Thursday, 17 May 2012

Kebun Raya

This is the second part of my visit to Kebun Raya, the botanic gardens of Bogor, about an hour's drive from Jakarta. Just click here to see Part One, my post for May's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

I love the incredible abundance and fertility of the tropics. In a moist forest-like atmosphere like Kebun Raya, where there is a thunderstorm virtually every day, the tiniest spore on the breeze has only to brush against the bark of tree or palm to take root. The variety of these tiny epiphytes, who live their entire lives on the surface of plants or rocks, never ceases to amaze me.

Lots of layers here including a cute, little, button-leafed creeper.

And the epiphytes are not always tiny, as you can see from these lush ferns on a palm trunk or the crows nest ferns in my earlier post.

There were some stunning specimen plants to be seen,

Traveller's Palm Ravenala madagascariensis

 as well as brilliant ideas for companion plantings,

A tangle of rhoeo, cordyline, heliconia, banana and hibiscus. I love the pink of the cordylines with the purple-undersided rhoeo.

Bird or crow's nest fern Asplenium with speckled Diffenbachia

and ideas for placement and plantings for water features and urns.

Spider lilies Hymenocallis littoralis form a semicircle around this water feature

I love the mauve creeper covering the pergola below. I initially thought it was Garlic Vine Pseudocalymma alliaceum,, but I'm not so sure now that I compare the leaves with the photo in my Tropical Garden Plants book. It's not Blue Trumpet vine Thunbergia grandifolia as it was more pink than blue.  I'm sure it's a member of the bignonia family, but that's as close as I can get.  Any suggestions?

Clerodendrum (quadriloculare?)


Water lettuce Pistia stratiotes

As I started this post with a tribute to the epiphytes, it seems fitting to conclude with representatives of a family famed for its beauty,which has many species favouring the arboreal lifestyle of the epiphyte: the orchids.

From Kebun Raya's orchid house...

Dendrobium hybrid

Dendrobium hybrid

Phalaenopsis or Moth Orchid

Dendrobium hybrid

Pastel toned Dendrobium hybrid


Love the colours of this Dendrobium orchid.

So for now, it is farewell to Bogor and Kebun Raya.  I loved my visit and hope to return soon.  There is still so much to see.


  1. Here in dry California the thought of all that moisture and rain simply boggles my mind. The photo looking up the stairway is so evocative of another world--fabulous!

    Bignonia, yes, looks like it. Amazingly they grow here, too! Clytostoma callistegioides (aka Bignonia violacaea?)

    1. The rain here really is amazing. The wet season was over before I arrived, and it is the start of the dry now, but there is a storm 5 nights a week. They don't necessarily last long, but the rain and the lightening is very impressive while it lasts. And thanks for the ID - I think you are right.

  2. Beautiful gardens Marisa enhanced by great photography. The Traveller's Palms remind me of living in Rabaul and I just love the orchids.

    1. Thanks Cathy. You must have seen some stunning tropical plants in New Guinea - sadly, still a bit too 'adventurous' for me to visit for the moment!

  3. Hi Marisa, These are fascinating pictures for someone in a northern climate like Canada! Love the textural foliage and the water features especially.

    1. Thanks Jennifer. I love all gardens, and have been quietly swooning over some of the summer gardens in the northern hemisphere, but these tropical ones are stunning, and, at a stretch, I can try my luck with some of these plants in Brisbane on my return.

  4. I love the pictures of the different orchids, I have an office mate who absolutely adores them and actually has some vandas, dendrobium and the moth-like one. Have you noticed that when visiting a place you love, times fly by so fast? Thanks for sharing your wonderful vacation with us!

    1. Thanks Krishna. I am actually working here - 2 lots of 2 months - but just like a vacation, the time is speeding by. I guess it is the excitement and adventure of being somewhere different that is to blame!



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