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by : BTF

As I Wander...

Living in tropical Malaysia, we tend to take the hot humid weather, thundery rainstorms and the spectrum of wild evergreen plants as a given.

Recently, I noticed more exotic plants making its way into landscaped home gardens, recreational parks, frontages of shopping malls and
commercial buildings.

Along kerb sides of residential streets and busy motorways, palms, trees and flowering plants make pleasant and interesting fringes.

This is a record of the various species "as I see it" for I am in awe of palms. Hence, my premise for this blog is that the global garden,
i.e. every physical garden (tended or untended), becomes a part of my, simply said, cyber palm garden. ;-)

Please feel free to share your thoughts or comments.

Thank you for visiting!

ShaShinKi - Malaysia's Online Camera Shop!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Split Leaf Cyclanthus

Botanical Name : Cyclanthus bipartitus

The only species in its genus Cyclanthus - that's how rare and special this is. At first sight, it looks like an understory palm. Unfortunately, it isn't.  Doesn't stop me here...

A native of Central America (Amazon), this rhizomous flowering plant can grow quite tall (6-8ft). Some class it as a herb but nothing mentioned about whether it being edible or not. It can be propagated by separating the rhizomes or by leaf cuttings (a sneaky thought just came to mind :-)) or even the fruits floating or carried away by water.

The broad leaves are split about midway, though some have deeper splits while others less so and follows along two separate veins after the split.  Noticed that some are even split right into two parts.  The leaves are elongated, light to medium green and slightly textured. Each leaf is borne on smooth, thin green stems like petioles arising from the ground.

six footer
This big healthy clump is really attractive.  Thrives in the humid and wet rainforest understory.  One really has to see it to appreciate its stunning tropical beauty.

partial split

half split

full split

It bears small clusters of sweet smelling flowers.  I am enticed by a photo in with regard to its 'inflorescence'.  It actually looked like an interesting yummy dessert concoction from the deliciously delectable 'Death by Chocolate'.  So, am certainly dying to see it...

Lastly, if wary its spread by rhizome could potentially make it an invasive plant, suggest just pot it!

p.s. credit to members for assisting to match this stunning rare plant to its name.

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