Friday, March 9, 2012

Magnificent magnifica



Medinilla magnifica is one of the many Medenilla  species native to the Philippines. It is very aptly named magnifica because it truly is magnificent. Anybody who sees it flowering will fully agree. A website in the UK said "it is possibly the most spectacular flowering houseplant available". That is because both the flowerless and the blooming plants live up to its name. The drooping clusters of rosy pink to coral red flowers are borne by pairs of thick, glossy, wide, large and showy prominently light-veined leaves, that even while still flowerless are already magnificent. Flowers can reach up to 50cm in length, while the leaves are about 30 cm or 1 foot in length. The wide bracts covering the flower clusters are showy and truly beautiful.


This is given many common names in the plant commercial circles. Some of them is 'rose grape', 'English chandelier tree', 'Malaysian orchid, showy medenilla, and more. The genus was after the governor of the Mariana Islands in 1820, J. de Medinilla


I realized many temperate country gardens, arboretums and collectors successfully grow this plant. However, even here in the country these are mostly already in the collectors' gardens and flower centers. Our forests which produced them naturally in the long past are now deprived of its magnificence! 
 a young flower cluster still enclosed in the showy bracts

 flowers already advancing to be seen 

 a young cluster of still closed flowers

those white protrusions are parts of the already opened individual flowerettes, the small petals are also open 

 a plant showing 2 flower stages

 the whole plant showing many opened flower clusters

showing its full magnificence

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46 comments:

  1. New to me; they're lovely. A garden just can't have too many tropicals.

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  2. A really magnificent flower, Andrea! We have them growing in the botanic gardens here in Melbourne, but up north they are widespread as a garden plant (see Bernie's linked post this week!)

    Many thanks for your series of shots showing the blooms' lifecycle and of course for your continuing participation in Floral Friday Fotos!

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    1. Most of this plant and many of its species are already in foreign countries' gardens, not anymore in our forests. I think Bernie's photos is not M magnifica, i have a guess in mind, but i would rather not say it. There are actually many species indigenous in the Philippines. Thanks Nick.

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  3. What a beautiful post, Andrea, showing us all the stages of this plant. Fascinating structure of the florescence.
    I haven't seen it for sale as a houseplant yet.I would definitely be interested for my new greenhouse.
    Thank you for acquainting me with it.

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    1. It's my pleasure Hannah, i hope you will see it in gardens soon!

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  4. HOLA!! What a great plant, but I'm bummed that they have been reduced or no longer grow naturally around some of your area on their own? I would definitely love to try something like this indoors.

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  5. Hi Andrea... at first I thought I'd never seen one of these plants before, but as I worked my way down your post, I realized that my orchid dealer has one in one of his greenhouses... the color gradiations in the blooms are fabulous! The foliage is wonderful as well. Larry

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    1. Hi Larry, there are many Medinilla species from the Philippines, and maybe there are already hybrids of this M magnifica. Be sure to look for all the characteristics i showed here in the photos, as some nurseries say it's M magnifica though they are not. Look for the big bracts of the blooms, it is the easiest way to identify.

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  6. These are really gorgeous blooms. They do remind me of grapes and cherries. I have seen this plant at Penang Butterfly Farm and perhaps KL BF. I'm sure they'll attract lots of butterflies.

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  7. i haven't seen them in full bloom until now. you're right, they're magnificent.

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  8. Medinilla magnifica is such a cherished houseplant in the UK (and Europe) and for a good reason! Whenever I see them it always makes me smile, knowing it originated from the Philippines :)

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    1. Hi Mark, i am sure it always remind you of home and we are proud of that plant being a good ambassador of beauty and magnificence. However, whenever i see them in gardens, moreso in foreign lands, it saddens me and remind me of irresponsibility and maybe greed! It is disappointing. Maybe in the future, it can already be found in foreign lands, not anymore in its origin. I, can't even afford to buy one!

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  9. Beautiful blooms, they do look like grapes. I love the pretty color. Lovely photos. Have a great weekend!

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  10. A truly beautful bloom. I've never grown it, so didn't realise the different stages.

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  11. They are indeed a most stunning looking plant, especially when in bloom. I have a little baby one myself, but it really struggled in its position during last year's wet season. I had to dig it up and pot it for now, while I think carefully about where to plant it. Your photos certainly show just how beautiful the blooms are. Great post.

    You asked about the Medinillas in my post, and yes they were labelled as 'magnifica'.

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  12. Andrea this is a stunning plant...the bloom is truly magnificent in all its stages...i don't think I have seen a more beautiful tropical plant!!

