An extraordinary round shrub with pendant branches, large long leaves and exotic flowers composed of yellow blossoms which emerge at the end of a tube-like structure of overlapping bracts. The flower resembles a parrot's beak. Large yellow pod contains 1 seed. Sow seed in standard potting mix with good drainage. Grow in full light, water freely and feed once a month. Related species - Gmelina Arborea. These are tropical plants, and can be deciduous in cooler climates.
Other-worldly, long, tubular, overlapping racemes hang like pendants and end in pointy, beak shaped lemon-yellow flowers. The trumpet shaped flowers wait for pollination then develop into small, yellow non-edible fruit. Grown mainly for its decorative chain like flower pendants, this small tree only reaches about 15 feet at full size and is covered in ivy-like, deep green leaves. Nothing about this plant is normal and even the bark is unusual. Often used for bonsai gardening this is an easy to grow plant for the urban garden collection or small patio in a city setting.
Native DistributionIndia - Myanmar, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia (Kelantan), Singapore, and the Philippines
Native Habitat - Terrestrial (Secondary Rainforest, Disturbed Area / Open Ground)
Preferred Climate Zone - Tropical
Local Conservation Status - Native to Singapore (Presumed Nationally Extinct (NE)
DESCRIPTION AND ETHNOBOTANY
Growth Form - It is a thorny, climbing shrub, shrub or climber.
Foliage - Its opposite, stalked leaves have thinly leathery blades that are egg-shaped to elliptic to drop-shaped, green above, pale green below, and 5–8 by 3 cm.
Flowers - The flowers are yellow, 5–8 cm long, and arranged in hanging cones with pointed red bracts.
Fruits - Its drupe (fruit) is yellow, drop-shaped, and 3 cm long.
Habitat - It grows in open habitats, gaps, margins, thickets, and secondary forests.
Associated FaunaIts - flowers are insect-pollinated.
Cultivation - It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology - Gmelina, commemorating Johann G. Gmelin (1709-1755), German naturalist and traveller in Siberia, professor of botany at Tübingen University; Latin philippensis, from the Philippines, referring to one locality in the natural distribution of the species
Ethnobotanical Uses - Medicinal ( Its fruit is mixed with lime to treat cough. The juice of its fruit is applied to the eczema of the feet. The juice of its roots is used as a purgative and in treating fatigue. The extract of its roots is used internally as a stimulant, resolvent, and in treating diseases of the joints and nerves.)