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Jacaranda Tree Jacaranda mimosafolia D. Don or Jacaranda acutifolia HUMB. and BONPL. or Jacaranda cuspidifolia
Just after dropping its feathery leaves, the jacaranda bursts into purple blooms. It is maybe best identified by the seed pods which are almost always hanging from the tree, but don't mistake it for a flamboyant which has similar seed pods. It reaches its full height of forty to sixty feet when mature when it will also have a fifty foot spread. It is a common tree in Taxco and in almost all parts of Mexico.
Benefits: In Panama the bark is used in treating skin diseases.
From:
The jacaranda originated in Brazil according to one botanist or in northwestern Argentina according to another.
Still others believe its origin to have been in Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean. The Jacaranda is also very common in South Africa, so who knows?
Photograph:
These photographs were taken in Colonia Reforma, a suburb of Oaxaca, Mexico.
Planting and Care:
It does best in full sun and it will tolerate a long dry season, eight months in most of Mexico. Jacarandas do not do particularly well in very windy locations.
Text and Photographs ©KO 2008/2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2012/2018
**Jade Plant, Jade Tree, Gollum Jade, Succulent Spoon Jade Shrek Plant, Trumpet Jade, Money Plant Crassula ovata, Crassula ovata, Crassula argentea
This is a very appealing plant with thick deep green fleshy leaves on stems that make the overall plant look like a tiny ancient tree. They are very easy to grow either as house plants or outside where there is no frost. They will get quite large when they are happy.
Benefits:
From:
South Africa
Planting and Growth: Jade plants like good light and can handle the Caribbean sun, but preferably only in the early morning. If you plant them in your garden, do so in an area that receives some sun and regular rainfall or you'll have to do light watering.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

Photograph: In a garden in Colonia Reforma, a suburb of Oaxaca, Mexico.

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

Jamaican Forget-Me-Not, Bushviolet, Amethyst Flower Browallia americana
This is a warm climate perennial that comes with white, blue or purple blossoms.
Benefits:
From:
Tropical Americas
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: This plant does best in semi shade planted in a rich soil and given plenty of rainfall or watering. Don't hesitate to pinch it back to maintain and attractive shape.
Text and Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013/2018

This Flower Mystery was solved by Ursula G. living in Southern Germany

 
Jamaican Plum Tree, Chile Plum, Governor's Plum, Hog Plum, Purple Mombin, Purple Plum, Red Mombin, Red Plum, Scarlet Plum, Spanish Plum, Wild Plum, Coolie Plum
This looks like a fast growing 'weed' tree that will reach to about 25 feet in height when mature. I found it in the garden of a Tobagoin friend who had told us he 'trimmed' hair on the weekends in his little shop. I imagined he might be responsible for some of the wonderful hair styles I had seen in the supermarket where he worked as one of the managers during the week. As it turned out, he is a barber with all of the attendant tools and furniture. Bravely, I sat in his barber's chair and he set to work. He did a great job though I was his very first female customer. Afterwards we walked in his garden where he pointed out the fruiting trees, medicinal herbs, and vegetable plants he was growing. All in all it was one of my favorite afternoons in Tobago and we left happily with a bag of delicious plums.
Benefits:
This tree produces yummy fruits toward the beginning of summer in the Caribbean.
From:

Photographed: In Bon Accord, Tobago, in 2018.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photographs ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2018
**Jamaica Sago See the PALMS AND SAGOS Page -- Jamaica Sago
 

Japanese Anemone, Japanese Wind Flower, Chinese Anemone, Thimbleweed, Windflower Syn. Anemone hupehensis, Anemone hupehensis var. japonica, Anemone × hybrida
As you can see from the many places I've photographed this lovely perennial, it's very popular and also one of my personal favorites. It will grow to be about three or four feet tall and will normally flower from mid summer into the fall.
Benefits: Anemones have various medicinal applications, but I didn't find any listed as common cures.
From: China
Planting and Care: The Japanese anemone can be a little difficult to get started, but once it settles in, it can become a little too confident, encroaching on less vigorous nearby plants. It likes to grow in semi shady conditions which makes it a great addition to any garden where full sun is in short supply. Water them carefully never giving them too much or too little and they'll do just fine. As you can see from the photograph locations below, it seems this plant may prefer cool climates.
Text and Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014/2018

Flower Mysteries 2, 38. 48 and 57 were solved by Ursula G. living in Southern Germany

Flower Mysteries 4 and 4a were identified by Susan I. a Twitter friend from Sydney, Australia

Photographed: In a private garden in Calafate, Argentina, 2011.

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

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

Photographed: At the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, Providence, RI, in 2013

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

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

Photographed: At the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, Providence, RI, in 2013.
 
