Thursday, November 26, 2009


I was taking pictures of some plant with big pink flowers at a plant stall when one old Malay man (in white tee-shirt in the last picture) told me that the name of the plant was Janda Baik. According to him, this plant is commonly found in his kampung and he had an interesting tale to tell about it. He said that unmarried or single ladies would grow the Janda Baik plant in their gardens as it is believed to attract marriage luck for them. Also when the flowers in the plant begin to bloom, the lady who can get a fragrant smell coming from it would expect to be getting married soon. He told me to smell the flower but I couldn't get any smell. Sigh!!! Maybe I need to grow the plant in my garden first and wait for it to next flower. Anyway, the trader told me that the plant is usually called Janda Kaya instead of Janda Baik.

Here is more information about this plant:

Scientific name: Mussaenda phillioica Queen Sirikit
Common names: Bangkok Rose, Janda Kaya Merah Muda, Bunga Musenda Merah Muda
Family: Rubiaceae

There are many species and hybrids in Malaysia. The Light Pink Mussaenda is a hybrid named after Queen Sirikit. The plants can attain a height of 4 meters. Can be propogated by stem cuttings.
Folkloric- Plant is used for dysentery and snake bites.• Decoction of roots and leaves used for affections of the chest and lung.• Root and the while, full-grown sepals are used in jaundice.• Bark used for stomachache.• Externally, decoction of leaves used as emollient.• For influenza, scrappings of the bark of M. philippica and C. dichotoma are mixed; lemon extract is added to the juice strained and taken three times daily.

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