Kaempferia pulchra is native to Burma and is part of the ginger family. It is grown for the attractive decorative foliage and the dainty lavender flowers.
We tried Kaempferia pulchra in the open ground where they grew well until the dry season when they went dormant. The plants were forgotten and the little tubers were accidentally dug up and thrown out. Pots are the answer. For a plant that looks so delicate, it is amazingly tough and not at all fussy about soil, seldom receiving extra food. It still wakes up and gives of its best when watered, going back to sleep when it becomes too dry. It hates the sun.
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is a genus of about 125 species which originate from a number of different parts of the world, Madagascar being the winner with 60 species. It was first described by the botanist Georg Joseph Kamel but named by Michel Adanson who adapted the generic name Kalanchoe from the Chinese name ‘Kalanchauhuy’ .
It is a succulent and an all the year plant for the garden. Part of the year the foliage works well as a ground cover, then suddenly, after rain, it bursts into flower, producing bright red clusters that last for a long period. It withstands drought fairly well but, if it becomes too dry, it can look rather sad and forlorn. It is easily propagated from leaf or stem cuttings.
Kalanchoe thyrsiflora is an unusual succulent, growing with round paddle shaped green leaves which get a red tinge to the edge of the leaf if exposed to a lot of sun. This plant is easy to grow, given a little water when necessary and protection from the hottest part of the day.
Kigelia Africana, better known as Sausage Tree, is native to tropical West Africa and now occurs throughout tropical Africa. It is a single species in the Bignoniaceae family and was first described by the botanist Michel Andason in 1763.
Africana struggles in this garden because there is such a little depth of soil. So far it has stayed the course but it will probably be a short lived experience. It is an evergreen tree, giving much needed shade and a place for orchids to grow and flourish. We rarely see the flowers on the tree; they only last a night and are to be found on the ground having been pollinated by bats and other large insects. On one occasion our tree produced two sausages.
Several scientific studies in recent years suggest that Kigelia Africana may indeed have remarkable healing and conditioning effects on the skin.
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