A magnificent flowering shrub for the fence
by PU Chien. Posted on July 15, 2012, Sunday
THIS flowering shrub known as Mandevilla sanderi or Dipladenia sanderi grows well in our local conditions.
There is one planted by the roadside of a housing estate near Arang Road in Kuching, which has really attracted me with its beautiful and magnificent blooms. I must admit driving very slowly when in the area so that I can admire it.
My plant is in a large pot placed under shaded netting and its stems and branches are all over the roof of the shed. It is very strong and ready to flower at any time of the year.
Mandevilla is a genus of plants belonging to the family called Apocynaceae or dogbane. It consists of more than 100 species of plants mostly from tropical and subtropical regions. It can be confused with the allamanda flower as it is a similar shape and size.
It was named after British diplomat Henry Mandeville (1773 to 1861).
This woody plant winds its stems around any available support such as fences or poles. Showy flowers are borne in terminal clusters quite a distance from the ground. The trumpet-shaped five-petal flowers, each measuring about five centimetres across come in rose red, pink or brownish yellow with orange throats.
The leaves are quite leathery in a glossy green on short stalks. Each leaf measures from two to five centimetres wide. Regular trimming or pruning can keep it a manageable size.
All young plants require poles or other types of support for the vine-like stem to climb up.
A shrub of around five feet in height is a good size for our gardens. Fence planting would depend on the structure of the fence. It is not able to attach itself to concrete walls but will be happy on iron bars and other fencing.
A friend of mine with the surname Ling recently asked why I haven’t written an article on the Bintangor tree, which was once claimed as having the right properties to treat HIV/AIDS.
I looked up my collection of materials and have gathered some facts to share this week.
The Bintangor tree is found in several areas in Sarawak. Calophyllum comes from the family Calophyllaceae, which consists of 200 species of tropical evergreen trees.
It grows on the ridges of hills and mountains as well as swamps and even coral clays. These are large hardwoods attaining 30 metres in height and nearly a metre in diameter.
It presents shiny and leathery leaves. The tree bark is grey or white and decorticates in large thin strips. Bintangor wood is light and the heartwood is pink red or almost brown. However, the colour of the sap differs from species to species.
The wood was used to make boat masts and spars as well as luxury furniture and flooring.
Ethnopharmacology with calanolides can be found in the plant. Oil from the nuts, resin and balm are being researched for curative properties.
Happy gardening. Do send me an email for more information or if you have any questions.