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CABBAGES

**Cabbage, Green Vegetable Brassica oleracea
Cabbage is a wonderful and very adaptable vegetable; use it in salads, soups, Chinese egg rolls and more. But, it seems to me that the flavor of cabbage really requires growing in a cool or cold climate. Those that I've tasted that were grown in the Caribbean just weren't worth eating, even the ones we grew one year in our own garden in Montserrat fell short of what we were expecting.
Benefits:
Cabbage is in the same general family as broccoli and cauliflower. All of them provide similar benefits and nutrients. Prepared fresh and creatively they are all delicious and serve well as what my mother always called "roughage," something the digestive system requires to be healthy. Like just about everything green, cabbage has lots of Vitamin C, but also Vitamin K which helps blood to coagulate if you have a wound and plays a role in bone health as well.
Photographed: In our upper garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: Although I can't recommend cabbage planted in a warm or tropical environment, if you wish to do so start your seeds in a small movable seed bed where the emerging plants will be protected from mid day sun. Keep the soil moist and use liberally a liquid fertilizer like Miracle Grow. Transplant to the garden when starter plants are about 4" tall. Plant them in good compost rich soil and get ready to combat the bugs and caterpillars with hot pepper or neem sprays.
Text & Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

Red Cabbage Brassica oleracea
Benefits: Apparently red cabbage shares some of the same remarkable benefits that we find in blueberries. It is also said to be much more beneficial than green cabbage in reducing the risk of cancer.
From:

Photographed:  
Planting and Care:
Text Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 
Savoy Cabbage
  Benefits:
From:

Photographed: At the Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol, Rhode Island, in 2014.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014
 
 

**Cabbage Palm Tree Click here to see the -- PALMS AND SAGOS PAGE

 

Cacao Tree Theobroma cacao L.
Reaching a modest height of only 25 feet the cacao likes it shady so tall trees are inter-planted to provide that environment. Once trees are established, cacao pods can be seen growing from all parts of the older wood over time ripening to a brownish red. The tree will usually begin bearing in four years, fully maturing in seven to ten years, and then bearing for fifty years or more. When cacao is eight to ten years old, it is time to prune the top branches to encourage lower and younger branches to develop. A healthy cacao tree produces two crops each year.
Benefits:
     
Lately promoted as being heart beneficial, chocolate is now also credited with lowering blood pressure and playing a part in the release of serotonin, the feel good brain chemical. As well, chocolate has plentiful magnesium which is essential for bone health -- one ounce a day should do the trick. Be sure it is dark chocolate of the finest quality.
       Chocolate has recently been much touted as a miracle cure much like green tea and garlic have been. This latest star of the health gurus is maybe the best as who in the world wouldn't love chocolate. If it doesn't save your life, at least it will make it a little sweeter.
From: Tropical Mexico and Central America and the tropical areas of northern South America
Photographed: Immediately below at the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand and after that at our current home at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: Plant your cacao tree in the shade in compost rich soil and give it routine rainfall or watering. These are appealing trees and once mature the fruits will give you no end of astonishment in how they grow.

 

Starting a cacao tree from seeds:
This is only for the truly dedicated and maybe a little foolhardy gardener. I didn't try it myself and honestly can't recommend it, but if you have the time and determination give it a try. I'd love to hear how it goes.

Once you've opened your pod and retrieved the probably gooey mess inside give them a rinse in cool water to remove as much of the goo as possible. Let the seeds dry and rub with course sand to remove the last of the now papery seed covering. Now comes the tricky part. Place the seeds in a clean glass or stainless steel tray and cover with netting to eliminate the possibility of fruit flies finding the seeds. Keep the seeds moist and warm and shaded. I would recommend using a spray bottle with warm water to dampen the seeds several times a day. Do not let them sit in water. When a small plant emerges place it in a 3 ft wide plastic bag filled with a good composted soil. Put holes in the bottom of the bags for drainage. Leave the little trees each in its own bag for about six months before transplanting them.

Recipe:
Toast fresh cocoa beans over medium heat in a Mexican comal or other heavy curved or flat bottomed pan. Remove the seed coating and crush. Mix with minced almonds, fresh grated coconut, sugar and a bit of vanilla or almond extract to make a wonderful homemade candy.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2004/2007/2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

 
 

Calabash Tree Crescentia cujete L.
This small not particularly attractive tree produces the equivalent of the North American gourd as you can see in the photographs below.
From: The calabash tree is native to the West Indies or to Mexico and Central America depending on what source you have found. It is not a tree that you would choose to have in your garden unless you have a formal public Caribbean botanical garden.
Fruits: Treated much like gourds grown in northern climate gardens, the hollowed out dried calabash fruit once served the original Caribbean and/or Middle American populations as dishware, storage containers, musical instruments and more. Today the calabash has become a tried and true staple base for creating Caribbean "tourism product." As a reason for visiting any one of the islands you will see "Calabash Festivals" advertised. These events are product, not "traditional" cultural events; nonetheless, they can sometimes be amusing. In Montserrat in the last few years we have seen the Department of Tourism devote many of its resources to celebrate its newly created annual "Calabash Festival." Who doesn't come back from a Caribbean holiday without a sunburn and some sort of calabash souvenir?

Photographed: At a neighbor's home in Old Towne Montserrat.
Planting and Care: If you wish to have one of these trees, plant it in full sun and water it weekly until it has really settled in. Then sit back and enjoy this very hardy drought tolerant tree.
Text & Photographs Copyrighted ©Krika.com 2008/2013

 
 

**Caladium Caladium X hortulanum or Caladium bicolor (Ait.) Vent.
This is a variegated leafy plant often sold as a house plant in colder climates. I had several over the years while living in New England.
From: They are said to have originated in South America, but they must also be native or at least natural to Montserrat since they will spontaneously appear here and there when there is continuous rain. We had the common varieties that I have seen and owned as houseplants, but we have one variety that truly seems to have been painted by an artist. It was a gift from good friends leaving Montserrat so we have a special attachment to it.
Photographed: In our shady terrace garden at our former home in Montserrat and at the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand.
Planting and Care: It grows well in the shadier parts of the garden and seems to be a very hardy survivor. When transplanting one, don’t plant it too deep. It probably will spread of its own accord in warm moist garden areas.
Text & Photographs Copyrighted ©Krika.com 2008/2009/2013
 

 

 
 
 
 
**Calendula, Pot Marigold Calendula officinalis
This lovely annual plant will flower continually in color shades from heavy cream to yellow to orange. Though they are said to grow to 18" in height, mine have always been more in the 12 to 15" range.
Benefits: Not only is the calendula pretty and easy to grow, it also is said to have medicinal benefits both taken internally and applied externally.
From:
The Mediterranean through to southern Asia.
Planting and Care: This is an easy to care for plant that will delight you with its continual flowering. Plant it in a fairly sunny spot in the garden and make sure it receives regular rainfall or watering. Given half a chance it will reseed.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

Photographed: In our garden at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in 2014.

