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**Rabbits Foot Fern See The "F" Page -- FERNS -- Rabbits Foot Fern
Radiator Plant  See the "P" Page -- PEPEROMIA


**Radishes Raphanus sativus
In Mexico there are many varieties of radishes, not just the red ball variety so popular in the States. In Oaxaca, Mexico, this vegetable is exalted at Christmas in the “radish festival” where all of the city’s groups and societies create radish scenes on the zócalo or town square. It is a sight not to be missed if you ever get to Oaxaca at Christmas.
Benefits: Radishes are a colorful and peppery addition to salads and their sulfur content is said to aid digestion. Along with that, radishes offer potassium, folic acid and of course the oft touted antioxidants. If you like the taste include the tops thinly sliced in your salad too. They are packed with vitamin C.
Photographed: In the market in Panajachel, Solala, Guatemala.
Planting and Care: Radishes are easy to grow almost anywhere you have reasonably soft soil. They like full sun and routine watering or rainfall. I've used them for years as a marker crop for slower growing veggies. Radishes are often up and in my salad bowl in a month or so.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2004/2010/2013

Click here to see photographs of the December Radish Festival in Oaxaca, Mexico

**Rain Tree, Rainfall tree, Monkey Pod Albizia saman or Samanea saman
This is the lovely lacy looking small tree that gave us pink blossoms more than once a year in Montserrat. Its branches root easily so it is often used as a border planting to break the wind by a vegetable garden or field. Though it is said to be a large tree, there it never seemed to be so, growing only to about 30 feet. At night it wisely folds its leaves which might otherwise act together as an umbrella. Rain seems to come most frequently in the night in the Caribbean so this tree has adapted well to its environment. Its effort to fold its leaves at night ensures that rainfall reaches the base of the tree.
From: Central and South America.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2004
**Rainfall Tree See Above Rain Tree
**Ram Goat Bush See The "F" Page -- FITWEED
Rambutin Nephelium lappaceum, Euphoria nephelium, Dimocarpus crinita
I first saw these peculiar fruits in the Panajachel market in Guatemala. I'm always attracted to the unusual and here is what I've learned about this golf ball sized deep red fruit with long soft red, yellow or green hairs . First they have a delightful light taste with no after effects as are not uncommon in tropical fruits. Second the inside is as appealing as the outside.
From: Malaysia
Photographed: In the fabulous food market in Panajachel Guatemala.
Planting and Care: This is probably best left to the experts, but if you insist on trying find a good source for how to do it. I have saved some seeds and will let you know how it goes when I get back home and plant them in the garden.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2010


**Rangoon Creeper, Chinese Honeysuckle, Drunken Sailor, Burma Creeper Quisqualis indica
This is a tough fast growing vine like shrub which blooms with lovely white to red flowers. When not in bloom it is a commendable plant for its resistance to insects and diseases and because it is very easy to grow. Truthfully, it is almost impossible to eradicate so be careful where you plant it.
Benefits: The Rangoon creeper is an attractant for butterflies and hummingbirds.
Flowers: Late spring and through the summer
From: Tropical areas of Asia and New Guinea
Planting and Care: This wonderfully hardy and attractive bush will grow contentedly in sun or semi shade with some rainfall or watering. In my experience it will also survive drought periods fairly well.
Text and Photographs © 2009/2010 and © 2013

Photographed: In the deck garden at our former home in Montserrat, in 2008.

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

Has there ever been a person on earth who doesn't love raspberries? I doubt it.
Benefits: Aside from providing a hefty dose of fiber, raspberries, both the deep purple and red varieties, are said to carry lots of antioxidant benefits.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2014

Red Christmas Pride, Tropical Wild Petunia Ruellia graecizans
Argentina, Brazil and Mexico
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: Red Christmas Pride prefers a shady rainforest environment. It is not frost hardy, though in its native environment it is a ready survivor.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2014

My #26 Flower Mystery was solved by Glenn a visitor to my website who lives in Brisbane, Australia. Many Thanks.