 Japanese Rose, Eijitsu Rose (in Japanese) Rosa rugosa
Japanese Umbrella Pine, Umbrella Pine, Koya-Maki (in Japanese) Sciadopitys verticillata
This is a slow growing delightful evergreen that would make a beautiful garden centerpiece. In many years it will reach a height of more than 60 feet.
Benefits: I didn't find anything special except that this tree has become one of my favorites. We visit Rhode Island once a year usually and I always make sure to see "my tree."
From: Japan
Photographed: At the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center in Rhode Island in 2013.
Planting and Care: This lovely pine will grow best in full sun or partial sun and bright shade in a garden spot with protection from strong winds. It is not fussy about the soil where it lives, but it must be moist and well drained and it must be acidic.
Text and Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014/2018
 
JASMINE
Jasmine is long known for its healing qualities though none of the varieties here are said to convey those benefits.
Angel Wing Jasmine Jasminum nitidum
Angel wing jasmine is a vine like shrub with white pinwheel shaped flowers that are tinged purple on the underside. As well, flowers on this jasmine are a little larger than on other jasmine plants. Its fragrant flowers bloom at night beginning in late spring and carry on through the summer months. When it is mature it will be about 10 feet tall and 3 or 4 feet wide.
Benefits: Though other jasmine varieties are noted for their health benefits, I didn't find any medicinal uses for the angel wing.
From:
Papua New Guinea's Admiralty Islands
Photographed:
In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: Plant this in full sun and assure it routine rainfall or watering to keep it happy. It is not at all fussy about the soil in which it will live.
Text & Photograph ©KO 2010 and ©
GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2018
Azores Jasmine, Lemon-Scented Jasmine Jasminum azoricum
Like many jasmine plants this climbing one is less appealing for its flowers and foliage than for its heavenly scent.
Benefits:
I found nothing specific to the Azores Jasmine.
From:
The Portuguese Island of Madeira in the Azores as the name suggests.
Photographed:
In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: Like most jasmines, this one is sensitive to cool and especially cold weather. It prefers to be planted in an always warm sunny area of the garden out of the wind where it will receive regular watering or rainfall. It will live comfortably in almost any soil type and isn't particular about the pH either.

Text & Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013/2018

Night Blooming Jasmine Cestrum nocturnam
      Never having had one of these trees and never having smelled the flowers at night, this is what I wrote about this tree some years ago. "This type of jasmine may not be glorious during the day as the flowers look a little bedraggled, but at night it is luxurious, maybe one of the best smelling plants in the world and this is when the flowers open and are at their best."
     Things changed and I ended up having one in my new garden where my glowing opinion of this tree quickly changed. Its major attraction, the nighttime scent, turned out to smell like something from a can sold to "freshen" bathrooms. Not very appealing. Make sure before you go to the trouble of planting one that you really do enjoy the flowers at night.
Benefits: I found nothing specific to the night blooming jasmine.
From: Tropical America
Photographed: To the right at a friend's home in Olveston, Montserrat, in late afternoon and below during
the day in our garden at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, 2012.
Planting and Care:
These small trees rely on full sun, lots of water and warm temperatures to be at their best. Once established they can handle a bit of cool weather, but this really is a tropical plant at heart.
Text and Photographs ©KO 2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring 2013/2018

Orange Jasmine, Orange Jessamine, Mock Orange, Chinese Box Murraya exotica
Unlike other jasmine varieties on this page, orange jasmine truly is a shrub that will grow to more than 7 feet in height. Its orange scented flowers are very pretty and perfectly enhance the deep green foliage.
Benefits: It is an attractant for to bees, butterflies and birds.
From: India
Photographed: Below our mahogany garden at our former home in Montserrat in 2008.
Planting and Care: This shrub came with our home. It was planted in full sun and always did well with the rainfall that fell, enduring very hot and dry periods with no water when we were away. This is in opposition to everything I read that said it requires moist soil. It became ill at one point, so I simply cut it back almost to the ground and it rebounded within a short few months.
Text and Photographs ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014/2018

My #14 Shrub Mystery was solved by two visitors to my website, Glenn who lives in Brisbane, Australia and Kim H. Many thanks for your help.

**Pinwheel Jasmine Tabernacle montana
This is a delightful delicately flowering bush that pruned carefully has an airy lightness about it that is not characteristic of most tropical foliage. Its 3/4 inch flowers might be overlooked without their wonderful abundance. Our plants bloomed continuously for months. Pinwheel Jasmine can and often is used as a trimmed hedge which seems to rob it of all of its best qualities.
Benefits:
From: India
Photographed: As a center piece in our herb garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: Unlike most jasmines, this one prefers to have some shade from the hot mid-day sun. It will even grow well in bright shade free of direct sun. At maturity it will reach a height and width of about 5 feet. It likes to have routine rainfall or watering, but requires good drainage of the rich soil in which it does best.
Text & Photographs ©KO 2008/2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2018

