Gmelina phillipensis; Synonym: G. asiatica, G. hystrix
Plant Family: Belongs to the Verbenaceae or Verbena family, which includes the shrub Blue Petrea (Petrea volubilis), Teak (Tectona grandis) and Bois Lezard (Vitex divaricata). [However, recent phylogenetic studies seem to show that several genera traditionally classified in Verbenaceae belong instead in Lamiaceae. These include Gmelina, Tectona and Vitex. Since the issue does not appear to have been settled, we have stuck with the traditional classification. Click here for more information].
Description: Scrambling shrub, with unique, exotic flowers; branches pendant, sometimes with dull, axillary spines; normally growing in a bower, up to 5 m tall and wide (16 ft); leaves dark green, elliptical, 6-10 cm long (2.3-3.9 in); flowers bright yellow, resemble parrot’s beak or Snapdragon, 4-6 cm long (1.5-2.3 in), at ends of pendulous, tube-like racemes of several overlapping, persistent, purple to tan bracts; as new flowers replace old and bracts persist, racemes elongate, may be up to 25 cm long (10 in); older; longer racemes have tan bracts; fruit a yellow, one-seeded, drupe; a vibrant Gmelina specimen can be seen near the Bamboo grove.
Natural Habitat:Tropical plant, thriving in full sunlight on well drained soil; propagated by cuttings and seed.
Origin and Distribution: Native to India and the Philippines; variously distributed to much of tropical world.