Gmelina philippensis (Parrot’s Beak), Aka Hedgehog, Snapdragon, Hindi, and Badhara. Gmelina is a genus of plants in family Lamiaceae. Gmelina comprises about 33 species and occurs in the Caribbean, Tropical America, Philipine Islands, India and Southeast Asia. Gmelina philippensis bears a flower in an extraordinary round shrub with pendant branches, medium sized, ivy shaped leaves and exotic flowers comprised of yellow blossoms which emerge at the end of a tube-like structure of overlapping bracts, which are red as they bloom. The flower is said to resemble a parrot’s beak or a snapdragon.
It has become naturalised in the neotropics, India, Africa and Australia. It was named by Carl Linnaeus in honour of botanist Johann Georg Gmelin, (1709-1755), German botanist. Flowers open during the night and remain open for 1 day, rarely 2 days, before they fall. Fruiting begins with a green fruit which contains one seed. You can see the plant fruiting here still green. The fruit is not edible and non-toxic.
Once the flowers fruit, a tube-like structure of overlapping bracts remain solitary in pendulous form. Hardy to USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F), USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F), USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F), USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F).
It tends to grow as a round shrub with pendant branches, when not pruned. Gmelina philippensis is more a vine or climber reaching a height of 10-15 feet. Gmelina is a short-lived tree, which reaches an age of 30-50 years. Appropriate for smaller bonsais (see link below), and rare in San Juan, P.R.. Used mostly for ornamental purposes but bees and hummingbirds feast on it. Gmelina philippensis Cham. [as Gmelina hystrix Schultes ex Kurz], Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, vol. 120 [ser. 3, vol. 50]: t. 7391 (1894) [M. Smith]