Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Prickly Beauty

In our garden, we have only one plant with orange flowers though we do have other plants with flowers that have touches of orange.

The Wax Rose (Pereskia bleo) is, surprisingly, a temperate zone plant from Panama/Colombia that seems to do very well here. Apparently, there are yellow and pink varieties but I have only seen the orange one. Our bush is about 60 cm (2') but just behind the Boulevard SC in Kuching, you can see a 3.5 m (11.5') foot tree!

Truly a real beauty adorn with deadly sharp spines that jutted out from every one of the leaf nodes. Each leaf node have some half a dozen needle-like spines. Each time we re-pot, we had to wear thick gloves and still got injured - so we mostly leave this plant alone - only adding water and fertiliser as required!

Just look at those wicked-looking spines!

The young spines (seen above) are shorter, thicker, slightly more flexible but the matured spines (below) are hard sharp needles!

In spite of the spines, the glorious striking orange colour  of the flowers make this plant a big plus for the garden. 

When the flowers drop off, seed pods develop ......

The propagation of this plant is by cutting and the cuttings,  unlike the cacti, cannot be rested but must be potted immediately.

On a side note, I have read in various TCM magazines that the leaves of this plants are used in traditional medicines. I also came across in this article the following tidbit :

The leaves of Pereskia bleo (Kunth) DC. (Cactaceae) are used traditionally in Malaysia for the treatment of cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and diseases associated with rheumatism and inflammation. They are also used as remedy for the relief of gastric pain, ulcers and for revitalizing the body. The leaves are generally consumed by the locals either raw or taken as a concoction brewed from fresh leaves.  

The above information is just for your academic interest and not  medical information of any sort. DO NOT ever DIY any herbal concoctions from this plant for consumption. I still need you all to read this blog!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment