Thursday, March 6, 2014
Ravenala madagascariensis, commonly known as Traveller’s Palm, is originated from Madagascar. Despite its name, it is not a true palm ( Areacaceae ), but a member of the bird-of-paradise family ( Strelitziaceae ). R. madagascariensis is the sole member of the genus Ravenala.
It is called Traveller’s Palm because the sheaths of the stems holds rainwater, which supposedly could be drink for needy travelers. However, the fact is, the water trapped inside the sheaths is murky, black, smelly, and infested with mosquito larvae, and should not be consumed without prior purification and boiling. Another possible reason for its name is that the fan tends to grow in a north-south orientation, providing a crude compass. This is also not true as intensive observations on wild trees refuted the claim.
R. madagascariensis has enormous paddle-shaped leaves, resembling those of banana, borne on long petioles. The leaves are aligned in a single plane, resulting in a fan-shape appearance.
Flowers are pale-yellow in colour, similar to those of Strelitzia’s, but less showy and certainly less attractive. Bracts are light green in colour. The flowers when dried, attached to the bunch with the purplish fruit, which are similar to those of banana’s.
Traveller’s Palm can grow up to 16m in height. Stems are simple, solitary, hardy and fibrous, up to 1” in diameter, in reminisce to a coconut’s stem. As the tree grows, the dried older leaves at the bottom detached from the stem, similar to coconut’s.
Young plants emerged from the ground by the base of mother plant, a vegetative reproduction via suckling.
Ruffed lemurs ( Lemur varius ), are know to be the sole pollinator of Ravenala. They have thought to have coevolved.
Ravenala madagascariensis is widely planted as ornamental tree. Young, smaller plantlet can be trained as indoor plants. It can tolerate most soil condition with good drainage. It thrives best under full sun. Care is minimal, as and when necessary to remove old fronds from the trunk.
Friday, February 14, 2014
凤仙花 is Impatiens balsamina, an
plant of the Balsaminaceae family. In Malaysia, it is known as
bunga keembung in Malay language.
It is native to southern Asia, but widely cultivated as an ornamental plant throughout tropical/sub-tropical Asia. Due to its vigorous reproduction, it became invasive and noxious is many area.
Garden balsam is an
plant capable to grow up to 1 meter in height. It has thick but
herbaceous stem. The leaves are toothed-margin. The flowers are
brilliantly coloured with red, pink, purple or white. Above all, the most
fascinating and unforgettable feature is the explosive dehiscence seed capsules.
brilliantly coloured flower
dehiscenced pod exposing seeds
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Drain covers are not necessary made of concrete or plastic. Wood can be an option if the material is easily available, economical feasible, durable and weather-proof.
Along Jalan Berek in Sarikei, the drain is covered by wooden cover made of cengal wood. Cengal wood is one of the hardest wood in Malaysia, of the Neobalanocarpus heimii tree. The wood is hard, compact, durable and even termite-resistant. It is however not maintenance-free. Nothing is maintenance-free.
An unique feature in Sarikei not to be missed.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Lansium domesticum is a complicated species of trees of the Meliaceae family. It originated throughout the entire Southeast Asian region. The plant differs from place to place, thus numerous varieties, impossible even for one botanist/horticulturist to identify one. The vast varieties of Lansium domesticum often lead to some botanist to differentiate them as different species.
Overall, there are 2 main varieties : duku and langsat. In addition, there are also mixed duku-langsat varieties.
The fruit are borne in cluster. Fruit can be elliptical, oval or round, measuring 2 to 7 cm in diameter. The skin can be smooth or rough, with skin thickness varies with the varieties. The fruit contains 1 to 3 seeds, flat, and bitter tasting. The seeds are covered with clear-white aril that tastes sweet and sour.
This is a variety of duku brought by KeeSiong from his hometown Malacca. The fruit range from 2 to 5 cm in diameter. The skin are orangey, a bit rough-textured, and is enormously thick. In the end, what makes me conclude it’s a duku is the sweet and sour taste. Its definitely a duku.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Terung Pipit is Solanum torvum, also known as Turkey berry, Devil’s fig, prickly nightshade, wild eggplant, pea eggplant, and many other names.
Originated from the West Indies, it is now widely distributed all over the Tropics, more as a noxious weed than cultivated crop.
The plant is 2 to 3 meter in height. The branches and twigs are covered with hairs and spines. Leaves are opposite, ovate, and lobed. Flowers are white, tubular with 5 pointed lobes, in corymbiform cymes. Fruits are berries in clusters, round, about 1cm diameter, green when mature, yellow when ripe, think-fleshed. Seeds numerous, flat disc.
Propagation by seeds and cuttings. The plant does not live long, up to 2 years the most. Usually used as rootstocks for eggplants, for its resistant against root diseases.
The green fresh fruits are used in Thai cuisine, as well as Malay and Lao cuisine. Fruits can be consumed fresh as salad or cooked with curry or soups, sauces and stews. Dried fruits which are pre-soaked fruits in curd, were fried in oil to make sundaikkai vattral, an Indian condiment.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
It Is Obviously Not Obvious
Artificial grass is an innovative product substituting natural grass, that can be used on a long term basis. With its equally natural appearance, artificial grass is not only beautiful but also more practical when it comes to maintenance and landscaping.
Usually used for sports fields, golf courses, residential and business compounds, artificial grass allows landscape lovers to enjoy perfectly maintained grass all year round, regardless of the weather condition.
The texture of artificial grass is soft yet tough, making it comfortable to walk on even without footwear. Because of its toughness, artificial grass is able to endure the weight of heavy objects without leaving any dry patches or discolouration. Most artificial grass are treated with a UV inhibitor which helps to shield it from drastic fading and degradation caused by UV.
Using artificial grass is a smart choice because it requires minimal maintenance, making it unnecessary to mow, trim or fertilise. It is also environmental friendly as there is no need for harmful pesticides and it does not require any watering, which helps save water as well.
Some of the advantages of using artificial grass are:-
Ö Long lasting and the colour does not fade easily.
Ö Easy to install.
Ö Safe for both children and pets.
Ö More hygienic as it does not require dirt or mud.
Ö Suitable alternative in areas with little or no sunlight.
Ö Excellent for swimming pool areas as it is non-slippery.
Measuring at a height of 40mm, Le Grassi is denser and more compact, making it suitable for use in an indoor setting or padding a safe children-friendly playground.
Height:40mm Gauge:3/8" Stitch Rate:18(±2) stitches, with a 10cm width
The measurement for Le Meadow is 36mm and is suitable for outdoor landscaping. It can be used in residential or business compounds, giving it an aesthetic look and creates a scenery that is pleasing to the eye.
Height:36mm Gauge:3/8" Stitch Rate:12(±2) stitches, with a 10cm width
Specially designed with a U-shaped yarn and a green curl yarn, Le Uniq is ultra flexible and is ideal for landscaping and gardening. The U-shaped yarn gives Le Uniq a tougher characteristic, allowing it to stand upright compared to other types of artificial grass.
Height:30mm Gauge:3/8" Stitch Rate:18(±2) stitches, with a 10cm width
Being 12mm in height, Le Clubio is best used for putting and mini golf courses. Its short and neatly groomed nature makes it easier for golf balls to roll a longer distance, giving golfers a more enjoyable golfing experience.
Height:12mm Gauge:4.5mm Stitch Rate:20(±3) stitches, with a 10cm width