Saturday, 9 October 2010

Alstonia angustiloba - Pulai

Alstonia angustiloba Miq. ( synonym : Alstonia angustiloba var.glabra Koord. & Valeton., Alstonia calophylla Miq., Alstonia iwahigensis Elmer, Paladelpha angustiloba ( Miq.) Pichon ) is a species of evergreen tree in the Apocynacee family originated from S.E.Asia.  It is commonly called common pulai, pulai bukit, pulai lilin, pulantan bubur, pantung,  tombailik, gite, hanju latung, etc.

The name ‘Alstonia’ was named by Robert Brown in 1811, after Charles Alston (1685-1760), a Professor of botany at Edinburgh from 1716-1760.  ‘angustiloba’ means small lobes.

A fat-growing, medium-seized tree capable to reach up to 45m in height.  At full size, develop fluted buttresses.  Often split into two or more upright stems.  Outer bark brown , rough.  White latex in trunk and leaves when cut.  
Leaves are simple whorled.  Leaf oblong, tip obtuse to acute,  Petiole 10-20mm long.
Flower hermaphroditic.  Inflorescence terminal, flower white, tubular.  Usually 2 umbels above each other.
Fruits long thin follicles, seeds with tufts of hair at both ends, dispersed by wind.

The trees are often deciduous at irregular intervals.  
They do not flower at every leaf-change, but only after marked periods of dry weather.  Pollination is by insects.

Propagation is by seeds. Germination of fresh seed is nearly 100%.  Cleft grafting and inverted T-grafting also have been found to be successful.


Food : The latex provides a good quality chewing gum. 

Timber : The wood yield a good quality pulp for paper production.   It is used for pencil, matches, crates, patternmaking, corestock, plywood, carving and mouldings.  In Ceylon, coffins are made of this light wood. 

Landscape : It is also used in landscape as ornamental tree.  

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Hemerocallis flava - 金针/ 萱草/Daylily

Hemerocallis fluva( 金针/ 萱草/ daylily )
Synonym : Hemerocallis citrina
Order : Asparagales | Family : Hemerocallidaceae

The name Hemerocallis derives from Greek words μέρα (hēmera) "day" and καλός (kalos) "beautiful". 

The flower is strictly day-opening.  Opening in the morning and closing in the evening of the same day.

It is native to Asia, from the Caucasus  through the Himalaya to China, Japan and southearstern Russia.  4 varieties may be recognized in China : kwanso, aurantiaca, fluva and angustifolia.

H. fluva is originally a diploid plant.  Most hybrids are tetrapoids.  However, the kwanso variety is a tripoid.  Tripoids and tetrapoids plants cannot seed, they reproduces only by stolons and division.

In the United States and Canada, H. fluva and H fluva longituba has become an invasive species.

The flowers are edible and are used in Chinese cuisine and medicine.  They are sold either fresh or dried.

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