Rose hip: Fruit of the rose plant

Image

^ Rosa foliolosa: Leafy Rose

The rose hip, also known as rose haw or rose hep, is the fruit of the rose plant, that typically is red-to-orange, but ranges from dark purple to black in some species. Rose hips begin to form after successful pollination of flowers in spring or early summer, and ripen in late summer through autumn.

Image

Rose hips are used for tisanes, jam, jelly, syrup, soup, beverages, pies, bread, wine, and marmalade. They can also be eaten raw, like a berry, if care is used to avoid the hairs inside the fruit.

Rose hips are particularly high in vitamin C content, one of the richest plant sources available.

Rose hips are used to help prevent colds and influenza.

Rose hips contain plenty of lycopene, an important and strong antioxidant that prevents oxidation of low density lipoprotein [LDL] as well as of many cellular membranes.

Rose hips also contain some vitamin A and B, essential fatty acids, and antioxidant flavonoids.

Photos: Atlanta Botanical GardenAtlantaGeorgiaUSA  [20130913]

Source: Wikipedia

Combretum indicum: Rangoon creeper

Combretum indicum, also known as the Chinese honeysuckle or Rangoon creeper, is a vine with red flower clusters found in Asia and in many other parts of the world, either as a cultivated ornamental or run wild. Member of family Combretaceae in the order Myrtales.

DSCF1225 400copy

The Rangoon creeper is a ligneous vine that can reach from 2.5 meters to up to 8 meters. The leaves are elliptical with an acuminate tip and a rounded base. They grow from 7 to 15 centimeters and their arrangement is opposite. The flowers are fragrant and tubular and their color varies from white to pink to red.

Photo: Gardens by the BaySingapore 20130316

Source: Wikipedia

Plectranthus amboinicus: Indian Borage

Image

Plectranthus amboinicus is a tender fleshy perennial plant in the family Lamiaceae with an oregano-like flavor and odor, native to Southern and Eastern Africa, but widely cultivated and naturalised in the Old and New World Tropics.

Image

Wild Plectranthus amboinicus.

Common names include Cuban oregano, Spanish thyme, Indian Borage, Big Thyme, Mexican thyme, Mexican mint, Queen of herbs, three-in-one herb, all herb and Mother of herbs. The leaves are strongly flavored and make an excellent herb addition to stuffing. Finely chopped, they can also be used add flavor meat dishes.

Image

Wild Plectranthus amboinicus.

The leaves have also had many traditional medicinal uses, especially for the treatment of coughs, sore throats and nasal congestion.In Indonesia Plectranthus amboinicus is a herb used in soup induce lactation.

Plectranthus amboinicus also make a nice jade green ornamental plant under a shaded area.

Photos: DFNP, Singapore 20120521

Source: Wikipedia

Alternanthera sessilis ‘Red’: Red Sessile Joyweed

Image

Also known as Red Carpet Weed, Bayam Keremak Merah [Malay], found in many parts of the world. It is a creeping low shrub, grows in waste and cultivated ground, especially in damp or wet conditions. Leaves and stems purplish red. Flowers white, produced as inconspicuous head-like clusters in leaf axils.

Image

Plant self-seeds freely. Also can be propagated by stem cuttings. May be used as groundcover, but coverage of ground is not dense due to leggy stems.Medicinal uses: Leaves boiled and drunk as tea to improve blood circulation, as well as relieve high blood sugar and cholesterol.

Photos taken @ HortPark, SG 20120428

Gynostemma pentaphyllum: “Twisting-vine orchid” creeper

Gynostemma pentaphyllum, jiaogulan [Chinese pinyin: jiǎogǔlán, literally “twisting-vine orchid”] is an herbaceous vine of the family Cucurbitaceae [cucumber or gourd family] indigenous to the southern reaches of China, northern Vietnam, southern Korea, and Japan.

Image

Jiaogulan is best known as an herbal medicine reputed to have powerful antioxidant and adaptogenic effects purported to increase longevity. Clinical research has indicated a number of therapeutic qualities of Jiaogulan, such as lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure, strengthening immunity, and inhibiting cancer growth.

Image

Photos taken @ HortPark, SG 20120428

Jiaogulan is most often consumed as an herbal tea, and is also available as an alcohol extract and in capsule or pill form.

Euphorbia tithymaloides: Redbird flower

Red cuties with many names.

