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Norby Bautista
Norby Bautista
Bloom of the Week

Growing the tropical bleeding heart

One of the small flowering vine suited for beginners and ideal as a houseplant is the two colored white and red Bleeding Heart.  The Tropical Bleeding Heart vine, or scientifically known as Clerodendrum thomsoniae is a species of flowering plant in the genus Clerodendrum of the family Verbenaceae, a native to tropical west Africa from Cameroon west to Senegal.  It is an evergreen liana or forest vine growing to  about 4 meters tall, with ovate to oblong leaves  at about 8–17 centimeters long. The flowers are produced in cymes of 8-20 blooms altogether, with each flower having a pure white to pale purple five-lobed calyx  about 2.5 cm in diameter, and a red five-lobed corolla 2 cm long and in diameter.  This attractive  white and red floral color is one …

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2016 Philippine Orchid Society midyear garden show

The Philippine Orchid Society  celebrated its 70th anniversary last August  26 to September  5  2016 at the Hardin ng mga Bulaklak (Flower Garden area), Quezon Memorial Circle, Diliman, Quezon City.  The site was once again transformed into a colorful display of orchid landscapes, decorated with the lovely blooms of the Queen of all Orchids, the Waling Waling or the Vanda sanderiana.  This year’s  theme was  “Building Bridges Through Orchids”. Orchid lovers, collectors, plant aficionados, orchid growers and plant traders joined once again and showcased their prized orchid and plant collections.  Visitors were welcomed with exquisite and colorful landscapes, pocket gardens, floral exhibits and large dish garden arrangements.  There were also a plant and orchid commercial area and a lecture area which provided daily lectures on various plant topics. The Midyear Garden Show …

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The diversified forms of the Philippine Wax Plant or Hoyas

Hoya is a genus of about 200-300 species of tropical climbing or trailing plants in the Apocynaceae (Dogbane) plant family.  The genus is native to southern Asia (India east to southern China and southward), Australia, and Polynesia. Common names for this genus are waxplant, waxvine, waxflower shooting star or simply Hoya. This genus was named by botanist Robert Brown, in honor of his friend, botanist Thomas Hoy. Hoyas are evergreen climbing vines or shrubs growing to 1-10 m (or more with suitable support in trees). They have simple opposite leaves 5-30 cm long that are typically succulent, and in many species are flecked with irregular small silvery spots. The flowers appear in axillary umbellate clusters at the apex of 2-3 cm peduncles, with repeated clusters of flowers developing sequentially on each peduncle. …

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Preparing for the blooming of the Waling Waling Orchid

With the onset of the rainy season, especially the almost 2- week long continuous rain or “siyam-siyam", most true orchid enthusiasts are very excited.  Who wouldn't be? It is the climatic requirement for the flowering of one of the grandest and important Philippine orchid species, the Waling-Waling or the Vanda sanderiana. The Waling-Waling can also be scientifically identified as Euanthe sanderiana due to its peculiar spurless labellum in its flower, as most Vanda has a spur.  This magnificent and beautiful orchid is now being used as a parent for the breeding of modern Vandaceous orchids, in order to acquire the flatness and roundness of standard cut-flower vanda orchids. Historically, the plant was discovered by a European,  Mr. Cari Roebelin, in July 14, 1880.  He worked as a plant collector for Frederick Sander, …

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A majestic and tranquil garden hideaway

There is a buzz of a new leisure farm and camping destination, just a stone-throw away from the cool highlands of Tagaytay.  The place is easy to locate from the directional signs starting from the Alfonso ark. The majestic and tranquil Preziosa Botanic Park and Farm Resort is located in Sugsugin, Alfonso, Cavite.  It is a 16-hectare developed estate, with a warm-welcoming reception area, a grand functional Pavilion, and first-class Villas, where you can stay for the night.  Upon arrival, visitors are usually greeted with refreshing buko juice and suman, with attendants dressed in Hawaiian polo shirts. The area is ideal for retreats or team-building, or just to have a quiet time away from the busy city life.  The Pavilion also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner upon request. The idea for …

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The beauty of the true bird of paradise

The true Bird of Paradise, or scientifically known as Strelitzia reginae is a beautiful tropical dwarf banana-like plant indigenous to South Africa. Its common name is often associated with the Heliconias, which is also a relative of this unique plant, including the travelers’ palm. It is also popularly known as Crane Flower, due to its unusual form and color. This, together with its long post-harvest life makes it a very important cut-flower. Its scientific name commemorates Charlotte Sophia of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz family, queen of King George III of England. She is a patron of botany. The Bird of Paradise is commercially produced in countries like Hawaii, California, Florida, The Netherlands, France, Israel, and South Africa. Because of its tropical beauty, it is the official flower of the city of Los Angeles, California. …

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Growing the exotic Coelogyne Orchid

Coelogyne orchids are one of the most important orchid group, with approximately 150 species distributed throughout the southeast Asia area, China and the Philippines. It is a group which includes a number of horticulturally important species that have been in great demand by orchid collectors since their introduction in the last part of the 1800s. It also includes some considerable number of botanical type plants which are seldom found in collections. Coelogyne orchids are popular in collections due to their mostly fragrant, free flowering, and showy inflorescences. The orchid genus was found by Dr. Lindley in 1825, with the well-known horticultural species Coelogyne cristata as the type specimen. The generic name Coelogyne was suggested by the prominent depression in the stigma and was derived from the Greek kailos, "hollow," and gyne, …

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Joy in growing the Flowering and Foliage Begonias

Begonias are a group of interesting plants with over 2,000 species and hybrids.  They are valued primarily for their uniquely beautiful flowers and their decorative leaves that vary in shape and color.  Begonias also range in size from the tiny, ground hugging creepers to the stout-stemmed large specimen plants.  All begonias have green or colorful asymmetrical leaves, that grows alternately on its stem. Many begonias don’t require continuous direct sunlight.  This makes them particularly suitable for indoor use. Most plants produce clusters of flowers on short stalks arising from the stem or on each leaf axil.  There are separate male and female flowers on the same plant.  With these, female flowers can be pollinated to produce a capsule with seeds. The plant group is so large that it is divided into different …

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The multi-colored and heat tolerant Lantanas

Lantana, locally known as Kantutay or scientifically known as Lantana camara, is a hardy and persistent floriferous shrub.  It can thrive in hot and sunny areas, without much cultural concern, almost spreading and growing like weeds.  The plant usually grows to a woody shrub almost 2 feet tall.  It belongs to the Verbenaceae plant family and is native to the American tropics. Flowers form in small clusters, which are often comprised of individual flowers that start out one color and mature to another, giving each cluster a multicolored effect.  It is like a miniature Santan but with a much brighter and more colorful effect.  Some flowers are single color, while others could be two to three color combinations.  Butterflies adore the newly opened florets, making Lantana a favorite and a leading …

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The decorative and nutritional value of mulberries

One interesting fruit tree is the mulberry. It can be trained as a bonsai, or grown as an ornamental tree.   Mulberries, which is commonly known as Morus nigra or Morus indica, depending on the species,  is a popular plant provinces with multiple yet not well practiced uses.  The genus Morus comprises about 10-16 species of deciduous trees, usually growing wild and also under cultivation both in the temperate and tropical regions.  The tree belongs to the plant family Moraceae.  Mulberries are fast-growing when young, but soon become slow-growing and rarely exceed 10–15 m (33–49 ft) tall, making it a small to medium sized tree. Economically, the tree is commonly grown to produce leaves which are usually fed to silk worms for the manufacture of silk threads.  The mulberry is a popular …

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