Salvia coccinea (Scarlet Sage)

Salvia coccinea (Scarlet Sage)

Salvia coccinea (Scarlet Sage) Aka Moradilla  Blood sage, Texas sage, Hummingbird Sage, or Tropical sage, is a herbaceous perennial in the Lamiaceae family that is widespread throughout the Southeastern United States,  including Texas,  Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, South Carolina and a single county in Ohio. It is native also to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Salvia is…

Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflorum (Thai Basil)

A neighbor kindly showed me the difference between two basils, the “sweet” kind, and the “thai” which is a bit spicier. However, the genuine reason many of our neighbors are cultivating these minty herbs is that they are natural insect repellants, and with the “Zika” virus menacing tropical regions, I will be covering a few…

Ocimum basilicum (Albaca)

Ocimum basilicum (Basil)

Ocimum basilicum (Basil) Aka Albhaca, Alhábega, Great basil or Saint-Joseph’s-wort, is a culinary herb of the family Lamiaceae (mints). It is also called the “king of herbs” and the “royal herb”. The name “basil” comes from Greek (basilikón phutón), meaning “royal/kingly plant”. This plant is growing wild at a neighbor’s backyard, and since it was partly…

Vitex agnus-castus (Chaste Tree)

Vitex agnus-castus (Chaste Tree) Aka Vitex, Chasteberry, Hemp Tree, Texas Lilac, Mexican Lavender, Abraham’s Balm, Lilac Chastetree, or Monk’s Pepper, is a native of the Mediterranean region. It is one of the few temperate-zone species of Vitex, which is on the whole a genus of tropical and sub-tropical flowering plants. Vitex agnus-castus is widely cultivated in…

Ocimum kilimanscharicum (Camphor Basil Plant)

Ocimum kilimanscharicum (Camphor Basil Plant) Aka Camphor Plant, Oregano Brujo, Camphor basil, or Kilimanjaro Basil, is a large growing perennial, with ovate silvery, grey green leaves, is native to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, and Ethiopia, but has naturalised in all pantropical regions of the world, in coastal regions. Camphor Basil is a highly prized ornamental shrub with…

Clerodendrum paniculatum (Pagoda Flower) and the Thyrse (updated)

Clerodendrum paniculatum (Pagoda Flower) Aka Hanuman Kireetam, Orange Tower Flower, Clerodendron, or Pangil-pangil or panggil-panggil (Malay) is native to India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and much of southeastern Asia. It is widely cultivated in tropical gardens throughout the world. Clerodendrum paniculatum was first described in 1767 by the ‘father’ of modern biological nomenclature – the Swedish botanist, Carl Linnaeus.…

Gmelina philippensis (Parrot’s Beak)

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…

Congea tomentosa (Wooly Congea)

Congea tomentosa (Wooly Congea) Aka Shower Orchid, Shower of Orchid (despite the name, it is not closely related to orchids) Lluvia de Orquideas or  Lluvia de Terciopelo, is a large tropical evergreen vine native to Myanmar and Thailand. It can be found elsewhere in South Asia, including Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Bangladesh, and India. This tropical vine…

Rotheca myricoides (Blue Butterfly Bush)

Rotheca myricoides (Blue Butterfly Bush) Aka Butterfly Clerodendron, Blue Glory Bower, Butterfly Bush, Blue Wings, Mudas De Clerodendro, Flor de Mariposa, Flor-borboleta, Borboleta-azul, Clerodendro-africano, Clerodendro-azul, or Lagrimas de la Virgen,  is a species of flowering plant in the Lamiaceae family. Rotheca myricoides is native to tropical East Africa and is cultivated as an ornamental throughout the tropics and widely…