Photographed: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Maine, 2013.

 
Calico Plant See the "J" Page -- JOSEPH'S COAT (2)

 

Photographed: In Taxco, Mexico.

**Calla Lily Zantedeschia aethiopica or Calla aethiopica
Calla lilies are about the most perfectly beautiful flowers in the world and they have been enshrined on canvas by such internationally renowned artists as Diego Rivera. We had them to celebrate our wedding and whenever possible we choose to be surrounded by these most elegant blooms.
Benefits and Risks: Do take a little care with them if you have children or plant eating pets as callas are poisonous.
From: South Africa
Planting and Growth: The calla prefers full sun, but will also grow well in partial shade. Whether in sun or shade it requires lots of moisture.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2008/2010

Photographed: Along the roadside at Hacienda San Buenaventura at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

 

Photographed: In our garden at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in 2014. 

Photographed: In Taxco, Mexico.

 
 
 
Canary Island Pine Pinus canariensis
  Benefits:
From:
The Canary Islands
Photographed: In the Ortobotanico (Botanical Garden) in Naples, Italy, in 2014.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

 

 

Candelabra Bush, Candlestick, Candle Tree, Ringworm Tree, Candle Bush, Empress Candle Plant Cassia Alata, Senna Alata
This is a perennial deciduous bush/small tree with brilliant yellow flowers that grow up stems that stand out from the top of the foliage. The flowers are dramatically lumpy looking and curiously very appealing.
Benefits: The candelabra has both antibacterial and anti fungal qualities, hence one of its names is "ringworm tree." Before steaming full ahead to treat any fungal or other disorders you may have realize that the plant is also considered toxic and exercise care and good judgment in its use.
From: Mexico or maybe Argentina
Planting and Care:
This plant is one that grows in a hot Caribbean environment with blistering mid-day sun and not nearly enough water and it loves every minute of it, producing its startlingly yellow flowers usually in the late summer or early fall. The bush grows to be about 10 feet tall and just as wide. It is not frost hardy.
Please Note: Once established these bushes can withstand severe droughts. This is an especially wonderful trait given the unpredictability of today's weather patterns.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2010

 
**Candelabra Cactus Euphorbia candelabrum or Euphorbia lactea
Sometimes growing to as much as 15 feet, the candelabra cactus is a sharply spined, thick branching variety. Every year the candelabra cactus beside our front door became home to a banana quit family. These lovely sweet tiny little birds love the candelabra for some reason. Maybe it offers them protection from predators.
From:
Planting and Care:
As cactus go, the candelabra is relatively fast growing and very easy to care for. Give it a warm weather climate, lots of sun and a moderate amount of water and it will be off and running. They are very attractive plants and make great centerpieces for a cactus garden.
Text & Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2004/2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2015.
 

Photographed: In its early years in our front border garden at our former home in Montserrat.

Photographed: In Parque de la Leyendas, Lima, Peru, in 2013.

 

Photographed: In the Canary Islands, Spain, in 2014.

Photographed: In its early years in our front border garden at our former home in Montserrat.

 

Candelabra Plant, Elkhorn Euphorbia lactea cristea
Oddly enough this peculiar looking cactus is a relative of the candelabra cactus above and it shares many of the same characteristics. It is poisonous and the white sap that oozes from any wound is said to be especially irritating as well. I have not found that to be particularly true of the many candelabras we have growing in our garden in Montserrat.
From: India
Photographed: In the city of Oaxaca, Mexico, 2009.
Planting and Care: Give this family of plants full sun or as much sun as possible. Water sparingly and they will all do just fine.
Text & Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2009
 

Candle Bush -- See Candelabra Bush Above

 
Candlestick -- See Candelabra Bush Above
 
Candle Tree -- See Candelabra Bush Above
 
 
Canterbury Bells, Bell Flower Campanula medium
This charming biennial took until its second year to blossom, but when it did it clearly was worth the wait. If you plant them every year you'll always be able to enjoy them. My seed packet said they might need staking which as you can see in the photograph was a bit of an understatement.
Benefits: If you are raising bees for making honey these flowers will make it especially sweet.
From: Southern Europe
Photographed: In our garden at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, 2012.
Planting and Care: Canterbury bells prefer to grow in a semi shaded part of the garden and they like to be well watered and set in well drained soil. They are said to be not well suited to tropical climates, but if you ensure that they are always well watered and receive only morning sun I think they'll do just fine.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013 and 2014
 

Cape Honeysuckle Tecomaria capensis or Tecoma capensis or Bignonia capensis
This is an attractive plant especially because the colors of its brilliant flowers blends perfectly with the deep green of its foliage.
Benefits: This is a butterfly and hummingbird attractant.
From: South Africa
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: This is essentially an easy care full sun sort of plant. It seems to reproduce or spread freely and I'd recommend pruning/staking or some other sort of containment approach. It will do fine in a situation a bit shy on water.

Text & Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010
 

Capers Capparis spinosa
Coming from the Middle East and parts of Asia, capers obviously like it hot and dry -- a desert like environment is perfect. The caper bush will grow to be no more than five feet tall and it will delight you with its very pretty feathery purple and white flowers. Edible capers are pickled flower buds; usually the smaller buds are more coveted than the larger ones.
Photographed: In the (Ortobotanico) Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy, in 2014.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2015

 

**Caraway, Wild Cumin, Carvies, Carroway Carum carvi or Fructus carvi
Caraway is a pretty frothy foliage plant whose seeds are its best feature. We used them in making our potato bread when we lived in Montserrat and pretended we were eating a good rye bread which was not available there. As an added benefit the roots of the caraway are also edible cooked much as you would carrots or turnips.
Benefits: Aside from contributing its lovely flavor to our breads, caraway is said to be beneficial in aiding digestion.
From: SE Europe or western Asia
Planting and Care: Caraway is a biennial meaning it grows for two years. In the first it will reach a height of about 8 inches or so, but it will grow to be at least 2 feet tall in the second year. Plant the seeds where the plants will grow permanently in a sunny or semi shady area with well drained neutral soil.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2008 and GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

