Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Landscaping" -- Part 2

Knowns and Unknowns

Help appreciated!

Some of the plants I recognized or have been able to identify:

Coleus. I never realized that this was in the mint family -- but I should have known, since like most mints, it's really easy to grow.
Hibiscus. The familiar red version is a favorite of Ganesha (the god with the elephant head).
I've got one of those, too, but it's not blooming at the moment.

Bougainvillea. It took me a while to figure this one out. The one I bought is bright purple. All shades of red and pink bougainvillea are blooming throughout Vapi.
I also recognized the "annuals": impatiens, marigolds, begonias, and petunias. I'll have to see if they are annuals or perennials here -- there being no real dormant season.

Others that I didn't photograph are:
  • Tulsi (aka Holy Basil, not to be confused with Thai Holy Basil, apparently), which is used as a mild medicinal tea, and is a favorite of the goddess Lakshmi. You are supposed to have a tulsi plant or two in your home for Diwali.
  • New Caledonian Pine, which looks just like Norfolk Island Pine, but my books assure me that if you have this plant in India, it's the former. Both are in the genus Araucaria, which is an important tree in southern Brazil: and
    I'll decorate it as our Christmas tree this year.
  • Curry Bush, the leaves of which give Indian cuisine one of it's distinctive flavors.

And here are the ones I haven't been able to identify. If you know (or think you know) what these are, speak up! (i.e. email or leave a comment.) I didn't realize I should have brought a "houseplant" book with me!

I know I've seen this plant back in the U.S. I had something that looked similar, but non-variegated, as a ground cover at our townhouse in Richmond. Couldn't figure out what that was, either.
Thanks to a reader, this has been identified as Schefflera. (That actually sounds familiar!)

Another plant that looks familiar to me from the houseplant aisle in garden centers.
Thanks to some help, this one is most likely Croton.
I haven't been able to identify this Juniper-like specimen -- all the books say that juvenile foliage is difficult to impossible to identify.
This gangly plant had one almost-gone extremely fragrant flower when I bought it. I think it's Champas (Michelia champaca). I'll have a better idea when it blooms again.

I've no idea what this is. Flowers have 5 petals; leaf has three lobes with deep sinuses.

1 comment:

  1. I love doing landscaping. There's nothing quite like being outside making things grow! Not everyone has time for it but for those of us that do it's a singular, healthy pleasure. Time to break out the sunhat and knee pad!