Real World Gardener Sweet Morinda in Plant of the Week

July 2nd, 2020

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Sweet Morinda

You most probably know Australian climbing plants and would immediately think of Bower or Wonga wonga vine, either Pandorea jasminoides or Pandorea pandorana, 

Very tropical looking climbers that suit all sorts of conditions around Australia.

But there’s some many more Australian native climbers that would suit our backyards and here’s one of them.

Common Name: Sweet Morinda

Scientific name: Gynochthodes jasminoides syn. Morinda jasminoides

Family: Rubiaceae

Habit: scrambling climber to 6m. Adrian uses it to screen some ugly buildings.

What's in a name?

Morinda    Latin morus = mulberry and indicus = indian (referring to it being like an Indian Mulberry)

jasminoides   From the plant being Jasmine-likeThis pant is a native creeper found in eucalypt and rainforests along the east coast, across to Western Australia.

You most probably know Australian climbing plants and would immediately think of Bower or Wonga wonga vine, either Pandorea jasminoides or Pandorea pandorana, Very tropical looking climbers that suit all sorts of conditions around Australia.Sweet_Morinda%2B1.jpg

But there’s some many more Australian native climbers that would suit our backyards and here’s one of them.

I'm talking with Adrian O’Malley, qualified horticulturist and native plant expert.

.Let’s find out…

Let’s just call it sweet Morinda or Morinda jasminoides.

Not overly floriferous but the flowers resemble those of jasmine with dense thick foliage that works well as a screen ugly buildings or scenery.

 

Flowers: Small clusters of 3-20 heads, but in Adrian's garden, it's not a prolific flowerer. There is some jasmine like scent but it's not overpowering. Mid spring to mid summer flowering.

 

Fruits: The main attraction some say because they're lumpy bright orange, 2cm in diameter.

 

 

Leaves: have an interesting bump in the centre called a "domatia."  

the bumps are a symbiotic relationship with an insect that lives in the pits.The mite-habitat pits are so large that they make conspicuous bumps on the upperside of the leaves, making the plant easy to identify when it's not flowering or fruiting.

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