They may look fragile but they’re really tough

Over a year ago, I posted photos of empty planters on top of two posts on the garden fence and another on the corner of the second floor balcony. You can see them here. I had forgotten about them, lost in the frantic pace of our day-to-day lives. Then, a month or so ago, I noticed that one of the three planters had been planted with flowers. Who did it, I don’t know. Perhaps, the former house helpers. Perhaps, our ex-gardener.


Alex took this photo last Sunday. As fragile as those flowers may appear, they survived the torrential rains of typhoon Ondoy. The soil did not get washed out and the flowers did not drown either. And that planter, and the two others like it, have no drainage at all. That’s why I was at a complete loss last year trying to decide what to plant in them.

I suppose that means that whatever that plant is, it likes water. And its roots keep the soil intact.


That’s how they looked yesterday afternoon. Bright, blooming, thriving.


It’s nice to think that these flowers are like people. Tougher and more resilient than they appear to be.

UPDATE on October 15, 2009 @ 10.12 p.m.


We found more of these flowers in a trough — this time, the flowers are violet. Speedy decided to replant them in the planter on the post near the garden gate to empty the trough so he could use them for the herbs we bought yesterday.


In the comment thread below, Crisma is wondering if these are indeed Asystasia gangetica, commonly known as Chinese violet.

I searched Google for images of the Asystasia gangetica and found the edges of its leaves to be straight. If you look at the photo of the flowers in the trough (above), the edges of the leaves are jagged. So, I’m not really sure if these are Asystasia gangetica. If anyone out there knows what these flowers are, we’d all like to know. :)

  • http://none Crisma

    Ganda! Flowers are always beautiful. And the beauty of this is that there is a surprise — it has thrived and survived beyond expectations.

  • Gay

    Oh I know the name of these flowers but it escapes me for the moment! They’re beautiful!

  • Connie Veneracion

    Crisma, dami kong herbs na nalunod nung Ondoy. Buti pa itong flowers, nabuhay. Haaaayy…

    Gay, they’re really water lovers, ‘no? The stalks… the look like those of plants that really thrive on water.

  • lemon

    The buds look like tulip buds.

  • http://none Crisma

    Haaay naku Connie… you got me in a frenzy researching on this plant…Am not yet quite satisfied pero here are some results : 1) it could be a small relative of the Thunbergia, Skyflower 2) the viola cornuta or 3) the Ipomoea Aquatica or swamp morning glory, a relative of the kangkong???

    Anyway, since I said I am not yet happy with the initial research, I’ll go and do it a second time. ;)

  • Peter

    Are you a professional journalist? You write very well.

  • emyM

    I love surprises in the garden, it never fail to put smile on my face.
    Thanks for sharing .

  • Jhay

    Rains have always been good to plants, that’s why farming societies rejoice whenever the rains arrive for the planting season.

    Then again, typhoons have always been an exception. It cannot be helped anyways, just like these flowers, after the storm, life just simply goes on.

  • http://none Crisma

    Hi again, Connie! I am happy to tell you that I have come as close as possible to the name of this beautiful plant— Asystasia Gangetica or Chinese violet or the local name – Zamboangenita… Please verify… I hope I got it right this time.

    It is described in our plant book as an herb, growing up to 50 cm tall. It is widely distributed in Africa and Asia. It is propagated by stem cuttings.

  • Connie Veneracion

    I don’t really know the name. But “Chinese violet” sounds apt because there is a variety with violet flowers instead of pink. I’ll post photos tomorrow of the violet flowers.

  • Connie Veneracion

    Crisma, I updated the entry with new photos. I don’t think they’re Asystasia gangetica. The leaves are different.

  • http://none Crisma

    Oh well, I’ll continue searching…and report when I have some results.

    Very beautiful rin yung purple flowers. Nakaka-intriga lang talaga… by what name does this particular flower go?

  • Connie Veneracion

    I have a reader whose mom does landscaping professionally and she knows all these flowers. I’ll e-mail her. hehehehe

  • browneyedgirl

    how i wish i could be like these flowers… even if we had to go through (and are still going through!!) a lot of perwisyo and konsumisyon from all the damage the flood caused to our possessions, i’m praying God will supply me with the grace and strength be able to look back one day as a stronger person.

  • http://none Crisma

    Have you asked about the flowers already, Connie?
    I got busy busy… otherwise I could have done some additional research

  • Connie Veneracion

    Have you heard… another typhoon is on it’s way. A category 4 typhoon by the time it hits land. That’s stronger than Pepeng which was Cateogry 3. :sad:

  • Connie Veneracion

    Yep, but not 100% certain. Dwarf monkey flowers. In FB, a friend says it’s a dwarf variety of sweet peas.

  • Phynkee

    Hi Ms. Connie,

    I guess i found the flowers’ name. it’s Torenia fournieri.

    Happy Birthday!

  • http://none Crisma

    Yes, congratulations, Phynkee! That’s correct! Thank you .

  • Connie Veneracion

    Whoa. Whatta birthday gift ha. Salamat, Phynkee! :) Finally, the guessing game is over hehehehe

  • Cecile

    Thanks for naming the flower.. I’m new into plants and this is really a useful info.. :)

  • sha

    i like that plant, were could i find that kind of flower?

  • Connie Veneracion

    Don’t really know. :(

  • Lolalet

    Funny that I sent pictures to my sister in California to help with naming these two flowers (the other was the Mexican Heather). But this Torenias are also called “Wishbone Flower” . If you look at the stamen, they are shaped into a wishbone with the seeds at the end. She named the Mexican Heather but did not know the Wishbone Flower. I actually found it in one of my landscaping books for shades. I thought you’d appreciate that little bit of romantic information — because, I do! I have them in the three colors (purple, pink, and blue).


  • Connie Veneracion

    I love trivia. And I love legends attached to anything — flowers, places… :D