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  13. What a magnificent plant, Andrea - and fabulous photos of it, too. I'm looking out on rather a grey world right now (cloudy early spring day) ... so that bright wave of colour was very welcome!

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  14. What a beautiful flower. I wish you a wonderful weekend! Zinnia

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  15. This is such a gorgeous plant, Andrea! I have one but it refuses to bloom since getting attacked by caterpillars and mealybugs.

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  16. I fell love into this one when I saw it during a visit back to China. After I came back to Florida, I saw Medinilla cumingii for sale, and bought one for my garden. It is blooming wonderfully, although I think I still love the flowers of Medinilla magnifica more because of the wide bracts, make the flowers look like a pretty girl's skirt :)

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    1. Yes Ami, M magnifica is more magnificent than the M cumingii, it should live up to its name, LOL. The wide colorful bracts really make it awesome!

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  17. Ten kwiat jest cudowny. Pierwszy raz widziałam go na wystawie tulipanów w Holandii i zakochałam się w nim. Pozdrawiam.*** This flower is wonderful. The first time I saw him at an exhibition of tulips in the Netherlands and fell in love with him. Yours.

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  18. how gorgeous is that? i haven't even known this flower existed before this post.

    do you know why they disappear from our forests?

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    1. Of course Maria, i know why! Irresponsibility and poverty on our side, and greed of the past foreign collectors, and our collectors too! Do you know that many of our plant species are already extinct in our forests and can already be found in foreign countries botanical gardens. Some analogy of this are the historical relics acknowledged to be of another country but found in museums of a foreign land!

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  19. What a lovely flower. I've never seen that before.

    Holy Basil

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  20. One of my "must have" plants, originally in my first list of plants to have for our "garden in the making". Unfortunately it couldn't tolerate the hot climate we have in our area. It's understandable since it a upland forest plant where cooler temperatures prevail.

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    1. I think your farm and our farm have the same climate, and i am not contemplating to have this because it is expensive, and will surely just die with the heat in our place. A high humidity in an area and some partial shading will be necessary to make it live. Maybe in the future if you already have altered the microclimate in your area, it can be possible. Or you can have a protected enclosures with modified microclimate. For now, i will just be envious of any garden who has it.

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  21. Beautiful flower.

    Regards and best wishes

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  22. Very beautiful plant and so unique.

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  23. I am just so happy to have the chance to visit here today!! Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all could tour each friday's flaunting gardens together and in person? I would love it!
    I wish I had more time to visit all of my favorites everytime you post!
    Thank you so much for linking in and sharing your post with my party today!
    I have shared your post this week with the Tootsie Time Facebook page.
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    (¯`v´¯)
    `*.¸.*´Glenda/Tootsie
    ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

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    1. Thank you Tootsie, and also for hosting. It would really be wonderful if we can have a get together and visit to each gardens. I am sure you will be ready to let us have some coffee in your garden too, haha! Kidding aside, I am grateful for your meme which you diligently keep up for us, not matter what your situation is at the moment. I understand fully your condition right now. But you are super'man', and we congratulate you for being that!

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  24. I have not seen this flower yet in my many trips to the Gardens. I have to look it up and they are available in North America, in Canada, and Hawaii. I should pay attention next time. This is such an interesting flower.

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  25. Although I have seen some pictures on blogs. I don't remember seeing anything as stunning as these. These are absolutely GORGEOUS!!

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    1. thanks Kanak, even for me, it is also absolutely GORGEOUS!

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  26. I tried twice and failed to grow this plant

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    1. oh I am sorry about that Stiletto. I am not even trying to have one because our area is hot and dry, which is completely different from what this plant needs!

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  27. What a gorgeous plant. I'm sure I've never seen it before.

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  28. Fantastic flower! I love seeing the stages of its bloom.

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  29. Magnificent is a great name for it! Nice sequence!

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  30. Hi Andrea. That is it! Thank you for posting this and identifying my unknown flower from the Garden Show. It must have been some other plant that we were smelling that smelled terrible.I love your and the pictures. They really show off how lovely the blooms are. Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Hi Lona, I am glad i visited your site when this plant is still NOID, serendipitous! I should be patronizing and introducing this magnificent plant, native to us, but found already scattered around the world.

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  33. my mom was a flower collector she would be happy to have those. late bloomers, simple at first ellant at last.


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    philippine trivia | trivias

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  34. I've never heard nor seen this plant before. It is beautiful. That is sad that your forests no longer have this plant.

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