One of the impressive details that nature has, is to show the world wonders and in this case a flower that you will rarely see in your life. This mysterious jade flower is a plant that is in risk of extinction. But what else can you know about this plant? Keep reading.
Origin of the Jade Flower
To learn more about this plant, we must move to the Philippines, since the Green Jade Flower can be located in heat absorbing forests surrounding the Philippines, with separate growth in damp/rain woodlands, ravines and the tropical islands of Asia.
This flower is known by the scientific name of Strongylodon macrobotrys, but natively its local name in the Philippines is known as Tayabak, other names across the world are:
- Emerald Vine
- Jade vine
- Turquoise jade vine
What can we say about the Jade Flower
The pale green foliage consists of three leaflets. The claw-shaped flowers are carried in pendent trusses or pseudoracemes of 75 or more flowers and can reach as much as 3 m long, making the flower very exotic.
he turquoise flower color is similar to some forms of the minerals turquoise and jade, varying from blue-green to mint green. The short, oblong, fleshy seedpods are up to 15 cm long and contain up to 12 seeds.
he plant grows beside streams in damp forests, or in ravines. This inflorescence (set of flowers that are born grouped on the same stem) are only produced by mature vines.
Each individual bloom resembles a stout-bodied butterfly with folded wings; they have evolved certain modifications to allow them to be pollinated by a species of bat that hangs upside down on the inflorescence to drink its nectar.
This animal is not the only species that comes to visit it, as it may be the case of the Ave Aethopyga. This jade flower also functions as a home for the Papilio palinurus butterfly.
Why are they threatened? How have humans contributed to this?
The rainforests of the Philippines are disappearing at an alarming rate, what once used to be covered in forest only has 20% remaining.
The jade flower specie is bordering endangerment due to farm and factory chemicals being dispersed, effecting unsustained growth and copious deforestation, exterminating it’s evolution totally.
These hazards have ravaged the Green Jade’s encompassed flower and following, the entire species is drastically decreasing. Previously, Green Jade Flowers didn’t produce seeds, indicating they were scarcely found until 1995, of late they are facing the same dilemma and we must prevent history from repeating itself over again.
How to cultivate the Jade Flower?
Let’s help this wonderful flower does not become extinct from planet earth by cultivating it ourselves, that is why we indicate the next simple steps so that you can have a jade flower in your house.
We know that these flowers grow in humid areas, therefore the Strongylodon macrobotrys is not frost tolerant, since a good temperature is an essential requirement, a minimum must be a temperature of 15º C.
The jade flower can be appreciated in all warm and tropical gardens for its exotic flowers that are very showy, unlike many other plants.
Gardeners recommend planting this flower on a pergola or some high-rise support so that its spectacular flower trusses the shape of a waterfall that occurs after two years or more of growing and shine; this will depend on the pruning treatment.
- Ideal temperature: 15º-26ºC.
- Flower location: direct exposure to sunlight (foot in the shade), on land, near a fountain or pond.
- Irrigation: moderate, humid environment.
- Pruning: after blooming for improvement and plant growth control.
- Substrates: acidic, fertile, sandy, prepared with compost and include 5-10-5 water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks (but not during summer).
- Resistant: to attack by pests, it only has problems related to low temperatures.
Curiosities of the Jade Flower
Curiously, on one of the largest plants, the pale-coloured blooms can be difficult to see in strong sunlight and could be overlooked if not for the fallen blooms below the vine (woody trunk-climbing shrub twisted).
Jade flowers when they blooms fall they change color as they dry out, from mint green to blue-green to purple.
In cold latitudes this flower must be grown in a large glasshouse, as it is done in the famous examples such as at Kew Gardens, Cambridge University Botanic Garden, and Eden Project in the UK. In cultivation the plant blooms in early spring.
There are several other species of Strongylodon, but the superficially similar one, the not so well-known red jade vine, Mucuna bennetti, is a species that belongs to a different genus, Mucuna. It seems to be endemic to the Philippines and is usually found in forests. It is considered to be at risk of extinction.