The Mussaenda


I grew up surrounded with flowers.

Having a mother with a passion for gardening and green fingers, I felt at home with flowers and greens. We had sunflowers, zinnias, petunias, cannas, ferns, ficus trees when I was younger, and in more recently times, all of the mentioned, the drunken sailor, passion fruit and more ferns.

So while I drink in nature like how water is to people, it is oftentimes rare to find something that makes my heart leap with curiosity and joy.

A year ago, in New Zealand, I was captivated by a flower called Queen Anne’s lace, which grew wild in the open. More of that in another entry.

Yesterday, in the garden of a family friend’s, I came upon this sweet discovery – a pale pink cluster of petals, hanging on the ends of slender, drooping branches. They hung upon a shrub sort of a tree and towered high above me – maybe 7 feet or more. Upon touching them, they felt like the skin of peaches. I immediately fell in love :)

I learned from a friend that this variety was called the Mussaenda, which comes from the family of Rubiacea. It is cousins with the ixora and coffee. Interestingly, it hails from South East Asia, and is also widely grown in Thailand, apparently.

What I liked about its qualities was its almost languid character, but one that was easily propped up and moved by the wind. There was a sense of beauty in its meekness and humility, and it seemed not to be affected or conscious of its own beauty.

Really beautiful.


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