stamens always look collapsed because with so many other fragrant cream
flowers they mainly bloom at night. The flower is a spectacular attraction
at any monsoon garden party.
How about a small evergreen tree with
glossy smooth leaves and fragrant blossom? The Ceylon fagraea (Fagraea
ceilanica, Gentianaceae) is a good option for a small monsoon garden. This
small tree could as well be treated as a shrub or even a climber if
supported. I like it for its lovely foliage, thick and firm, and the cream
flowers which emerge right now have a very appealing scent.
The plant is native to Sri Lanka, India and Southeast Asia including
Thailand, and prefers a sunny but wet environment, so do not forget to water
it during droughts such as the one we experience now (June 2012 had only 26
mm of precipitation, mostly in the beginning and only in seven of 30 days).
The species name ‘ceilanica’ (not ‘ceylanica’ which is a common incorrect
spelling) was coined by Linnaeus’ disciple Carl Peter Thunberg (1743-1828),
who visited Ceylon when he returned from Japan in July 1777. The scientific
genus name ‘Fagraea’ was also coined by Thunberg after another Linnaeus
disciple, the Swedish naturalist and physician Jonas Theodor Fagraeus
The family name ‘Gentianaceae’ was
coined by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu (1748-1836). This family name is a
recent construction, based on Linnaeus genus ‘Gentiana‘, the blue flowers
you see in European meadows, originally from Pliny who named it after King
Gentius of Illyria who reigned in 181-168 BC. www.dokmaigarden.co.th.