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Monday, 1 December 2014

LANTANA CAMARA OR BUNGA TAHI AYAM

Today I will post about another flower plant from my garden. It is called Lantana Camara or Bunga Tahi Ayam (in Malay). I wonder why it was given the name Bunga Tahi Ayam (in Malay)? Could it be due to the unpleasant smell coming from the bruised or crushed leaf?
Lantana Camara is an evergreen bush or a shrub with many branches spreading out in different directions. It grows well in warm, sunny climate with moist, well-drained soil. This plant can be found growing wild in many places. Some may consider it as weed. It is not easily affected by pests.
Lantana Camara can easily grow from seeds, from cuttings or root suckers. So far I have only tried growing from stem cuttings.
This shrub can grow to about 1 to 1.5 metres (3 to 5 feet) tall. It can be grown as a hedge or an ornamental plant for its striking, multi colour flowers.
It blooms throughout the year and its flowers come in many different colours. The flowers are small and in clusters. As the flowers bloom, the colours change in stages from lighter to darker shades.
The ones in my garden will change from pink, yellow, orange to bright red. I was told that the red-flowered ones are more toxic than those of the lighter shades. Oh dear, are my plants the more toxic ones? The flowers turn orange and red when fully bloomed like in the photos.
The fruit is small, light greenish to black. Unripe berry or fruit and leaves are considered very toxic, so it is wise to keep this plant far away from children and pets. It is claimed that the seeds germinate very easily. I have yet to try seeds germination,
The leaves are rough on the top side and hairy underside and may cause itchiness to those with sensitive skin.
The young stalks and stems are covered with fine prickly hairs when they are tender. As they age, the stems become woody.
I was told that the ugly patches on the leaves that look like burnt marks revealed that the soil is lacking in some minerals. They may not look pretty on the plants but there is nothing to worry about, the plants will not be harmed in anyway.
Claims of medicinal values and uses:-
  • To treat swelling and pain of body, skin eruptions and ulcers: Pound the leaves to a paste and apply to wounds and ulcers to reduce swelling.

  • To treat rheumatism: Soak leaves in water and apply water to joints.

As it is with all herbs and all their side effects, it is advisable to use them with caution especially those plants that are said to be toxic. We are using them at our own risks.
Charm is deceptive, and the beauty is fleeting;

but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

(Proverbs 31:30, New International Version-NIV)

21 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing, if not i won't know abt the name of the plant...

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  2. Another one of your treasure plants! How did you snap the picture like that... nice.. colourful.. next time I will be more observant!

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    1. Claire, I am enjoying myself taking all these pics.

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  3. Wa I din know that red color ones are toxic. Anyway , this can't be eaten right? Very informative. Thanks Nancy for sharing ;) your garden is beautiful. Bill call my garden jungle ;p

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    1. Elin, don't worry. After your retirement, you will have the time to tidy up and rearrange your plants.

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  4. Wa I din know that red color ones are toxic. Anyway , this can't be eaten right? Very informative. Thanks Nancy for sharing ;) your garden is beautiful. Bill call my garden jungle ;p

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  5. Very interesting and the pictures beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. We have these here! But I did not know about the way the color changes. Your photography is beautiful. Especially the leaves!! Wow, they look even prettier than the flowers today!

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    1. Thank you, Ginny. Yes the colour changes as the flower blooms.

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  7. The colours of this flower are so pretty! I have not seen any around my area.

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  8. I enjoy reading your post each single day. What not, with all the beautiful & colourful flowers. I can imagine how colourful is your garden. Thanks for sharing all the lovely photos, plants, flowers and their benefits. Gain a lot of knowledge from you.

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    1. Thank you, Irene, for your compliment. I am very encouraged.

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  9. This is one smelly but very pretty plant! I actually don't mind the smell at all. When I was small, I only see the orange coloured ones but now there are other colours, Once I bought the purple one from Sg Buloh but the plant died.

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    1. The purple one should be very beautiful and unique. I like the white one. I think the purple and white ones are quite rare.

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  10. Smelly but pretty in colours... Haix! Why can't we have best of the both world? :p

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