Shield aralia

Shield araliaPolyscias scutellaria (Araliaceae) Characteristics Tropical shrub, 2-6 m tall. Thick trunk. Leaves 1- or 2-pinnate, rounded or oval, toothed or sometimes cut. Tiny flowers occur in erect panicles of umbels. Shield aralia is often used to form bonsai. It grows best in moderately humid environments with no direct sun-light and adapts rather well indoors.…

Red flag bush

Red flag bushMussaenda erythrophylla (Rubiaceae) Characteristics Evergreen shrub, up to 10 m tall (but is kept compact under cultivation). The bracts may have different shades, including red, rose, white and pale pink. It grows best in warmly temperate or subtropical areas and is semi-deciduous in cooler parts. The star-like flowers are 10 mm in diameter.…

White leadtree

White leadtreeLeucaena leucocephala (Fabaceae) Characteristics Small, fast-growing tree. Used for a variety of purposes, such as fencing, soil fertility (N-Fixation), firewood (high biomass production), fiber and livestock fodder (high protein content). During the 1970s and 1980s, it was promoted as a “miracle tree” for its multiple uses. However, it has also been described as a…

Cassava (Tapioka)

Cassava (Tapioka)Manihot esculenta (Euphorbiaceae) Characteristics Woody shrub. Although naturally a perennial plant, Cassava is extensively cultivated as an annual for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates. Though it is often called “yuca” in Spanish America and in the United States, it is not related to “yucca”, a shrub in the family…

Candle bush

Candle bushSenna cf. alata (Fabaceae) Characteristics Shrub, up to 4 m tall. Leaves 50-80 cm long (with many leaflets). Inflorescence looks like a yellow candle (“Candle bush”). Fruit shaped like a straight pod, up to 25 cm long. Seeds distributed by water or animals. Distribution Native to most of the Neotropics (from Mexico and the…

Chilli / Pepper

Chilli / PepperCapsicum annuum (Solanaceae) Characteristics Shrubby, perennial herb, up to 60 cm tall. Stem densely branched. Flowers white (sometimes purplish). Botanically, the Chilli fruits are berries that may be green, yellow, orange or red when ripe. While Capsicum annuum can tolerate most frost-free climates, it is especially productive in warm and dry climates. Distribution…

Water Lilly (English)

Water Lilly (English)Nymphaea sp. (Nymphaeaceae) Characteristics Water lilies are aquatic, rhizomatous, perennial herbs. Leaves grow from the rhizome on long petioles. Most of the leaves float on the surface of the water. Flowers are pollinated by insects, often beetles. Plant reproduce by root tubers and seeds. Distribution The genus has a cosmopolitan distribution. Many species…

Asian poison bulb

Asian poison bulbCrinum asiaticum (Amaryllidaceae) Characteristics Perennial herb, up to 1 m tall. Leaf base formed pseudobulb. Leaves lanceolate, up to 1 m long and 7-12 cm wide. Aromatic, white inflorescence. Distribution Native to Indian Ocean Islands, East Asia, Tropical Asia, Australia and Pacific Islands. It is regarded as naturalized in Mexico, Florida and Madagascar.…

Molau yalewa

Molau yalewaPhyllanthus cordata (Phyllanthaceae) Characteristics Evergreen shrub or tree, 3-7 m tall, spreading crown. Grows in dry forests, ridge forests, pastures and along roadsides, at elevations up to 900 meters. The plant flowers and produces fruits all year round. Distribution .Endemic to Fiji. Natural Medical Properties No known. Did you know? This species is noteworthy…

Siris tree (Fiji)

Siris tree (Fiji)Albizia lebbeck (Fabaceae) Characteristics Tree, up to 25 m, wide-canopied with large, symmetrical, umbrella-shaped crown. Pinkish flowers with white and red stamens, set on heads with around 12-25 flowers per head. These heads may number in the thousands, covering the whole tree. Large branches of the tree tend to break off, particularly during…