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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hardy Flowering Plants (Orchid Cactus, Anthurium, Jewel of Opar ,Begonia Albo Picta ,Rose, Bougainvillea,, Madagascar Periwinkle)

You would literally hear gardeners swear & curse this one for being an invasive and a stubborn as it seemed - it is impossible to totally remove them from the garden. They produce tuberous roots that embedded deep into the soil. I wouldn't recommend this to be planted on the soil-bed unless you want this one to be permanently settled in your garden or yard.

Its known as Jewels of Opar or Fameflower.
 (Talinum paniculatum)
I have seen a variegated species of this where the leaves are green & cream.

The plus point  you can have this plant for these reasons:

1) One of the best beginners plants - its impossible to kill. 
They are drought tolerant.
So if you do not have the time to water your plants everyday - this is my best recommendation.
They can handle neglect even for years.

2) Once the plant matures - 
it will give out a spike of flowers that blooms continually 
(The flower only blooms in the evening - so do take time to enjoy it when it blooms)

3) Finally - The leaves are edible. 
You can use them for cooking or salads.

Though a lot have been said about their invasive issues. I found that mostly none of the seeds had sprouted anywhere. The plant stay put where I plant them using cuttings. Most of them had gone dormant ( I guess they require pruning in order for them to rejuvenate a new spikes - or the whole plant is concentrating in expanding its tuber buried need in the potted soil.

Jewels of Opar in the afternoon. (above) Flower buds.
(below) Fully bloomed with seed heads.

I really didn't pay much attention to these Anthuriums.
I would say that they are quite a survivor. 
They do need good shaded area - too much sunlight will cause sunburn. Total shade may be good but you might have to discount the flowers. I had this plant for years without any promising blooms.

If you love Anthuriums - then I guess you need to place them in garden where it is optimum for them. Most cases when you purchase them you will find many plantlets coiled around the mother plant.

You may need to take time to remove all of the little ones into a separate planter box and keep the main flowering one for optimum blooming result.

Again - after few months later - you will find the same situation repeat again.
The reason you need to do this is that if you don't - the plant will choke itself and slowly die.
(and as I said - this is so suspectable for neglect & before you know it - the plant had already disappeared)

If you have this plant established in your garden - Then I would congratulate you for the plant is now a hardy plant in your garden.

One of the joys of having a Cane Begonia is apart from the beautiful foliage - you get the glorious blooms. The flowers does so well in shaded area. I guess it would be much redder if this is located more to a sunny spot.
The best part of its hardiness is that it is pest free.

This is another variety of Cane Begonia (Marroon Leaf) with blooms.
The flowers are less showy compared to the first one.

This particular variety of rose seemed to be doing so well.
It had matured and been blooming continuously.

A friend of mine had passed me this Orchid Cactus. Seemed to be an odd one out in my garden collection & I still haven't figure out how to find a nice defined location for this one.
It had beautifully had send out a flower spike which I really took pride & joy while taking this picture.

The next day - this plant had abandoned the flower as I noticed it fallen on the ground. I suspect that is had already bloomed in the night and the flower had spend its optimum blooming time.

These are the rest of the collection which have become part of the permanent resident of ever-blooming, non-stop, continuous flowering plants which I now have become so used to it that I barely notice them. 

I guess I had missed out some few species which I now realise that I didn't take those pictures. 

(They seemed to appear in the pictures - just like I had taken those picture few months ago - like there is no difference in bloom compared to the past posting pictures and now)

I'm pretty sure I'm not being ambitious in having my garden in its top pristine condition.
As long as they are healthy, blooming and without pest/disease and not dying.
They are good enough to consider them as hardy plants.

What are your hardy / difficult to kill / established plants that makes them your permanent resident in your garden?
That you cannot do without them & that they are your garden signature?


Stephanie said...

Money plants are difficult to kill. No real money but abundant in foliage haha... And next time your orchid cactus sends out a flower spike, try to sleep later. I also think that you might have just missed it blooming. Btw nice job on the anthurium :-D Though you say your garden not in top pristine condition, it definitely has a lot of pretty blooms to offer. Enjoy their presence and have a great weekend!

Unknown said...

I have never come across this plant, Jewel of Opar. It looks interesting. Your other plants are doing well, lush and rewarding you with beautiful blooms.


You've got an amazing assortment of flowers that I can only dream of having outdoors year round. Lucky you!

I think my honeysuckle vine might be what you call a signature plant. It blooms from May to November and even if I wanted to kill it I don't think I could. It's got a wonderful fragrance and hides the neighbors so it's all good.

Country Flora said...

[Amazing pictures! I wish I would have them on my portal]

Gone Tropical said...

I so love the variegated Jewel of Opar, sadly, I lose it to the freezes. I take cuttings and replant every spring....
oh, and the orchid cactus, what a beauty, but so are all the others like the variegated Bougainvillea, simply stunning!

Andrea said...

Hi James, i think i've asked you before why you are always putting your hands and fingers in your photos. I think you are the only one who does that, hahaha. They are in all the photos. Maybe you should put a colored background of carton or thick paper instead, to give contrast to the color of plants or flowers. best regards.

painted princess collection said...

