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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.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Drunken Sailor

I had always known this plant by the common name of Drunken Sailor. I had also often wondered why anyone would refer to this sweet, delicate, most lady-like flower as a drunken sailor. Her perfume is as sweet and heady as her looks. I would think a sailor when drunk would reek of anything but perfume.

It is also known as the Rangoon Creeper. Now this is also unacceptable to me. I get a  picture in my mind of a bar-creeper in Rangoon, also drunk and probably a sailor, being referred to as the Rangoon Creeper. I would expect the Rangoon Creeper to be aka...the axe-murderer. For your information, another name for this creeper happens to be Scarlet Rangoon. Scarlet as in blood red?

Fortunately, there is another common name which I feel suits this gorgeous beauty well. She is also known as the Chinese Honeysuckle. She is truly spectacular, appearing in tri-coloured clusters. Just like the Confederate Rose,the flowers open white, then turn pink and finally transform into scarlet beauties before they wither. This colour change happens over a two to three day period. However, on any one vine, we get to enjoy all three colours as the flowers bloom profusely and constantly throughout the summer season, which means, in the tropics they sport showy vines throughout the year!

Here we have it...the fabulous Quisqualis indica. Interestingly, Quisqualis is Latin for What is that? Apparently, there was some confusion as to whether the plant was a bush or a creeper, so a taxonomist must have named it Quisqualis out of exasperation.


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  1. Funny Rosie, I never heard of Drunken Sailor. Chinese Honeysuckle yes. I agree, too pretty for that name.

  2. Beautiful flower, definitely undeserving of the name Drunken Sailor. I love your varied presentation which shows the flower's beauty so well.

  3. What a beautiful flower. I do not get the name for it either Rosie. Maybe hungover.LOL! Who knows. I do not think those dangling blooms look anything but gorgeous. Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. @gwgt, Dimple and Lona - I personally would like to give this name when asked by friends, "What is this plant?" I'd answer 'What is it?!' Then they'd go, "I'm asking you what it is". Then I'd go, "What is it?!!!'
    Sorry, couldn't resist that.

  5. Pretty no matter it's name.

  6. Yup...makes me sing. Pretty and cool how it grows in clusters--but still makes me sing. *laughing*

  7. What a beautiful vine. I wish it would grow in my garden despite its unattractive names.

  8. hahaha, that's why it's better to call them by the more scientific one, at least it will sound just difficult but not with a bad connotation! I think this is the one i've just pictured from a walk, overcrowding a fence. I've just not posted it because its name is still alien to me or still "what's its name?"! Now i have the lead, thanks. they are really beautiful, especially the photos.

  9. These are lovely pictures, the last two are sensational.

    Macro flowers Friday is in fact Saturday, isn't it?


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