**Red Gram See the "P" Page -- PIGEON PEA

Redhead, Firebush, Hummingbird Bush, Scarlet Bush Hamelia patens
In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Text & Photographs Copyrighted © 2013

Shrub Mystery solved by Ursula G. living in Southern Germany

Red Manjack Tree See The "C" Page -- CLAMMY CHERRY TREE

**Red Sister See The "T" Page -- TI PLANT

**Red Sorrel See the "S" Page -- SORREL
**Red Tea See the "S" Page -- SORREL
Red Wax Jambu See Below on this page -- ROSE APPLE

Redwood Tree Sequoioideae
These trees are magical and I'd never had the honor of seeing one until we visited Wellington, New Zealand. It was well worth the wait.
Photographed: In the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2013.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013 

References See The "L" Page -- LINKS

**Rheo See The "B" Page -- BOATLILY


Rhododendron Rhododendron ponticum
Benefits and Risks:
          Having grown up surrounded by rhododendrons I was very surprised to learn of their toxicity. Naively when we moved to the Caribbean I began reading about the poisonous plants there. I never assumed that my birthplace presented equal dangers.
          All parts of the rhododendron are poisonous, even very deadly.

Photographed: In the Thuya Garden on Mt. Desert Island in Maine, 2013.
Planting and Care: These marvelous lush green all year shrubs with beautiful spring time blossoms thrive in shade often provided by being planted as foundation cover. Give them routine rainfall or watering to keep them at their best. Since they always do well planted by cement foundations, I would suspect they prefer sweet soil, but I haven't confirmed that yet.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013

Also see the "V" Page -- VIREYA RHODODENDRON


**Rhubarb Rheum rhabarbarum
This perennial plant so well known as a garden staple in New England, proved an elusive gem in my Caribbean garden wish list. I always wished that someone coming down to the island from the northern US or from Canada would bring a root for me. I would have gratefully baked them a pie! Folks in Montserrat aren't known for their generosity or their kindness and I never did get a rhubarb root. The good news is that we are now living by Lake Atitlan in Guatemala which has a good climate for rhubarb and I was able to order seeds which have proven more than viable as you will see when I get the photos organized. Strawberries here in the market are fabulous so I'll soon be cranking out my very favorite fruit pie -- strawberry/rhubarb.

Benefits and Risks: Anyone who has had a strawberry rhubarb pie knows the benefits. What is less well know is that every part of the rhubarb plant except the stems is highly poisonous. "Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, a chemical compound found in bleach, metal cleaners and anti-rust products. The leaves also contain anthraquinone glycosides. Eating the leaves can lead to a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, nausea and vomiting, gastric pain, shock, convulsions and even death." Thanks Yahoo.
All photographs were taken in our garden at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care:
I had read that seeds should be planted where you want the final plant grow; that they do not transplant well. When the plants were quite small I did not find this to be at all the case. I planted seeds in used 3 x 5 x 9 styrofoam trays first used to sell white button mushrooms here. Once the little plants were up and doing well I replanted them in deeper pots and then in the garden in a soil that is loose with good drainage and a pH that is moderately acidic. Wait till you see the pictures. I am in heaven! And by the way, I tried to transplant a rhubarb whose leaves were about 10" long and it simply died.
Notes for the hot climate gardener: Plant your rhubarb where it will receive only morning or late afternoon sun.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted © 2014



Ribbonbush See the "T" Page -- TAPEWORM PLANT
Ringworm Tree See the "C" Page -- CANDELABRA BUSH

**Road Kill Cactus, Sour Prickly Pear Cactus Consolea rubescens
This cactus has the appearance of having the usual cactus spines, but it doesn't. One local fellow in Montserrat told us its leaves were once used to "scrub up." Ours grew to more than five feet in about as many years. Along the way it gave us lots of young off shoot plants.
From: The Caribbean
Photographed: Growing in the border garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: Full sun and very light occasional rainfall or watering will keep this fast growing, disease free, spineless cactus very happy.
Text & Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2008/2010/2012


Rock Rose, Orchid Rockrose Cistus purpureus
As you can see in the photographs this is a charming flowering bush. It flowers for a long period of time; each blossom, however, lasts only a day. I have yet to see one at the plant store here in Guatemala, but it is definitely on my shopping list.
More southerly parts of Europe
Photographed: At the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2012.
Planting and Care: Plant this hardy flowering bush in full sun in almost any well drained soil. It is tolerant of a range of pH and pretty much everything else. Just keep it out of strong winds and it will do fine. It is even resistant to deers.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2015