Oh james I liked those tiny flowers jewels of the opar. So tiny and lovely That orchid cactus we call it Brahma kamal it blooms at midnight and stays only for few hours.To see its bloom you have be awake during night.It is also known as star of bethleham Nice post as usual

James David said...

I used to have money plant before but they seemed to be very much like a weed - trailing everywhere and so I had removed them. As you mentioned - next time I will be more vigilant when the orchid cactus send out its flower spike.

James David said...

I first saw it growing along the drainside and got marvelled at the flower spike.
Only later I realised that it is Jewel of Opar.
Thanks for the lovely thoughts concerning my garden.

James David said...

I would definitely vote for your honeysuckle vine plant - they are really so beautiful and worth having in the garden.
Thanks for your lovely comment about my garden.

James David said...

I'm pretty sure your sundew is quite exotic & rare compared this Jewel or Opar.
And I really never got it successful with any of the pitcher plants which I had one time ago.
Great to know that you really got nice plants in your garden.

James David said...


James David said...

Thanks Evelyn.
I thought that Jewel of Opar had tubers and they come back from the roots every spring?

James David said...

Yes Andrea - you had asked me before.
I thought it would be great to have a personal touch on each of the flowers & bloom in the garden.
And sort of my style of saying that this picture is mine (instead of watermarking them) and also give a good scaling factor in identifying how large or small a flower or plant is.
Another problem I face is that my camera lense doesn't focus macro - it automatically focus the distant view and therefore I loose the details on the focused bloom unless I hold the camera close and cover all the angles to get a good zoom.
Hope my fingers & hands don't offend you.

James David said...

The small problem is that I'm not sure which night are the orchid cactus planning to bloom.
Hope I get a better luck next time.

Autumn Belle said...

The jewels of opar are quite lovely, more like jewels than weeds in the garden. I had problems with my anthuriums until I grow them in sandy soil. They like shade. Your orchid cactus looks like the night blooming cereus, Epiphyllym oxypetalum I am 'gila-gila' about. Hope you could witness it blooming next time.

Unknown said...

A few days ago, a friend invited us for Sunday breakfast and hey what do you think I discovered! - the Jewels of Opar. It was a tenant in a container of another plant. I've got some seeds and cutting. I'm so thrilled.

Alistair said...

Hi James, Jewels of Opar, looking very dainty and appealing a little like Gypsophila, but you know what they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure.

James David said...

Glad that you found this and now cultivated in your garden.
I assure you that you won't regret it.

James David said...

Didn't know that you go Gaga over night blooming cereus.
(I thought both of them are the same??)
Hope so..
Been eyeing on them to see any new blooms.

James David said...

Gypsophila is so much beautiful & elegant.
Not sure whether they can handle tropical climate - never seen any baby's breath plant around.
Thanks for the lovely thoughts.

Ajay said...

"Splendid arrangement ! Can you tell me a little more about the foliage which you used ?"

Andrea said...

I came back to reply to your comment in my site about my food poisoning. I searched on mushrooms after my episode and realized some mushrooms produce toxins during storage. These toxins are secondary metabolites that are normally bad for human systems. However, some 2ndary metabolites are used as medicines in minute dosages. Thanks for your concern.

Antonio said...

James always visit your garden is a delight, the last bloom is wonderful who could have around..In my garden grows very easily a very small type of flower that I think you have also called Silene.

James David said...

Which picture are you refering to Ajay?

James David said...

Thanks Antonio.
Amazed to note Silene - it look so beautiful.

Sunita Mohan said...

I love the no-fuss plants too and we seem to have many of the same ones... bougainvilleas, begonias, anthuriums, vinc roseas and so many more.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi James,
They just started selling jewels of opar in my area in Nebraska a few years ago. I've noticed it comes back from its own seeds, and I've decided I don't want it anymore, so I pull it out.

I like to grow begonias outside in the shade in summer, and bring them in for the winter. Some years are better than others for getting blooms.

Chloe m said...

To be sure, you have showcased some beautiful blooms. I love anthuriums, they are splendid and one plant I have never attempted but admire greatly.

Wendy said...

Those are pretty - even the maybe invasive little pretty flowers in the first photos. In my garden, the moonbeam coreopsis is always in top top shape. Last for years, never need to do anything, can divide, but stays in place, and attractive from far away!

Bom said...

Hi James, what is hard to kill in my garden are the weeds. Hehehe. The Jewels of Opar are so dainty and if they stay put for you and are not invasive at all, I don't see why they cannot be enjoyed.

James David said...

I guess so.
Maybe its the tropical thing - to have almost the same plant when it comes to gardening.

James David said...

I guess you are right about begonias.
Some years are better than others.

James David said...


James David said...

thanks Wendy

James David said...

I get what you mean - the weeds seemed to come back time to time and I always need to uproot them.
Yes these Jewels seemed to stay put.
All the more to enjoy them - thanks.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Its interesting to get to know plants in your garden James since the plants in my garden are different from yours. I learn heaps reading your post.

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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