Mussaenda

Mussaenda

Family: Rubiaceae

August, 19, 2011 This shrub is sometimes referred to as “Bangkok Rose”. It produces a showy display in shades of white, pink, salmon to red over an extended period. Unfortunately, the bushes are not so attractive in winter when they can loose their leaves if we have had a drought. Therefore, they might be best in a mixed garden where other plants can provide interest when the Mussaenda is not in flower.

Bracts or sepals? The showy part of the Mussaenda flower is composed of enlarged sepals, either white or variously coloured. In a “typical” flower, the petals are the showy component while the sepals (which form the calyx) are usually green and relatively inconspicuous in the open flower.

I Plant in a rich loam and keep it evenly moist until it is established. It roots well from a cutting of the harder stems.

I prefer to have it stand a lone with lots of space for optimum growth.

From the beautiful gardens of  Generis Taylor-Hodge

Bougainvillea

June 22, 2011

Our beloved bougainvillea, what would a caribbean garden be without one or two of these beauties.

Bougainvillea (pronounced /ˌbuːɡɨnˈvɪliə/)[2] is a genus of Flowering Plants native to South America . Different authors accept between four and 18 species in the genus. The plant was classified by Europeans in Brazil in 1768, by Philibert Commerçon, a French botanist accompanying French Navy Admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville during his voyage of circumnavigation.

In the landscape, it makes an excellent hot season plant, and its drought tolerance makes bougainvillea ideal for warm climates year-round. Bougainvillea has a high salt tolerance, which makes it a natural choice for color on coastal regions. As a woody clambering vine, bougainvillea will stand alone and can be pruned into a standard, but it is perfect along fence lines, on walls, in containers and hanging baskets, and as a hedge or an accent plant. Its long arching branches are thorny, and bear heart-shaped leaves and masses of papery bracts in white, pink, orange, purple, and burgundy. Many cultivars, including double flowered and variegated ones are now readily available. These plants are relatively pest free.

 

Antigua’s National Flower – The Agave

AgaveOther Names: Dagger Log or Batta Log (Barbuda). Agave Karatto, Century Plant

Family: Lily Family

Description: This plant of the Lily Family is very majestic and noble to look at; it is well named as the word “Agave” is from the Greek “Agave” meaning “noble”.

Perennial: It flowers once in 10- 20 years then it dies, hence its other name (Century Plant)

Soil: dry

Sunlight: Sun to part sun

Uses: the dried logs are tied together with a wooden stake for fishing inland waters.

Propagation: Agave can be propagated by seeds, and they will put on pups, but will not root from cuttings.

Clerodendrum

April 2010 Featured Plant
ClerodendrumClerodendrum

Other Names: Glory Bower, Starburst, Shooting Star

Family: Lamiaceae

Description: Blooms are huge, most are 8-12 inches in diameter. Each flower is made up of scores of smaller 3-4 inch long flowers bursting from the center. plant Clerodendrum quadriloculare as a focal point Likes rich loam and moist plant in zone 10A-11

Perennial: Blooms in Antigua starting January or February, then blooms continuously for several months.

Soil: Well drained, moist, fertile humus

Sunlight: Full sun to Partial shade

Uses: Accent bush — show piece

Propagation: Cuttings, suckers, seeds

Agave

Petrea, Sandpaper Vine

March 2009 Featured PlantPetrea

Petrea, Sandpaper VineFamily: Verbenaceae, also relative to Verbena

Description: Long plumes of violet star shaped flowers

Perennial: Native to West Indies, Mexico and India

Soil: Not Fussy, likes it dry

Sunlight: Full sun

Uses: The purple plumes of blooms are a real show stopper, easy to grow and propagate by cuttings, or self seeds, leaves does feel like sand paper. Flowers after the rain.

Propagation: Cut back to keep in shape and encourage new blooms.


Thunbergia battiscombei

Thunbergia battiscombei

Thunbergia battiscombei

Family: Acanthaceae

Description: Purple, violet trumpet like flowers with a yellow center

Perennial: Flowers Year round in the Caribbean profusely

Soil: Tolerate dry conditions once established. Not fussy about soil, must be well drained

Sunlight: Full sun

Uses: Structural support Very decorative on a trellis, fences, great back drop to any garden

Propagation: Easy by cuttings