They are ALL gorgeous ---not too common to me here in the USA... The Bougainvillea is one I know--but that Portulaca oleraceae is not common... Like I said, all are gorgeous. Thanks!

  8. Hi Andrea those little flowers on the bouganvillea are so sweet surrounded by those pink bracts - my bracts keep falling off if I don't mist them twice a day. I've just seen Portulaca's as bonsai's

    Oh if only I had a 1.8f lens LOL - it's on my wish list. f3.5 is the dof I used in the photos you commented on. I finally found out what you mean't by my resources pages not working properly - it is now. Wedding preparations are well under way!

  9. They all beautiful flowers - love the colors and textures, thank you for sharing

  10. our search for the white bougainvillea leaves us frustrated. we can never seem to find one that we can plant in our yard. :(

  11. Hello Andrea. Pardon my ignorance but is Portulaca the same or related to what is called 'Vietnam Rose' in the Philippines?

    I was looking for pictures of Portulaca and noticed that some species look similar to the weeds I've seen people gather when I was young(er). They feed them to their pigs. I don't know if they still do that today. We call it 'Ngalog' up north.

  12. Randy - i've replied in your sight but forgot to reply on the invasiveness of portulaca. Here in the tropics if you neglect it during the dry season, some stems break and carried by flood water, then you will see them growing elsewhere. Portulaca is socculent and very difficult to kill, it is somewhat like a 'resurrection plant'.

    Deb duty - thanks for visiting, i hope you come again as i am inspired by comments from readers worldwide.

    Rico - thanks for finding the ID of my mangrove epiphyte. I've long been looking for Madulid's book to no avail. Even if some people said there are many mistakes there, undoubtedly it is a good compilation and reference. It could be in the natural habitat in the lush mangrove forest in Siquijor.

    Betsy - Portulaca is a tropical to dessert plant so dont look for them in Tennessee, haha! Yes bougainvilla is everywhere, it adapts to a wider climate difeerence.

    Rosie - maybe it is so cold there which might not be good for a tropical plant. Here it is left in the very hot open sun for the whole year and they seem very happy. Ah so you only have 3.5f, then why can't i not get such lovely photos as yours when mine is 4.0f. Haha, dont worry i am still trying. Happy Wedding for the beautiful groom's mom!

  13. Klaraau - thanks for dropping by. I hope you admire other flowers aside from orchids, hahaha!

    Photo cache - maybe it is difficult to find in the US, but we have them here, from the dirty white to the pure white to the pinkish white!

    SR - maybe you are right about the pig eating them, as they grow profusely during the rainy months, that's why i dont like them, and i consider them invasive. One of its common name aside from purslane is pigweed, so maybe pigs eat them. The 'vietnam rose' is also a succulent but it (i think) closes at 10am, so when we were kids we call them 'alas dies'. Portulaca oleraceae is purslane-has elongated leaves, while Portulaca grandiflora (vietnam rose) is moss-rose purselane and have ovate leaves. Wikipedia described them well, including the herbal uses. I am awed at Wiki saying it is eaten in some countries!

  14. The pink and white bougaivillea is gorgeous. We can grow them here but I have yet to see that variety.

  15. Hi! Congratulations! Your caption has been selected and is posted with a link to your site today.

    Come over for some laughs. :)

  16. Hi Andrea, what is common or unusual is certainly geographically relative. I once tried portulacca here but it didn't like my rich soil and there wasn't enough direct sunlight. I know a few people with bougainvilleas but after seeing them growing wildly over buildings at Port Douglas when it was still a sleepy village I don't feel it belongs down in the temperate south. cheers, catmint

  17. Great post!! The spontaneous ones are the best:) I love the portulaca. They do well here but when winter comes it's "adios". ID'ing plants is tricky...sometimes I spend hours trying to find the name for them....then if I can't, I start asking people who may know. I love the white bougainvilleas with the light pink color...beautiful!

  18. Lovely photos. Interesting information too. I didn't know that flower colour from a bi-coloured bougainvillea can be determined by the stem chosen.

  19. Nice Captures! Love the double delight bougainvillea. Thanks for sharing the propagation tips.
    My portulacas got wild and is producing very tiny flowers this year.

  20. absolutely stunning!! I love's one of my favorites! thanks for linking in....sorry it took so long to comment to you...

  21. Try the Dept of Agri or Bureau of Plant Industries for Dr. Madulid's book. They might have extra you can buy second hand (or ask for? hehehe). I'm not sure if it is the one I have at home.

  22. For some reason, Blotanical is not allowing comments. But, I wanted to tell you that your images are lovely and so are the nice collages. I happen to like your title of the post. It is very good and intriguing. Really made me want to know what is in the post. Now the comment went to the wrong post. Blogging problems, oh my.


Your comments inspire me to post more, and our conversations make life and gardening more meaningful.

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