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


Rose Apple, Plum Rose, Red Wax Jambu, Malavar Plum Syzygium samarangense or Syzygium jambos (L.) Alston
The nicely shaped tree in the photograph below on the left is locally known in Montserrat as a Plum Rose and its brilliant red fruits are shown in the photograph below on the right.
From: S.E. Asia
Photographed: All of the photographs were taken at neighbor's homes in Montserrat.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010 

**Rose of Sharon, Blue Hibiscus Hibiscus syriacus 'Blue Bird'
This more scrubby version of an hibiscus will grow to be about six feet tall or more and just about as wide. Its flowers will last a couple of days. While living in Bristol, Rhode Island, in the United States many years ago I had a thick hedge of Rose of Sharon and I liked it very much for its continuous blossoms and for its ease of care.
Planting and Care: Treat this plant as a hardy and fast growing hibiscus and it will do just fine with lots of sun and a reasonable amount of water. Like the hibiscus it also likes an acid soil.

Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2008/2010


Photographed: At the Hotel Vision Azul on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Photographed: At a hotel in Rhode Island in 2013.


Photographed: At a hotel in Rhode Island in 2013.

Photographed: At the Hotel Vision Azul on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

**Roselle See the "S" Page -- SORREL

**Rosemary Herb Rosemarinus officinalis L.
This is a beautiful plant and a wonderful herb. Growing naturally it will reach from between 2 and 6 feet, looking like an ice green strange small pine tree. Its fragrant leaves are a wonderful addition to any fish stew and I don’t think our stuffed mushrooms would be the same without it. We had one thriving in a pot in Taxco, then two plants growing in our herb garden in Montserrat and now one very large plant in our backyard garden at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
1. Apart from using rosemary in the kitchen, use its powdered crushed leaves as a flea and tick repellant on your pets. It’s a great alternative to toxic chemicals which aren't good for you, your children or your pets!
2. Rosemary is believed by some to have a stimulating effect on brain activity increasing the ability to think and solve problems quickly.
3. It is also said to be an aid to digestion, but my personal experience is just the opposite. Whenever I eat anything flavored with rosemary (which I love) I run pretty shortly for the Tums or any other anti-acid medication nearby.
4. A mix of rosemary and thyme may have a beneficial effect in reducing the harmful effects of high heat grilling of meats.
The Mediterranean
Planting and Growth: As is true of so many plants from the Mediterranean, rosemary is said to grow most vigorously in a reasonably dry, rocky and alkaline soil.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2008/2010 and © 2015

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

Photographed: In our garden at our home by Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in 2014


Rough Horsetail, Scouring Rush Equisetum hyemale
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy.
Photograph Copyrighted © 2012
**Royal Poinciana See The "P" Page -- POINCIANA

**Rubber Tree Plant Ficus elastica
We northern climate folks know this as a fine and hardy potted plant. Growing outside in the Caribbean it is an entirely different creature. It is a fast growing tree which may grow as high as 100 feet -- huge and verdant.
In a tropical environment watch out for this tree's voracious root system. The rubber tree is a member of the ficus family which is well known in the tropics and often dreaded. Despite the beautiful appearance of this family of plants and trees, they are best planted in an area where they will entirely dominate the environment -- nothing can compete well with them.
Benefits: According to Yahoo news, "It ranks high at eradicating nasty formaldehyde," from your environment. I can personally attest to its being extremely nasty.
Tropical Asia
Photographed: In our garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Growth: Preferring a little shade, but weathering full sun, the rubber tree plant will take a lot of water.
It makes eventually an extremely gorgeous tree!
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © KO 2009 and © 2013
Russian Sage Perovskia atriplicifolia
This appealing plant will grow in a clump about two feet tall and will flower in late summer. 
Central Asia including Tibet and Afghanistan
Photographed: In the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, Maine, 2013.
Planting and Care: Tolerant of almost everything, Russian sage is a perennial that prefers only to be planted in full sun.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013

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