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A garden enthusiast who loves to travel and capture the beauty of places and freeze the memories of her travels in photographs, as well as document her experiences in verse...thankful for the simple pleasures in life.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Witches Tongue

Musical Note Plant, Morning Kiss, Witches Tongue (Rotheca incisa)

Family: Verbenaceae 
Genus: Rotheca 
Species: incisa 

When I first came across this plant at a garden nursery, the nursery lady told me she only knew it by the local Malay name of Bunga Taugeh. 'Taugeh' is Malay for beansprouts and 'bunga' means flower. The flower buds did look very much like beansprouts.

They also look like musical notes, hence their other popular name.

I have no inkling as to why they are also known as Morning Kiss, though. Do you?

When in full bloom, my oh my, they are the tropic's equivalent of snowdrops!!!

Snowdrops with whiskers.

They flower repeatedly all the year round, isn't that great? If I wanted to propagate them, I could take the semi-hardwood portion of this herbaceous plant. Will try doing that when the plants are more mature.

I just love my Morning Kiss to bits, even if they are more maliciously referred to as Witches Tongue. I think I'm literally stifling them with love. They are being coddled by the coleus plants all round them.I am trying not to trim the red coleus, though, as they would certainly be bushier after a trim and further overwhelm my pretty rotheca incisa.

So, it may not be spring here in the tropics, but I have my whiskered spring flowers to give me a feeling of springtime here.

Visit Today's Flowers for more pseudo spring flowers as well as  the real deal spring flowers from all around the world.


  1. what attractive little flowers and so interesting to learn about the different names they are called by.

  2. Hmm... Why are they called witches tongue then?

  3. Rosie, I thought I visited your In the Air post. Glad I did not miss the new one. Pretty tropical 'snowdrops'.

  4. @ LindyLouMac in Italy - I love the way they unfold.

    @ D O M O ! - Probably because of the curled tip!

    @ - Thanks for making a second visit for the same post. Maybe your first visit was when I was editing the post, so you missed it.

  5. These are lovely. I'm not familiar with this though.

  6. I'm so glad you took us through the stages of this lovely little bloom!
    I definitely see the beansprout comparison. :)

    Carletta@Round The Bend

  7. I did think about snowdrops when I first saw your photos of this lovely little flower. It is beautiful.

  8. that's beautiful. it does looks like musical notes.

    TF: Wishbone Flower

  9. Lovely, unknown to me, I can see the musical notes.

  10. I love this plant!! Not doing too well at the moment because I transplanted it. But I almost photographed it to death!;))) I love your description...tropical snowdrops. And yes, they do look like bean sprouts. The Malay name is so apt!!

  11. Lovely pictures and very interesting flowering plants.
    Thank you for your information.
    -Cheers Gisela.

  12. They do look like white musical note. In contrast with the black musical note.

  13. lovely little flowers. indeed,they are like musical notes.

    I hope you could visit my entry

  14. I am happy you posted this. Now I know the name of this cute little flower.

    BTW, we are constantly pinching our Coleus. We also never let it bloom.

  15. If I see this plant at the nursery, I'll bring it home too. I have seen it at The Secret Garden of 1-Utama, labelled as Clerodendrum indicum, also known as Do-Re-Mi flower. Happy weekend!

  16. Rosie this is the flower I wrongly took home thinking it was misai kucing (cat's whiskers) see my post Wrong Plant!.But when it bloomed I fell in love with it at first sight, such delicate white flowers.Scientifically its called Clerodendrum insicum or one blogger told me Musical Note Plant but prefer your Morning Kiss.

  17. Beautiful flowers and they do look like musical notes to me.

  18. New plant for me! Beautiful!

  19. @ One - I had never seen such plants till that day at the nursery (this one was at a kampong, not the usual nursery in town!)

    @ Carletta, Carver, Chuchie, MKG, Titania and January - all of you agree they look like musical notes.

    @ SquirrelQueen, Kanak7 - you both are reminded of snowdrops.

    @ chubskulit, guild-rez and Malar - Thank you.

    @ p3chandan and kanak7 - You fell in love with it? How alike we are in that respect.

    @ Digital Flower Pictures - Pinching the coleus will definitely give them a better growth.Might have to transplant some into another bed to make space for the witches tongue.

    @ Autumn Belle - I got the name rotheca incisa from a website that had this same plant. They might have been mistaken. Thanks.


  20. Rosie, I'm sorry if I have confused you. There is a typo error in my comment. It should be Clerodendrum incisum. If you have time, do check up on my post about this plant. The link is as follows:


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