Image

Euphorbia tithymaloides, a perennial succulent spurge, has many names used by gardeners and the public.
Among them are buck-thorn, cimora misha, Christmas Candle, Devil’s Backbone, Fiddle Flower, Ipecacuahana, Jacob’s Ladder, Japanese Poinsettia, Jew’s Slipper, Jewbush, Milk-Hedge, Myrtle-Leaved Spurge, Padus-Leaved Clipper Plant, Red Slipper Spurge, Redbird Cactus, Redbird Flower, Slipper Flower, Slipper Plant, Slipper Spurge, Timora Misha, and Zig-Zag Plant.

Image

Named Devil’s Backbone or Jacob’s Ladder due to the zig-zag nature of the stem and called Redbird Cactus or Slipper plant due to the shape of the red flowers.

In other parts of the world, it is known as
gin-ryu [Japan]
pokok lipan, penawar lipan [Malaysia]
pohon zig zag [Indonesia]
airi, baire, and agia [India]
aperejo [Yoruba]
sapatinho do diablo [Brazil]
itamo real [Puerto Rico]
pantoufle [France]
zapatilla del diablo [Mexico]

Source: Wikipedia

Averrhoa bilimbi: Cucumber tree

Many people are familiar with the carambola, but a close relative, the bilimbi [Averrhoa bilimbi], possibly originating on the Moluccas, Indonesia, is cultivated in Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Malaysia for its interesting acid fruits.

Image

Photo: Internet

English: cucumber tree or tree sorrelIndia bilimbi
Sri Lanka: Bilincha, bimbiri
Dominican Republic: Vinagrillo
Philippines: kamias,kalamias, iba
Malaysia: belimbing asam, belimbing buloh, b’ling, billing-billing
Indonesia: belimbing wuluh, belimbing sayur
Thailand: taling pling, kaling pring
Vietnam: khế tàuHaiti blimblin
Jamaica: bimbling plum
Cuba: grosella china
El Salvador & Nicaragua: mimbro
Costa Rica: mimbro, tirigur
Venezuela: vinagrillo
Surinam and Guyana: birambi
Argentina: pepino de Indias
South India/Kerala: Bilimbi, Irumban Puli, Chemmeen Puli
France: carambolier bilimbi, cornichon des Indes

Image

HortPark, Singapore, 20120323

Small, fragrant, 5-petalled flowers, yellowish-green or purplish marked with dark-purple, are borne in small, hairy panicles emerging directly from the trunk and oldest, thickest branches and some twigs, as do the clusters of curious fruits.

Image

[Photo: HortPark, Singapore, 20120323]

Food Uses
The bilimbi is regarded as too acid for eating raw. They yield 44.2% juice having a pH of 4.47, and the juice is popular for making cooling beverages on the order of lemonade.
Mainly, the bilimbi is used in place of mango to make chutney. To reduce acidity, it may be first pricked and soaked in water overnight, or soaked in salted water for a shorter time; then it is boiled with much sugar to make a jam or an acid jelly. The latter, in Malaya, is added to stewed fruits that are oversweet. Half-ripe fruits are salted, set out in the sun, and pickled in brine and can be thus kept for 3 months. The flowers are sometimes preserved with sugar.

Other uses of the Fruit.
Very acid bilimbis are employed to clean the blade of a kris (dagger), and they serve as mordants in the preparation of an orange dye for silk fabrics. Bilimbi juice, because of its oxalic acid content, is useful for bleaching stains from the hands and rust from white cloth, and also tarnish from brass.

Medicinal uses:
In the Philippines, the leaves are applied as a paste or poulticed on itches, swellings of mumps and rheumatism, and on skin eruptions.
Elsewhere, they are applied on bites of poisonous creatures.
Malayans take the leaves fresh or fermented as a treatment for venereal disease. A leaf infusion is a remedy for coughs and is taken after childbirth as a tonic. A leaf decoction is taken to relieve rectal inflammation. A flower infusion is said to be effective against coughs and thrush.
In Java [Indonesia]: The fruits combined with pepper are eaten to cause sweating when people are feeling “under the weather”. A paste of pickled bilimbis is smeared all over the body to hasten recovery after a fever. The fruit conserve is administered as a treatment for coughs, beri-beri and biliousness. A sirup prepared from the fruit is taken as a cure for fever and inflammation and to stop rectal bleeding and alleviate internal hemorrhoids.

Source:
Wikipedia
http://www.ag.purdue.edu/HLA/Pages/ default.aspx