Thursday, November 13, 2008

Indian Kale

From the jungles of Borneo, I created a bit of green wilderness in my patch of Singapore. I was the secretary of the NTU gardening club, having an allotement, as well as a garden outside and inside my house. I had a gardening column with the Nanyang Connect, sadly, they don't keep them in their archives.
I have this Indian kale which has a single almost black dark purple flower. The bloom lasts only 1 day and is best only in the early morning. It doesn't bloom much. May be once every 2 years. If you don't catch it blooming in the morning, you have to wait for another year or 2. This applies only if you have a green thumb like me. I have friends tell me that their plant doesn't flower under their care.
This reminds me of the search for the black tulip. Only this slipper like flower is so rare. You see, I snuck into the jungle and stole the mother plant and brought the jungle back with me. I had been quite successful in propagating the plant in pots. I thrill my Indian friends when I present a flowering plant to them with their name sake.
An Australian friend thinks that a similar plant in Australia is called the black slipper. The way the bloom disappears reminds me of Cinderella having to rush back before the carriage turned back into the pumpkin. Perhaps the Aussie person was a great fan of children's stories and named it Cinderella, one of my all time favourites when I was young.

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