Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Some Blooms And Some Herbs

My potted hibiscus, in a lighter shade of red, is blooming now.

And these two were in the hospital garden where last
week, my son had his moles removed. While he was in
the OT I had a quick look around.

Angel trumpet outside a shop/office complex. This reminded
me of Tina's recent post. Even the colour is the same!

Culantro/Eryngium foetidum is a much-loved herb in my region.
We use it for garnishing a whole lot of dishes. It has a strong
flavour but it's not unpleasant. I was surprised to learn that
it's widely used in South America and the West Indies. I'd thought
it was popular only in eastern Asia.

Other names are--Mexican coriander, serrated coriander, fitweed,
spiny coriander. Locally, it's known as Maan dhania. Dhania is
the word for coriander in Hindi and a few other Indian languages.

Another popular herb in this region is the Chameleon plant/
Houttuynia cordata. Although this plant comes in other colours,
here we only have this variety. It's pungent but one gets used
to the taste and smell.

As for this one, I don't know what it's called in English.
It's the best garnish for dishes made with a combination of
vegetables and dry fish. It resembles the basil and has a
pungent but refreshing smell.


tina said...

I always love snooping around hospitals. Oftentimes they have the best landscapes. The Angel Trumpet is very much like mine indeed, though quite a bit bigger. Hopefully mine will grow that big. I love these guys. Your herbs intrigue me. Your chameleon plant is a much maligned plant here in most of the US. I must say I hate it too. Another blogger in Nashville posted a long time ago that she loved it and that she used it in cooking (she if from the far east); I got quite a chuckle out of that post! I inherited here in my garden and honestly, I like the smell and that it is tough, albeit a bit too tough. It's pretty hard to eradicate once you have it so that is the main problem I think. Maybe the last herb is some type of oregano? Not sure. Your son is fine now?

Anonymous said...

Hi Kanak, I love hibiscus flowers. Here in GA, we have trouble with Japanese Beetles eating the leaves this time of the year. I hope your son is doing fine now - that's a pretty white hibiscus at the hospital. Mama loved trumpet trees - we used to have peach, white and yellow and they were so fragrant. Interesting to see your herbs too. About the only herbs I have growing are lemon balm, oregano, and basil. I love the scent of all three. Hope you have a great day and get well wishes to your son.

Karen said...

I just love the variety of hibiscus you can grow and find near your place. I hope your son is fine, not too painful after the surgery. You have had to spend too much time in hospitals lately with family! I hope you get a long break from that now. No idea about the last herb but I love all the other ones, they are so unfamiliar here. I enjoy growing herbs and always look to add new ones, I will look for culantro. Thanks!

Kanak Hagjer said...

Tina, I saw a few sites about how invasive the chameleon plant is! It is, but if we keep a check on it by eating it, that's taken care of!! When I was a child I used to really hate it but with my mother always talking about the benefits of herbs/fresh veggies, I had a go and later developed the taste for it.

My son is all right now. Just a little discomfort which should go away soon. About the last herb, I'll let you know when I get the name.

Thank you Mildred. My son's moles (all three of them) were getting bigger and so he/we wanted them removed.

I can imagine how lovely your trumpet trees must've been. I'm glad that the white hibiscus reminded you of your mom. Your herbs sound lovely.

Karen, the other day I was passing by a locality where all the hibiscus shrubs were at least 6" tall. I was so tempted to walk up, ring the bell and ask whether I could click away. You see there was no good view from outside the gates! All fenced up! But the rain came in great big drops and I had to abandon this idea!!!!

I did read that culantro isn't well-known in the US too. But one can never say! About hospitals, I've had my fair share of staying and looking after my family members. But the last one wasn't bad and he'll soon be without any kind of discomfort.

islandgal246 said...

Kanak that cilantro herb is called shadon beni in Trinidad and the islands that were settled by the french. It is now being used by some Barbadians and it is gaining popularity. My mum gave me a plant have to check on it as a matter of fact...hope it is not dead. It grows like a weed in the islands except for here and hopefully that will change. Don't know that heart shaped one the chameleon. The last one looks like a type of Basil.

Nicole said...

Hi Kanak
The culantro herb is also known as "Ban dhania" among the Indian diaspora in Trinidad. Its an extremely popular herb there. Your last picture is of a basil variety.

NatureStop said...

Refreshing pics, really like the second one, looks like a wall hang, well taken:) like your spirit for taking photos

Anonymous said...

Wonderful landscaping around that Hospital! Sometimes public spaces have some neat plants. :) Those herbs are interesting, I'm not familiar with most of them.

K Dilley said...

Thank you for posting on some of the culinary/medicinal uses of herbs in this post! I love it.

Susie said...

Kanak I think that last picture is a type of basil. We sell many different types at the nursery.

I'm glad your son is doing good. Love that pic of the white hibiscus.

Prospero said...

Very nice hibiscus photos. And I'm glad to see that you like herbs as I do. Do you grow Holy Basil? I make tea with mine.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Helen, thank you for the details. I hope your plant survives. Love the smell!

Nicole, thanks. I wasn't aware of this being called Ban dhania.

Ruby/Arun, thanks for the comment.

Racquel, so right about the landscaping. I did go to another hospital recently to visit a friend and stopped to admire the potted plants!

K.Dilley, loved that you stopped by! Thanks.

Susie, I don't have any kind of reference guide to check out the name. I'll have to meet a botanist to find out its name.

Thanks Prospero, I grow holy basil too. It's more out of tradition rather than uses:) Basil tea is refreshing but I'm a hard-core milk/tea/sugar person.

Stephanie said...

I recognise that Culantro/Eryngium foetidum, my neighbour likes to plant them. As for me, I am not a herb nor spice person ;-) Those hibiscus are pretty. I am sure the pink one released some of your stress while waiting for your son. Oh yes, the highland was so cooling. I love the weather there. Everything seems so fresh and nice... especially flowers!

Kanak Hagjer said...

Steph! The stress? Oh yes, it did! There's nothing like seeing plants that aren't your own! Loved your highland pics too.

birdy said...

Great finding today. You have a very beautiful blog, having awesome pictures and interesting information.

Mama said...

Hi Kanak, wishing your son a speedy :)
Your hibicus colour is so beautiful, I like the white ones too.

Coriander is a fave of ours although we have not grown it ourselves yet. happy weekend, Kathy.

Mama said...

ops I missed out the word recovery after speedy, wishing your son a speedy recovery :-)

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

All of your hibiscus are so pretty but there is just something about the white one that I am just drawn to.Maybe it looks to be more delicate than it is. Very pretty. I am trying to grow an angel trumpet from seed but it has been slow to take off.I will have to overwinter it in the house but I think they are so pretty.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Birdy, hi! Thank you so much for stopping by.

Kathy, thanks a ton! Always love to hear from you. Wish you a great weekend too!

Thanks Lona, good luck with the angel trumpet! I agree about the white one (hibiscus) too. Pure whites aren't as commonly grown as the pink or red ones. In certain places I've seen the pink cream-coloured A.trumpets growing wild but not these delicate pink ones.

Wendy said...

I looooove hibs! Yours are pretty. Angel trumpet too! I grow basil, rosemary, oregano, sage, parsley, thyme, chives, but not cilantro.
I'm glad your son is o.k.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Thanks Wendy, I did think of you as I posted the pics. Wow, you belong to a special club too! I'm on a hibiscus buying spree now. Just added four more colours.

Happy gardening!

Sue said...

Yes, the last one does look like basil to me. Your cilantro looks very different from the kind we grow here. The problem with it for me, is that it blooms before I get it picked to use. It gets a stronger flavor when it blooms.