 
**Cardboard Palm See The "P" Page PALMS -- JAIMAICA SAGO
 
**Cardinal Climber See The "M" Page -- MILE A MINUTE
 
**Cardomon Dwarf Shell Ginger See The "G" Page -- GINGER
 
Carpet Bugleweed See the "A" Page -- AJUGA BURGUNDY GLOW
**Carrots Vegetable Daucus carota
Carrots are a lovely vegetable and lend themselves to many uses -- cooked alone and served with lemon butter, chopped and cooked as a sweetening base in lentil soup, raw in potato salad for added crunch or grated in cole slaw for color. They are delicious peeled and stored in a cold bag in the fridge for an anytime snack. We had no luck so far growing them in our garden in Montserrat, but locally grown carrots there were one of the few vegetables that grew very well. I suspect we were using a variety not well adapted to the Caribbean climate.
Benefits: Carrots are a good source of the antioxidant beta carotene a type of vitamin A. This is a super skin renewer and bone builder and maybe even an additive to your immune system. Carrots also provide vitamins B, C, and E, and minerals iron, magnesium and calcium. They may also be curatives for kidney and bladder problems, as well as having been used as a treatment for lower intestinal parasites.
From: Europe and parts of Asia
Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.
Planting and Care: Carrots were difficult for us to bring to harvest in the Caribbean. There were so many underground pests and such typically heavy soil that we had no luck at all. The one time they were off to a good start, feral chickens dug them up. Like so many other vegetable plants, carrots require full sun and an even amount of watering. Insects are not generally a problem above ground. And if you run into the same problems that we had, consider growing the other very orange vegetable, sweet potatoes. They grow like weeds in a hot climate and require very little care.
Special note: When you harvest your crop, cut off the leafy tops and the carrots will last longer in storage.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2008/2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 
**Carroway -- See Caraway above
**Caruba See The "B" Page -- BANANA PASSION FRUIT
 
Carnations
Benefits: Who would have thought these flowers were edible? They'll add a spicy flavor and visual appeal to your salads as do nasturtiums. Use only flowers from your organically managed garden to avoid any unwanted pesticides or other noxious chemicals.
From:
Photographed:
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 
**Carvies -- See Caraway above
 

**Cashew Tree Anacardium occidentale L.
In Montserrat and I suspect in most of the Caribbean the cashew tree is called a cherry tree for its unusual fruit, a three inch or so shiny soft red pear shaped fruit which is eaten fresh and used in local soft drinks. While hanging from the tree, the fruit bears a cashew encased in a tough fibrous covering at its end. These seeds are harvested, toasted and the covering carefully removed to get to the delicious nuts.
Benefits and Cautions: Along with the mango, this tree is a member of the poison ivy family with the same potential to give you a nasty skin problem.
The hulls of the cashew nut contain cardol oil which blisters the skin and is very toxic. This poisonous oil is used externally in the treatment of skin infections, herpes lesions and to heal warts and corns. The bark has been used in the treatment of an assortment of diseases – from diarrhea and diabetes to some of the symptoms caused by syphilis. Aside from being truly delicious, cashews nuts are 15% protein, 40% oil and high in Vitamin C.
From: Native to tropical America, the cashew has now spread throughout the Caribbean.
Photographed: The yellow fruits above were photographed at a neighbor's home in Olveston, Montserrat, and the photograph below at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: The cashew tree likes it dry and sunny. Depending on conditions, the cashew will grow to between twenty and forty feet, yielding its first crop in three years. Cashew trees go from flower to fruit in just two months.
Text and Photographs ©Krika.com 2009/2010
 

 
Cashmere Bouquet See the "G" Page -- GLORY TREE
**Cassia Trees, both Pink and Yellow varieties See the "P" Page -- PINK CASSIA TREE

 

**Cast Iron Plant Aspidistra elatior
This green leafy plant grows to be about two and one half feet tall and spreads with separate shoots as it matures. Ours is now about two feet in diameter and lives in our very shady terrace garden. It is a real survivor -- drought, volcanic ash falls and heavy duty acid rain (enough to literally melt many plants in the garden) -- none of these seem to have phased it one bit. I hope I have identified this plant correctly, but it may be a Dracena thaloides. I would very much like to hear from you if you can help in distinguishing between these two plants.
From: China
Planting and Care: This is one of those wonderfully adaptable plants and one that thrives in shade. As for its soil requirements, it is just as adaptable doing equally well in soil that is slightly alkaline to slightly acid.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2007/2010

 

Castor Oil Plant, Castorbean, Palma Christi Ricinus communis
This is a pretty plant because of its appealing foliage more than for its blossoms. It will grow to between ten and twenty feet tall with very little care.
Benefits and Dangers: Although the seeds are considered very poisonous, leaves from this plant are commonly used in medicinal cures in South America most probably externally. "If castor beans are chewed and swallowed, they can release ricin, one of the most toxic poisons known to man. Eating just one or two castor beans can easily cause the demise of the eater. Ricin has been investigated as a warfare agent, and has even been employed by secret agents and assassins." Thanks Yahoo.
From: Africa
Photographed:
At the Hotel Riviera on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in 2010.
Planting and Care: This plant will do well in full sun or semi shade with only a moderate amount of water.

Text & Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010
 

**Casuarina Tree, Australian Pine, Ironwood, Horsetail, Willow Tree (in Montserrat) Casuarina equisetifolia or Casuarina muricata
This is a willowy pine like tree that is very common in the Caribbean. It is a sturdy survivor of the hot and sunny, windy and stormy and then drought ridden and salty Caribbean island environment. It will quickly grow to be about sixty feet tall and is considered much like the neem tree; nothing lives on it or under it.
From: The Caribbean
Photographed: At a friend's home in Old Towne, Montserrat.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2007
 
Cathedral Windows See CALATHEAS above on this same page.
 

Cat's Claw Creeper Macfadyena unguis-cati
Once finding out what this beautiful vine was, I learned that its flowering time is fairly short and in many places it is considered a pest plant. That being said, I thought it was glorious in bloom (I especially love yellow flowers) and with a little bit of attention it can be controlled.
Benefits: Its exuberance.
From:
Mexico to Argentina
Photographed: In Eraclea Minoa in Sicily, Italy, in 2012.
Planting and Care: This fast growing and tenacious vine is perfect for covering unattractive walls in a hurry. Plant it in full sun, give it routine watering or rainfall and it will be off and running. Once established, it will be somewhat drought tolerant.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

My #16 Vine Mystery was solved by Glenn a visitor to my website who lives in Brisbane, Australia. Many thanks for your help.

 
 

Cats Whiskers Orthosiphon stamineus, Ocimum aristatum, Orthosiphon aristatus
Cats Whiskers closely resemble cleomes from a distance, but I think they are more interesting when you get up close. I recall that they are about two feet tall or so and the flowers are just what you would imagine when you think of the plant's name.
Benefits: Apparently, aside from giving us a bit of beauty in the garden, cats whiskers also gives us medicinal benefits. These plants are also attractants for butterflies and hummingbirds.
From: Asia
Photographed:
In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010
**Cauliflower
Benefits: This is one of those cruciferous vegetables that like other members of the family will stand you in very good nutritional stead. If you think cancer is in your future, put cauliflower on your shopping list or better yet plant it in your garden. It is a big plant, so it needs a bit of room, but you won't be disappointed with its taste picked fresh from the garden eaten either raw or lightly cooked. In any case it is a good source of vitamins A and C, along with folic acid.
From:
Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 
Ceiba Tree See the "K" Page -- KAPOK TREE
 

**Celery Vegetable Apium
Celery has got to be one of the best foods in the world. It can be eaten fresh from the garden, chilled in a salad, as a fresh leafy swizzle in a bloody mary or cooked in soups and stews.

Benefits and Warnings:

Potassium and vitamins B and C are just a few of the accepted benefits of celery. Now it may be a good way to moderately lower your blood pressure and even to attract women. So, fellows eat up and hope for the best.
     WARNING: Celery has made it to the top ten of pesticide, herbicide and fungicide ladened foods. Grow it yourself or buy certified organic only.
Harvesting: We never pull up a whole plant, but carefully cut what we need from the base of the plant leaving the rest of the plant to continue growing.
This worked extremely well in Montserrat where the plants never flowered. Here at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, I saw my first celery plant flowers. I was pretty thrilled until I realized I'd be losing the plants. I've now been cutting off the flowering stem for use in stews where its intense flavor is wonderful. I'm hoping the plant happily carries on not having figured out it has been tricked.
Photographed: In our garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: Celery does not mind being planted in a large clay pot or even a plastic bucket. In a clay pot about 15 inches across the top and about 15 inches deep, you can comfortably plant four celery plants, spacing them evenly.
Growing celery in a tropical or Caribbean environment is not what you may be used to in a more northerly environment. Use a lot of water; soak the plants every morning! They also like sun and a lot of fertilizer. In the tropics, planting anything in the garden is always a risk. Plant a few celery plants in a pot and then plant the rest of the flat in the garden. That way you'll have a little insurance; for sure the plants will grow in one place or the other.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©Krika.com 2008/2010 and GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013 & 2014

CLICK HERE TO SEE WHO LIVED IN OUR POT OF CELERY IN MONTSERRAT

 
Centipede Plant See the "T" Page -- TAPEWORM PLANT

Century Plant See the "A" Page -- AGAVE

**Cereus See the "N" Page -- NIGHT BLOOMING CEREUS
We recently also got a piece of another similar plant called Hylocereus, though this one is triangular in shape and seems to prefer growing on a tree for support. It likes an acid soil and some sun. It is native to Mexico and Central America. See The "H" Page HYLOCEREUS
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2007

 

Chalice Vine, Cup of Gold Solandra guttata or Solandra grandiflora or Solandra maxima or Solandra nitid
As I hope you can see in the photos, this is a lush and dramatic flowering vine. The buds and flowers are about the size of a small woman's clenched hand.
Benefits:
Not surprisingly with its pleasant scent it is an attractant for butterflies and hummingbirds.
From: Mexico, Latin America and the northern part of South America
Photographed:
At the Hotel Atitlan Botanical Garden at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care:
Plant it in full sun or in a spot with a bit of shade and give it routine rainfall or watering.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010/2011
 

Chamomile
This is a plant whose small flowers are used in calmative tea. We don't have any growing in the garden, but will as soon as we can. It is a lovely plant and a wonderfully aromatic tea.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2007

 

Chenille Plant Acalypha hispida Also See the "J" Page -- JOSEPH'S COAT
This is another of the tropical plants I find a little creepy. My husband loves it though and you may too.
Benefits:
From:
The East Indies
Photographed:   In the Botanic Garden in Wellington, New Zealand, 2013
Planting and Care: This is a tropical plant which won't sustain cold weather. Once established it will grow to be about six feet tall and about that wide as well. Give it fertile well drained soil and the hot mid day sun. Routine rainfall or watering will ensure it does well, though it is pretty hardy once established.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

 
**Cherimoya See The "S" Page -- SOURSOP
 
Cherries
Benefits: Cherries, specifically sour cherries, have now joined green tea and other plants as something that will save your life or drastically improve the quality of your health. I'm not personally convinced that any particular food, beverage or activity has the power to do that. That said, there is probably nothing wrong in enjoying fresh cherries whenever you get the chance.
 

**Chickens in the Garden
Though chickens eat lots of pest insects in the garden and leave behind valuable fertilizer, they also eat string bean flowers and young corn ears so it’s a toss up as to the value of free ranging chickens as garden helpers.

Recently we learned from homesteading friends in Oregon that you can make a fenced chicken run surrounding your kitchen garden. Bugs won't get past the chickens on the way to your veggies and the fertilizer for your garden will be just a few feet away. Not a bad idea!
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2008

Also See the "W" Page -- WILDLIFE

 

Chilacayote, Asian Pumpkin, Fig Leaf Gourd Cucurbita ficifolia
Toward the end of January 2010 we discovered this huge squash while driving from Oaxaca city toward our beach destination on the southern coast of Mexico, Huatulco. We had taken what might now be called the "least traveled route" over the mountains and we liked it enough to take it again on the way back. Along the way high in the mountains on this narrow and now little traveled road we came to an area where a few villagers were selling plants and flowers beside the road. At this time of year they were also selling chilacayotes. We are going to cook this huge squash while saving the seeds, see if we like the taste and then plant the seeds when we get back home to Montserrat. More later....
Benefits: This is a plant that is currently used to improve the lives and health of diabetics.
From: The Americas, though it is now widely spread around the world.
Photographed: In San Jose Pacifico, in the State of Oaxaca, Mexico.
Planting and Care:
In a tropical climate this is a perennial squash and all parts of the plant are edible -- fruit, seeds, flowers and greens. This appears to be like all other squash/pumpkin plants. We're going to see how it does for us. Plant it in a sunny place with a good water supply and it will produce enough to keep you very happy.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010
 
 
**Chinese Evergreen Aglaonema commutatum
This family of plants is perfect for shady areas of warm climate gardens. The green and white varying pattern options seems almost endless and the plants are easy to care for.
Planting and Care:
Growing only to a height of about two and one half feet, this variegated green leafed plant will grow happily in the shade, but it prefers a light soil and a relatively moist environment.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©Krika.com 2007/2008/2010 and GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

Photographed: In the botanical garden at the Hotel Atitlan in Guatemala.

Photographed: In the botanical garden at the Hotel Atitlan in Guatemala.

Photographed: At our former home in Montserrat.

Photographed: In the botanical garden at the Hotel Atitlan in Guatemala.

 

#1 Chinese Hat, Cup and Saucer, Parasol Flower, Mandarins Hat Holmskioldia sanguinea
Growing up to ten feet tall this lovely bush will thrive in sun or semi shade and will delight you with its beautifully and subtly colored chinese hat like flowers. It has the added benefit of being an attractant for birds, butterflies and bees.

Photographed: At a friend's home in Woodland's, Montserrat.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©Krika.com 2008
#2 **Chinese Hat, Cup and Saucer, Parasol Flower, Mandarins Hat Holmskioldia sanguinea
From a distance I thought this was a bougainvillea; I was so excited to find out that it was one more delightful type of Chinese hat. I had seen the plant only once before at a friend's home in Montserrat (pictured above). Here I was in Guatemala finding the second one. It made my day!
From: The Himalayas
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: Full sun is its place of preference along with moist soil. These conditions should make this a very hearty member of the garden, though it will also tolerate a bit of shade.
Text & Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010

 

Chinese Taro Alocasia cucullata
This plant looks very much like a non-vining version of the standard philodendron which grows in offices and homes with little or no care. The leaves are a bit more bumpy and grow to be about the size of my hand.
Photographed:
At the Hotel San Buenaventura on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010
 
**Chinese Honeysuckle See The "R" Page -- Rangoon Creeper
Chinese Lantern See the "F" Page -- Flowering Maple
**Chirimoya See The "S" Page -- SOURSOP
 
** Chives Allium schoenoprasum
Who can imagine a baked potato with sour cream and no chives -- not us, so we now have chives growing in the garden and use them liberally on our baked potatoes and lots more.
Benefits: The Chinese seem to favor chives as an all around cure all for everything from stomach aches to stuffy noses and, aside from dressing up your baked potatoes, chives do provide enough vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and iron to make them an valuable addition to soups and stir fries.
From: Europe, Asia and North America
Planting and Care: Chives are in the onion family and they are perennials so once you get them growing you will be rewarded for years to come. They will grow in full sun or partial shade (especially in a tropical environment) and they like a moist fertile soil. They are ideal for planting somewhere in your flower garden as a border plant because of their twelve inch gray green spiky stems and now and then their small, but pretty lavender flowers. Normally chives are purchased in small clumps ready for planting in the garden. In Montserrat there weren't any such clumps, so we planted seeds and they did just fine. I planted a packet of seeds in our garden at Lake Atitlan a year ago and we are now enjoying them once again.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2008 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

Photographed: In the (Ortobotanico) Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy, in 2014.

Photographed: In our garden at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in 2013.

 
Chocolate -- See Cacao Above
 

**Christmas Bush Brunfelsia americana
This is a very popular bush in Montserrat as it has snowy white blooms just in time for Christmas and then again in early March.
Photographed: In our herb garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: I'm probably risking disaster in saying this, but this plant seems to do well just about anywhere from shady to sunny and it is easily propagated with cuttings. If you have one of these plants take a look around the garden in the spring you will see lots of tiny Christmas Bushes sprouting here and there. They make lovely presents for friends and neighbors.
Text & Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2008
and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

To see how pretty these bushes can be as centerpieces
Please See the "H" Page -- HERB GARDEN

 
**Christmas Palm See The "P" Page, PALMS -- CABBAGE PALM
 

Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium (No common name yet)
Benefit:
The dried foliage and flowers of this plant are sources of the natural insecticide pyrethrum.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2008

 

**Cilantro, Coriander Herb
The fresh green leaves of cilantro are an essential ingredient in Mexican cuisine as they are also in Indian cuisine. It is a very soft feathery plant that is easy to grow and pretty in a garden row. When the plant matures and produces seeds, they are called coriander, another of the world's favorite flavorings.
Benefits: Cilantro is said to enhance your immune system, to aid in digestion and maybe even to help in ridding your body of accumulated toxic metals all of which can't be bad for something that tastes so good!
Photographed: In the upper garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: Sometimes cilantro is considered difficult to grow, but I can't imagine why. Soak the seeds in water overnight the day before you will be planting them. Work your soil as you normally would and drop in the seeds. Cover with about one inch of soil and tamp down. Keep watered lightly for the two or so weeks it will take the plants to poke out of the ground and they water regularly as you would just about everything else in the vegetable garden.
Text & Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2008/2010

For a wonderful Caribbean alternative to cilantro See The "F" Page FITWEED

 

Citron Citrus medica
  Benefits:
From:
Tropical Asia
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy, in 2014.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2015

 

Cinnamon Tree Cinnamon zeylanicum or Cinnamon verum
Cinnamon has become one of the latest foods touted to save or completely transform your life with its anti-inflamatory and antioxidant properties. I'm not such a follower by nature that I'm buying what they're selling, but I doubt it will hurt you if you consume it with common sense and it tastes wonderful so why not give it a try. Please don't try to take it dry and do avoid the artificial stuff at places like Cinnabon.
From: Sri Lanka
Text Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

 

**Clammy Cherry Tree, Red Manjack Tree, Glue Berries Tree, Snotty Gobbles Tree Cordia collococca
We first saw this tree at a friend's house in Montserrat. It was loaded with fruit and we wanted to know all about it. She accommodated us immediately by picking a cherry and popping it in her mouth while talking about having eaten the fruit with her friends when they were school children. Within a minute she had changed her tune as her mouth filled with gluey saliva -- this tree didn't get its name for no reason.
From: S. America, Mexico and the Caribbean
Planting and Care: This is a weed tree whose seeds are distributed by the Jamaican Fruit Bat. It is unlikely you would want one of these trees in your garden.
Link: http://www.batplants.co.uk/clamcherriestext.htm
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©Krika.com 2008

 

 
**Cleome, Spider Flower Cleome hassleriana
This lovely annual is easily grown and blooms all summer.
From: South America
Planting and Care: Plant seeds in trays ahead of time or seedlings directly in the garden. With full sun or a little mid day shade and regular rainfall or watering cleome will keep you happy with its blooms atop its attractive 3 to 4 foot foliage.
Pests: Aphids, spider mites and whiteflies. What else is new?
Photographed: To the right in the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island in 2013. Below in the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, 2010.

Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

 
 
 
 
Climbing Onion See the "O" Page -- ONIONS -- Climbing Onion
 

Clivia, Kaffir Lily Clivia miniata
     A strap shaped leaf plant that has large lovely deep orange flowers or creamy yellow flowers as in the photographs below, the clivia grows best in a lightly shaded area of the garden. It comes from South America and has two (or maybe more) forms. One has wide very deep green leaves and huge flowers once a year. The other has narrower leaves and less spectacular flowers.
     I had my first clivia many years ago, a toss away from a friend who had no interest in dealing with the mealy bugs that had made it home. I used cedar oil very successfully until I went overboard and killed the heart of the mother plant. Fortunately there were side shoots that I quickly planted. Unfortunately, they did absolutely nothing in our lovely sunny window for many months. One day I had truly had it with watering a one leafed plant. I threatened it out loud, saying that if in a week it didn't show some promise it was "going out."
     The very next day a new leaf appeared and this little plant became a huge luxuriant clivia that never failed to bloom. It lived for a while in a suburb of Washington, D.C., spending its summers on my terrace. My El Salvadoran neighbor, Paquita, a very frail old woman who spoke no English, walked over one day and motioning to the clivia, said with a sweet smile (in translation), "That is how we live, closely, all together."
Photographed: Below in the city gardens in Malaga, Spain, in 2012 and on the right at our hotel in the tiny beach side town of Mazunte on Oaxaca's wonderful coast.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2008/2010 and GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2012

To see a bit more of this coast on one of our travel web sites, please click here Oaxaca-Today.com Scroll down till you get to a heading SIGHTS & SITES – OVERNIGHT EXCURSIONS FROM OAXACA.

 
 

Cloves Syzygium aromaticum or Caryophyllus aromaticus or Eugenia carophyllata or Eugenia caryophyllus
Benefits: Aside from the wonderful flavor it imparts to so many of our favorite foods, cloves are a wonderful way to soothe the pain of a toothache. Cloves are also said to have a wide range of other medicinal benefits especially for digestion and for the respiratory system.
From:
Indonesia
Planting and Growth: The relatively small tree that produces what we know as cloves requires a year round hot humid rainy climate with temperatures not exceeding 100° F. This is one tree that is probably best left growing on clove estates in the Far East.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2008

 

**Coca, Energy Bush
This is a large open branched bush with smallish leaves that have a pale white stripe down the center. Here in Montserrat it is used to steep a tea for an extra bit of energy, hence its local name, the "energy bush." It really works!
Photographed: In our garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©Krika.com 2008

 

 

Cockscomb, Feathered Amaranth, Woolflower, Red Fox Celosia argentea or Celosia spicata
In Mexico this is a very peculiar always very red flowering plant is a major part of Day of the Dead celebrations all over the country. For that reason I have always had a sentimental attachment to it, but otherwise I found it rather unappealing. Recently I've had a chance to change my mind when seeing young plants growing at a nearby Botanical Garden when we were visiting Guatemala.
Photographed: On the right in Taxco, Mexico, and all others in the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, unless otherwise noted.
Planting and Care: The full sun of summer along with the oftentimes accompanying rainy season makes life just perfect for the cockscomb.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2008/2010

 

 

 

Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.

 

Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.

Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.

**Coconut Palm See The "P" Page -- PALM TREES

Coconut Palm (Dwarf) See the "P" Page -- PALM TREES
 
 
 
Column Cactus See the "A" Page -- Apple Cactus
 
Comfrey 'Axminster Gold' Symphytum X uplandicum
  Benefits:
From:

Photographed: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Maine, 2013.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 
Common Horsetail Equisetum hyemale
Most commonly known as a pond plant, this is an ancient plant on our earth. It will survive almost anything you can throw at it.
Photographed: In the Japanese Garden in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Planting and Care: Ideally this ancient plant would like to live beside a sunny pond with its feet in the water. If you can give it even a little of that environment it will surely do very well for you.
 
Community Gardens

Photographed: At the URI Outreach Center in Roger Williams Park, Providence, RI, in 2013.

Photographed: At the URI Outreach Center in Roger Williams Park, Providence, RI, in 2013.

 

Copper Leaf (1) Acalypha wilkesiana
Please Also See the "J" Page - Joseph's Coat
Photographed: In a neighbor's garden in Montserrat.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010
 
Copper Leaf (2) See the "J" Page JOSEPHS COAT (3)
 

Photographed: In the Wellington Botanic Garden in Wellington, New Zealand, in 2013.

Coppertips, Falling Stars, Montbretiax Crocosmia
Flowering in reds and oranges over a long period of time these iris family plants are similarly rooted in corms and as delightful as iris.
Benefits:
From:
Africa
Planting and Care: In cooler climates, plant Crocosmia in late spring when all danger of frost is over. Plant them in full sun and see that they receive regular rainfall or watering. Be a little gentle with the corms as they are easily damaged.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

With my appreciation this plant mystery was solved by Jac from North Norfolk, England

Photographed: In the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, Australia, in 2013.

 

Coral Ardesia Ardesia crenata
Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010
 

**Coralblow See The "F" Page -- FIRECRACKER

**Coral Bush See The "J" Page -- JATROPHA
**Coral Hibiscus Bush See The "H" Page HIBISCUS -- Coral Hibiscus
**Coral Plant See The "F" Page -- FIRECRACKER
 
Coral Tree (1) Erythrina corallodendron
 
Coral Tree (2), Sunshine Tree Erythrina indica picta
This is a peculiarly attractive tree which first caught my eye on a real estate search for a property on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. That first little tree was very sad though it had an appeal I can't name. I spotted another of these little trees in Argentina, but didn't connect the two. Then as if hit over the head there was one very happy little tree in New Zealand and I connected the dots.
Benefits:
From:
Its origin is Brazil and it does have the exuberance that Brazil inspires.

Photographed:   In the Botanic Garden in Wellington, New Zealand, 2013
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

Photographed:   In Panajachel at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in 2011.

Photographed:   In the Carlos Thays Botanical Garden in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Photographed:   In the Botanic Garden in Wellington, New Zealand, 2013.

Photographed:   In the Botanic Garden in Wellington, New Zealand, 2013.

Photographed:   In the Botanic Garden in Wellington, New Zealand, 2013.

**Cordia Tree, Geranium Tree, Geiger Tree Cordia sebestena
This lovely tree has large round medium green papery leaves and routinely bears clusters of very attractive reddish orange flowers which are most abundant in the spring and summer. These flowers produce edible, but not tasty, white golf ball sized seed fruits. This is another of my survivor friends; the cordia is beautiful and tough!
From: The cordia tree is native to the Caribbean
Photographed: In our garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and care:
The cordia is well adapted to growing in dry and even salty conditions. In ideal conditions it will grow to be about thirty feet tall with a spread of about fifteen feet.
Text Copyrighted © KO 2008

 
Coreopsis
This bright beautiful intense yellow flowering plant makes a great summery border in late spring/early summer. It will grow to be about two feet tall.
Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010

 

**Coriander see "Cilantro" above and Also See The "F" Page -- FITWEED

 

Cork Oak Tree Quercus suber
The cork tree is medium sized eventually growing to be about 60 feet tall and it is quite slow to grow, but it will do so for many, many years. Its life expectancy can be 250 years, so it is probably a good thing that it doesn't grow too fast. The tree itself is not spectacularly attractive, but then you will look at the "bark" in total wonder.
Benefits: This is the tree that provides us with wine corks and flooring.
From:
Northern Africa, Portugal and Spain
Planting and Care: It is said to prefer an acid soil, as do most oaks.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2012

Photographed: In the Palermo Botanical Garden in Sicily, Italy.

 

This is a photograph of the bark on a cork tree. I found it fascinating and you may too.
Photographed: In the Palermo Botanical Garden in Sicily, Italy.

Photographed: In the (Ortobotanico) Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy, in 2014.

 

This was one of my vine mysteries graciously identified by a visitor to this website GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com. I'd like your help too!

Corkscrew Vine, Caracalla bean, Climbing Shell Plant, Snail Vine Vigna caracalla
This is an exuberant flowering vine that I saw for the first time in New Zealand. I vowed that I would have one some day, but had no idea what it was called until a few months ago when one of the site's visitors wrote to tell me about it. I was thrilled thinking I could order the seeds or even a plant. Little did I know how generous this visitor would be. Right away she offered to send me some seeds and indeed she did. I have little plants now thriving in a pot, soon to be placed out in the garden to climb the walls with morning glories, wisteria and passion flowers.
Benefits:
From:
From S. Africa
Photographed: In the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2013.
Planting and Care: Once set in, this is a vigorous and high climbing vine so give it a lot of space. It would be a shame to have to keep it trimmed to a small space. Whether you grow this from seed yourself or buy a plant ready for the garden, plan to set it in an area of the garden getting as much full sun as possible, but at least six hours. Dig a hole about twice the size of the root ball and mix the soil with good compost, set the plant carefully so that its crown will be no deeper than the surrounding soil and add back the improved soil. Keep it moist, but not wet until it looks like it has settled in well. After that water when dry and enjoy.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

 
 

**Corn Zea mays
This is sweet corn, food of the Gods!! Here in the Caribbean cooked ears of corn are sold by the roadside and we sometimes see a small field of corn growing. As in Mexico, hot weather makes for tough corn, what I've always called "Cow Corn," which grows and is prized in the American southeastern states. It just doesn't equate with the dozens of ears of northern grown sweet corn that I've consumed every summer all of my life. I grew corn in my garden in Washington, D.C., and confirmed my belief that corn is a field crop, meant to grow on acres and acres, not in a dedicated six foot by six foot corner of the backyard garden. We've planted corn in our banana garden and we'll let you know how it works out; so far it doesn't look good.
Benefits: As all of you know who have eaten sweet corn on the cob, corn is a great source of fiber. But, it also has vision improving antioxidants and a lot of vitamin C.

Photographed: On the left in our banana garden at our former home in Montserrat and below on hacienda San Buenaventura land by Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2008/2010

 
Corn Plant See the "D" Page -- DRACAENAS -- Corn Plant
 
 **Cosmos
The feathery foliage and light papery quality of the flowers on cosmos are delightful in any garden. Being relatively tall, about 2 feet or so, they make a perfect backdrop for lower growing flowering plants.
Benefits:
From:

Planting and Care: Cosmos is an easy to grow annual, tolerating a most of the mistakes we can make in the garden. They do well in tropical and warm climates lending an air of gentility to what can sometimes seem too exuberant and exotic greenery for those of us raised in northern climates.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

Photographed: In the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, Maine, 2013.

Photographed: In the Thuya Garden, Mt. Desert Island, Maine, 2013.

 

Photographed: In the Thuya Garden, Mt. Desert Island, Maine, 2013.

Photographed: In the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, Australia, in 2013.

Cow Tongue Gasteria armstrongii Schönland
  Benefits:
From:
South Africa
Photographed:   In the Botanic Garden in Wellington, New Zealand, 2013
Planting and Care: In its native habitat this little plant grows in rocky soil.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 
**Crape Ginger See The "G" Page GINGER -- Spiral Ginger

Crape Jasmine See the "I" Page -- INDIA CARNATION

 
 
CRAPE MYRTLE

Photographed: In our garden at our former home in Montserrat.

**Crape Myrtle, Crepe Myrtle Flowering Bush/Small Tree Lagerstroemia indica
With its dark green leaves the flowers on this small normally fifteen foot tall tree really stand out. It requires full sun to flower most abundantly with its delicate, frilly, light purple/lavender or white blossoms, but it will also flower in a bright semi-shady area.
From:
Originating in South East Asia and Northern Australia, crape myrtle is now widely spread around the globe.
Planting and Care: We have had good luck with our crape myrtles planted in a sunny area where they normally bloom for months on end beginning sometime in June. We then planted them as part of a hedge in full shade several months ago and they are finally beginning to thrive; they are even flowering. I read somewhere that providing lots of moisture to young plants greatly speeds their growth and it's true based on what we've seen; older established plants do just fine with whatever rainfall comes their way. To stimulate production of new flower stems, cut off the old ones; it not only works to bring more flowers, but the bush itself seems enhanced.
Text & Photographs Copyrighted ©Krika.com 2008/2010
 

Photographed: In our garden at our former home in Montserrat.

Photographed: In our garden at our former home in Montserrat.

 
Queens Flower Tree, Queens Crape Myrtle, Queens Flower, Pride of India, Banaba Lagerstroemia speciosa, Lagerstroemia flos reginae
This too is really a crape myrtle, but may be another variety. The ones we have on our property have never given an indication that they will grow into small trees, but that may be because I do prune them frequently. As a small tree, growing only to be about twenty feet tall, it is so beautiful that when I saw it while driving to a friend's house in Montserrat I just stopped the car and took the picture below on the right. The owner's of the property where it was photographed have two extremely vicious dogs free to roam the neighborhood and attack at will. I had only a moment to take the picture and close the car window before they reached and leaped at the car snarling and snapping their jaws.
Benefits: The leaves and roots are said to have medicinal benefits which may include treatments for stomach problems. By some it is said to be used as a natural treatment for diabetes and by the ever hopeful as an enhancement to weight loss.
From: India
Planting and Care: Full sun and routinely receiving a moderate amount of water will keep the Queens Flower healthy for years and in bloom for more than a few months every summer. It is considered sub tropical and can handle temperatures in the 30's F. on occasion.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©Krika.com 2009/2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

Photographed: In the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, Australia, in 2013.

 

Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in 2010.

Photographed: On the Caribbean island of Montserrat in 2009.

 

Photographed: In the Jardin Botanique in Tahiti in 2013.

Photographed: In the Jardin Botanique in Tahiti in 2013.

 
 

**Crepe Ginger See The "G" Page GINGER -- Spiral Ginger

 
**Crepe Myrtle See CRAPE MYRTLES Above
 
 
 
 
**Crown of Thorns Euphorbia milii
This is a delightful easy to care for orange, red, pink, white or yellow flowering spiny cactus plant I had indoors in New England for years. These are photographs of this plant growing outside.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2008/2010/2012/2013
 

Photographed: In the Canary Islands, Spain, in 2014.

Photographed: In the Carlos Thays Botanical Garden in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2011.

 

Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.

Photographed: At the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center in Rhode Island in 2013.

 
**Cuban Buttercup Tumeria ulmifolia
For a tropical Caribbean environment this seems a bit of a mousy plant, a little too cute for a place that has such extremes of heat and rainfall. But, it might also be said that it is a welcome reminder of more tame northern climates. After the initial phase of my relationship with this plant I grew to love it.
Photographed: In our terrace garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: This is not much of an issue as they will appear at will somewhere in your garden and they will get on with the business of growing with no intervention from you. Come to think of it, these are the perfect flowering plants!
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2008 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 

**Cuban Oregano See The "T" Page THYME -- Spanish Thyme

**Cuban Royal Palm See The "P" Page PALMS -- Florida Royal Palm
**Cuban Thyme See The "T" Page THYME -- Spanish Thyme
 
 **Cucumbers Cucumis sativus
What is known as a pickling cucumber in the United States is the one most commonly sold in Caribbean food markets all the way from Trinidad & Tobago to Montserrat where we had a home for a decade or so. This plant holds up very well to the strong sun and heat in that part of the world. One year we planted a Chinese variety of cucumber, one of those very long skinny ones with the soft skin. At first they grew well and we had some six inch young cucumbers, but in the end this was not a successful variety in a tropical environment.
Benefits: Eat the skin of organic cucumbers for vitamins A and C and the fruit for its sulfur which is beneficial to your skin, hair, and fingernails.
From:
Photographed: In our garden at our home at Lake Atitlan in Guatemalan 2014.
Planting and Care: In a New England summer time environment, cucumbers of all varieties seemed to grow like weeds. Mound up a bit of good compost rich sweet soil, plant three or four seeds about 1/2 to 1" deep, water and wait for the harvest. In tropical or warm climate gardens they prove a little more difficult. In the Caribbean, we always planted seeds two to a styrofoam cup of good soil. Seeds planted directly in the garden never germinated. At Lake Atitlan where we now live, I have had fair results with cucumbers, but never the bountiful crop I always had in New England.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

 

Cumin Cuminum cyminum
Cumin is an essential ingredient in many Indian dishes and in such old American southwest favorites like chile con carne. Along with oregano and cloves, cumin is the third major ingredient in standard American "chili powder." It is aromatic whether used as whole seeds or ground. The plant grows to be about 12" high. We are going to plant it this year and see what happens. We'll take a photograph and put it here if all goes well.

Note: As you can see from the date below, no photograph was taken and no plants thrived. We are going to try again soon.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2007 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

 
Cup and Saucer See CHINESE HAT Above
 
Cup and Saucer Vine Cobaea scandens
This is a new vine in the garden with no photograph as yet. It is very appealing having caught my eye at the local garden shop and, best of all, it is easy to please.
From:
Mexico
Planting and Care: This is best considered a tropical vine. It likes full sun and regular rainfall or watering. It will reward your good care with its trumpet shaped purple flowers from spring through fall. It will stretch to be between 10 and 20 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet tall.
 
Cup of Gold See the CHALICE VINE Above
 
**Cupid’s Flower See the "M" Page -- MILE A MINUTE
 

Curry
This is one of my favorite spice mixtures having several levels of flavor that enhances everything it comes into contact with. It can be overdone though, if every food on the table tastes like curry.
Benefits: As with garlic and green tea, curry is now being touted as the ultimate cure all -- alzheimer's to cancer. And if you think that one spice is going to cure your grave ills, I have bridge to sell you right away. That being said, eating curried cauliflower or cabbage may increase the impact that each one alone has on fighting cancer.
From: India

 
**Custard Apple See The "S" Page SOURSOP
 
**Cut Leaf Philodendron See The "P" Page PHILODENDRON -- Cut Leaf Philodendron
 
**Cycad See The "P" Page PALMS -- Cardboard Palm
 
Cyclamen
Benefits:
From:

Photographed: In the Japanese Garden in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 
**Cypress Vine See The "M" Page -- MILE A MINUTE
 

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