12 August 2010


This is another beautiful small native tree Cicada Tree, Riang Riang or Somah (synonym: Archytaea vahlii) from the uncommon Bonnetiaceae Family.

The 1st photo showed the newly developing red leaf shoots but what was also evident was the purplish leaf petioles of this plant.

In the 2nd photo, the emphasis was on the floral buds but it was observed that the developing leaves maintain a reddish edge along its leaf margin.

The petals started to unfurl and opened up in photos 3 and 4. By the 5th photo, the flower was fully opened and displayed 5 whitish-pink petals with a mass of long white stamens and a central lime-green gynoecium.

The final photo showed a yellowish-orange developing fruit.

My experience with this plant was controversial. Whilst the plant originates from mangrove swamps, somehow those that I grew in waterlogged areas seemed to struggle and performed poorly. But I did not grow them long enough to see how they adapt to the perpetual wet-feet conditions. However, those growing in the Native Garden are all doing very well in the wet soils.

A link is provided below for reference: