Kumintang flowers

These are the update photos of my periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus). Locally known as Kumintang, I initially got the specimens as “souvenirs” from my friend Mrs. Tolero when she visited Malaysia. Among these pretty flowers, I especially like the ‘Peppermint Cooler’, the white flowers with a red dot at the center.


Sun-loving Gumamelas

bi-color gumamela

The Hibiscus plants are locally known throughout the Philippines as the Gumamela.

pink hawaiian hibiscus

Though this plant has short-lived but continuing blooms, the scent-less Gumamela is one of the most widely cultivated of flowers here in my hometown.

white hibiscus with double petals

Presently, I have eleven shrubs of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis along my fence.

soft orange hibiscus flower; this plant was given by Mrs. Jabinez (Jabinez Garden, Ozamiz City)

Eight of my Gumamela shrubs are potted while three of them are planted on the ground. Moreover, nine of these flowering shrubs are hosts to some of my Dendrobium orchids.

Gumamela with red single petals and dark red center

These plants bloom throughout the year for I placed them in the area of my garden where they get a few hours of direct sun every day. I’ve noticed that the bloom life of these flowers are about 2-3 days, with a succession of blooms that last for months.

pink Gumamela with red center

More often, my Hibiscus plants produce gorgeous flowers in vibrant color in red, white, pink, yellow, peach, orange and purple. So for years, I’ve enjoyed their ruffled and trumpet-shaped blooms.

Gumamela, orange single petals with yellow outline

To get more blooms, the rule of the thumb is pinch and prune. Since I don’t want a huge shrub in my garden, I prune my Gumamelas when necessary.  Pinching their growing tips also helps them to branch out. I’ve planted the cuttings in black bags filled with sandy-loam soil.

peach Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flowers

Moreover, these plant are not only ornamental but medicinal as well. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is one of the plants listed on Philippine herbs. http://www.stuartxchange.org/Gumamela.html


Rose Balsam

I think the Balsam (Impatiens balsamina Linn.) is a must-have plant in any garden.

This plant is locally known as Kamantigi or Kalamatigi. Its has pretty English common names though, such as Rose Balsam, Jewelweed and Touch-me-not. However, the name Balsam gives you an idea that this plant it is a medicinal as well as an ornamental.

The  Balsam flowers bloom in pink, white, red and lavender and variegated petals.

Though it is widely cultivated for ornamental purposes throughout the Philippines, I planted the Kamantigi for its medicinal purpose.

Whenever I have cuts or bruises, I would often get me some of the Kamantigi flowers, crush them and apply the extract directly on the affected parts of the body. Its anti-inflammatory properties alleviate any pain or swelling in my skin.

This plant is listed as one of the medicinal herbs in the Philippines. http://www.stuartxchange.org/Kamantigi.html


Yerba Buena

It’s not everyday to find a bluebottle fly or bottlebee (Calliphora vomitoria) resting on the leaf of a peppermint. That moment I thought, what could it possibly want with the herb? or is it possible that the fly is aware that of the plant’s medicinal value? Hmm…

Anyway, I planted the Yerba Buena (Clinopodium douglasii) for ornamental and medicinal purposes.  And according to the DOH (Department Of Health), the peppermint belongs to the top ten list of Herbal Medicines in the Philippines.


Maidenhair Fern

Alambrillo (Adiantum capillus-veneris Linn.) is a fern commonly known as the Maidenhair fern. Ages ago when hair spa is unheard of,the local hilot (medicine man of the village) would concoct a lotion for falling hair or baldness using this fern.


Madagascar Periwinkle

I would describe the flowers of the Kumintang (Catharanthus roseus) as pied beauties. Hardy as an ornamental plant, it is also noted for its long flowering period. I’ve simply enjoyed the variety of pink periwinkle in my garden throughout the year.


Pink Periwinkle

Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar Periwinkle) is locally known as Kumintang here in the Philippines. The species has long been cultivated for herbal medicine and as an ornamental plant.