Sunday, August 19, 2012

Too many names....

... Ten to be exact!  Take your pick - a bird, a dragon, a monkey or a rabbit ....

I received this plant as a tiny cutting a few years ago, its name is Ruttya fruticosa (the correct name ;-)). I love this name, it rolls off the tongue so deliciously

But this plant has way too many common names:

In Africa it is called  Jembekkie and it is also known as African Azalea

My favorite common name for Ruttya fruticosa  is Hummingbird Plant - looking at the flower from a certain angle makes it look like a hummingbird ...  and, as a big plus,  the flowers attract Hummingbirds.

a closer picture, see the tail at the left end, the dark chest and the long beak at the right

I can see why some call it:

Jammy Mouth - since it looks like Blackberry jam at the mouth of the flower

and Lava Flower - the flowers look like molten lava

and not that this name would be my first choice but I can see the ears:

Rabbit's Ears - the upper petals look like rabbit's ears

But I cannot see  a Monkey Face, Gummy Mouth nor an Orange Dragon. All common names for Ruttya fruticosa.

So, name it whatever your imagination shows you in those unusual flowers, but don't forget its real name - Ruttya fruticosa ;-)

Some information for Ruttya fruticosa:

This plant is an African native, likes sun to part shade is cold hardy to just below freezing. I keep mine potted to be able to bring it in to the garage, I don't want to lose it at our occasional freezes in winter.

It is a vining shrub growing loose long branches, but it does not mind being pruned into a more compact shape.  Flowers appear throughout the year attracting Hummingbirds with their nectar.


  1. Very cool! I've never seen one before.
    Hope we get cooler weather soon.

  2. A pretty plant, whatever it's called! I guess I could see Orange Dragon (sort of like the hummingbird). And maybe the mouth of the flower is Gummy looking? But Monkey Face, I have no clue! That's a lot of names!

  3. That is way too many names! I prefer the Rabbit Ears, because that's what I see. Hmmm...I need to be on the lookout for this plant. I think I need it in my garden. : )

  4. sehr interessant
    was es doch alles für Pflanzen gibt
    ist schön