Hey everyone! Welcome to floral weekends. For those who don’t know, this is a segment started by me where I write about some beautiful and strange flowers from all around the world. If you also wanna be a part of this, pingback to my blog and use the tag #floralweekends. This way we can enjoy a number of beautiful flowers.
So this is my last floral weekend for 2017. Ending this year with a very unique and beautiful flower. So today I bring to you Strongylodon macrobotrys, commonly known as jade vine, emerald vine or turquoise jade vine (because of its color). Its a leguminous woody vine belonging to the pea and bean family. Locally known as tayabak, it is natve to phillipines. So firstly, this plant only grows in damp riverine forests of phillipines.
Jade vine is known for its cascading hanging clusters of claw shaped flowers, upto 75 in one cluster… blue-green in color. The huge, pendant-like clusters are suspended from twisting, wisteria-like stems with waxy green leaves. This vine is an agressive grower, it is extremely boisterous in its natural environment, it destroys trees and plants growing near it. Although its current existence has become vulnerable ever since the destruction of rainforests of phillipines and also decrease in number of its pollinators. Hence, its propogation has been very difficult. A method of marcotting is used to help it grow.
The plants grows in damp forests. The inflorescence is produced by the mature vines. Each flower looks like a stout bodied butterfly with folded wings. With time the species has evolved itself to be pollinated by bats which hang upside down on the flower to drink its nectar.
There’s a thousand variety of strongylodon, but there’s a red jade vine, New-Guinea creeper or scarlet jade vine (Mucuna bennetti), which resembles this flower a lot. This species belongs to different genus, Mucuna.
In case you are thinking of cultivating it, here are a few things you gotta keep in mind. Its not frost tolerant. In such a place the plant must be grown in a large glasshouse or conservatory. Because jade vines grow rapidly and have pendant flowers, be sure to provide them with a sturdy support. Ideally, the flowers are best viewed from underneath, but the plants can also be grown up a vertical structure and the flower clusters will hang down among the leaves as bright splashes of color. Jade vines are not particularly susceptible to pests but can be affected by mealybugs, aphids, and mites. Signs of infestation include tiny webs on plants, clumps of white “powdery” residue, or visible insects on the plant. Treat infestations as soon as possible to prevent them from spreading to the rest of your collection.
If you’d like to visit this plant, you can check them out at Kew Gardens, Cambridge University Botanic Gardens in the UK. In the US, it can be seen at Naples Botanical Garden, Longwood Gardens, Franklin Park Conservatory, The New York Botanical Gardens and Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens. In Florida, it is at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and in Hawaii at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.
So thats all about today’s Floral Weekend. Hope you enjoyed reading about this majestic flower. I’m in love with it. Its so unique. Stay tuned for a new flower next week.
Have a Nice Day. 🙂