Sunday, 31 January 2010

T. ulmifolia 'elegans' and Tree Frogs


Turnera ulmifolia 'elegans' is a hybrid of the better known Turnera ulmifolia, a tropical plant with a number of different English names.  The one that I prefer is "Yellow Alder" -- although it is definitely not an Alder.  Another name is "Cuban Buttercup" and it is definitely not a Buttercup!  Since this is not a pure T. ulmifolia, I will call it by its hybrid name of "elegans".

The funniest name to me for T. ulmifolia is "Ramgoat Dashalong".  As this name might suggest, T. ulmifolia is native to the West Indies and Mexico.  Some of the other names are West Indian holly, Sage Rose and Marilopez.  As for hybrids, there are a couple of other hybrids besides "elegans".

The Family name of Turnera ulmifolia is Turneraceae.  The Genus is, of course, Turnera and the species is T. ulmifolia.  Since the drawing above is of a variety or hybrid of T. ulmifolia, its name is written as Turnera ulmifolia var. 'elegans'.

Many tropical cultures use T. ulmifolia medicinally. It seems especially useful as an intestinal anti-inflammatory and research shows that it demonstrates high anti-oxidant activity.  Most interestingly, recent studies have shown that the "Yellow Alder" potentiated the antibiotic activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) -- a serious problem in our hospitals these days.  I am not sure if these medicinal properties are present in the hybrids such as "elegans", however.

A closely related and somewhat similar looking species, Turnera diffusa, often referred to as Damiana, is internationally famed as an aphrodisiac!  I am debating about whether to do a drawing of T. diffusa -- after all, this is a family-friendly blog!!
I will, however, be showing you a drawing of plain, old Turnera ulmifolia soon.


This next item was a lot of fun to draw.  As those of you know who have been with me for a while, I am very fond of such things as frogs, toads, lizards, turtles and snakes (non-poisonous only!).

When I came across a photo of a tree frog, I just couldn't resist trying to draw it.  Unfortunately, it is impossible for me to capture the beautiful iridescent skin qualities, but I did the best I could.  

Anyway, doing this drawing gave me great pleasure and brought back many good memories of discovering the occasional tree frog.  You hear them calling in the summer evenings but you cannot see them no matter how much you look until suddenly one of them moves and it becomes visible to you.  Actually, it was right in front of you all the time, but blended so well with its surroundings that it became invisible!

May peace be with you all. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I continue to enjoy your flowers, cats and other animals very much. You have been quite busy. Thank you
for sharing your talents.