Friday, January 25, 2013

Medinilla cummingii

Medinilla cummingii shrub

Medinilla is a genus of about 150 species of flowering plants in the family Melastomataceae, native to tropical regions The genus was named after J. de Medinilla, governor of the Mariana Islands in 1820.

Members of the mostly-tropical Melastomataceae family, medinillas have a very different leaf, and a very different blossom. The flowers are very colorful and range from fuchsia to purple to blue to almost glass-like.  They have flowers bunches borne on long, pendulous stems, hence the common name chandelier plant/tree/shrub. The base of each cluster of flowers also has a large bract which covers the flowers like a lid. Many plants which live in rainforest surroundings have adapted ways of keeping their flowers dry.
The leaves have pronounced veins which run parallel to the midvein which may help channel off water. Medinilla magnifica is a large-growing species with very large leaves.
Medinilla cummingii likes growing in a shining place. Place the vases in a pretty sunny place, although avoiding direct sunlight, which could damage the shrubbery.

The flower.
water the  Medinilla cummingii every 1-2 weeks with 2-3 glasses of water , which means when the soil has been dry for days; if the season should be very hot and arid we can intensify the quantity of irrigations, although must avoid leaving the substratum soaked with water. It is advisable to water the plants avoiding water in the saucer, because stagnant water often develops fungal diseases Fertilization is done by adding fertilizer to the irrigating water, every 15-20 days.

These plants need a soft, dissolved, not very drained soil with an acid PH. Every 2-3 years should remember to repot the plant in a slightly larger container.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Jackfruit - Artocarpus heterophyllus

The jackfruit, Artocarpus heterophyllus is an enormous, bristle, egg-shaped fruit that have been first nurtured in Indian tropical forest. it is mostly grown in tropical climates. The tree is striking and majestic, 9-21 m tall, with rubbery leaves 22.5 cm long. Almost all the parts of the tree secrete sticky latex like milk (juice) when injured.

jackfruit, Artocarpus heterophyllus
The fruit varies widely in size, weigh from 3 to 30 kg, and has a round shape measuring 10 cm to 60 cm in length, 25 to 75 cm in diameter. The immature fruits are green; when ripen, might turn to light brown color and spread a strong sweet, fruity smell. Its outer surface is covered with the blunt spikes like projections, which become soft as the fruit ripe. Its interior consists of orange-yellow tinted edible bulbs. Each bulb consists of sweet-flavored coverings that encircle a smooth, oval, light-brown color seed.

outer surface is covered with the blunt spikes like projections
Jackfruit seed is 2 to 4 cm long and 1 to 3 cm thick and is white and crisp within. There may be as many as 100 to 500 edible bulbs rooted in a single fruit interspersed between thin bands of fibers. Jackfruit seeds are indeed very rich in protein and nutritious. In general, the seeds are gathered from the ripe fruit, sun-dried and stored for use in rainy season in many parts of South Indian states. Different variety of recipes prepared in Southern India where they are eaten either by roasting as a snack or added to curries in place of lentils.

The leaf
The ripe fruit

The separated ripe fruits, with seeds, without seeds, and seeds


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