Star Jasmine, Southern Jasmine, Trader's Compass, Confederate Jasmine, Chinese Ivy, Chinese Jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides
The combination of glossy medium green leaves and the twirling white blossoms on this hedge made us stop the car in admiration when we were traveling in Sicily. Aside from training it as a hedge, it makes a wonderful trellis plant giving shade over your patio.
Benefits: An extract of the flowers of the star jasmine is used in making some very expensive perfumes.
From:
Eastern and southeastern Asia
Photographed: On the left in Crown Point, Tobago, in 2017, and below in a private garden in Sicily in 2012.
Planting and Care: This wonderful plant will flower in a variety of lighting situations from full sun to full shade, but it will not grow in damp soil. A place in full sun or in semi shade will do just fine as will soil in the full range of pH values you're likely to have. Just about any soil will do as well, but it would like a little shelter from heavy weather. I don't think that's too much to ask especially since it is not overly demanding of fertilizer and likes just a moderate amount of water.
Text and Photographs ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2018

This shrub mystery was solved by Glenn a visitor to my website who lives in Brisbane, Australia. Many thanks for your help Glenn.

 
JATROPHA

**Spicy Jatropha, Pergrina Jatropha pandurata and Jatropha integerrima
This member of the jatropha family is tougher looking than the more feathery leaved one pictured below, but each of these family members has a distinct appeal. As you can see in the photographs, it will look wonderful in a big earthenware pot or even grown as a hedge. It is said to have a sap that can be irritating to the skin, but I did not find it to be so.
Benefits: Spicy Jatropha attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
From: Cuba
Photographed: Right below at our former home in Guatemala. On the left and at the very bottom in Crown Point, Tobago, in 2017.
Planting and Care: Give it full sun or sun with some shade and it will do just fine, but do keep it on the dry side. It is not at all cold tolerant, though once established it will do fine in drought conditions. It may grow up to 15 feet tall and almost as wide, but with pruning it will be a more manageable size.
Warning: Jatrophas are highly toxic.
Text and Photographs ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2015/2018

Buddha Belly Plant, Bottleplant Shrub, Gout Plant, Purging-Nut, Guatemalan Rhubarb, Goutystalk Nettlespurge Jatropha padagrica
Benefits: This plant was once used to produce dyes and now serves only as a powerful butterfly attractant.
From:
Tropical Latin America
Photographed: As noted below.
Planting and Care: Make sure to find a home for this plant in sunny place in the garden where there is well drained soil. Water it sparingly and it should do just fine. It will reach a height of only 3 feet so it may also be perfect for growing in a large unglazed clay pot. It is not frost hardy, so keep that in mind.
Warning: Jatrophas are highly toxic.
Text and Photographs ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2015/2018

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

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

**Coral Plant, Physic Nut Jatropha multifida
This is a very tough flowering shrub/tree that grows to a height somewhere between eight and fifteen feet. The tallest one I saw in Montserrat was about ten feet high. Ours suffered from a history of brutal gardeners and falling volcanic ash before we bought the property. Despite all that, it continued to bloom, proving its reputation as a plant that will withstand almost anything and still give you flowers most of the year. Wouldn't it be nice if we were all this tough? This plant looks very much like a variety of frangipani, though its leaves are more decorative and it blooms almost continuously with red flowers as you can see in the photographs. One important thing to remember is that for all its appeal, it is still a highly poisonous plant.
Benefits:
From:
Cuba and/or Central America
Photographed: On the left, just beside our banana garden at our former home in Montserrat and below in Crown Point, Tobago, in 2017.
Planting and Growth: This jatropha likes it sunny and hot and is very tolerant of drought. With just a bit more care and even a semi shady location, the jatropha will do just fine growing to an average height of 10 feet. Our plants almost always produced seeds which quickly germinated so we always had an abundant supply of small plants to give away to friends and neighbors.
Warning: Jatrophas are highly toxic.
Text and Photographs ©KO 2008/2010 and GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013/2018

 

**Jelly Bean Plant, Christmas Cheer Sedum rubrotinctum
This is a wonderful plant that I never tiring of admiring. I had it growing wonderfully in a pot, but very slowly in the cactus garden. It is a delightful, very easy to care for plant and its cheerful name gives you a little hint at how appealing it is.
Benefits:
From:
Mexico
Photographed: To the left in the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island, 2013. Below in our garden at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: I read that the jelly bean likes full sun and that may be so in cool climate summers. Here in Latin America, the sun is very strong and the plant quickly looks like I do when out in the sun too long. I have it receiving morning sun only now and it is beautiful. Water it thoroughly when the soil becomes dry and it will do very well.
Warning: Jelly beans are poisonous.
Text and Photographs ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013/2018

Photographed: In our garden at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala

Jerusalem Sage Lamiaceae phlomis tuberosa
This is a perennial plant that will grow a few feet in height. Not normally prized as a garden flower, it is often found growing wild on roadsides and in unused fields. It will flower most of the summer in New England and I found it very appealing.
Benefits: Some parts of the plant are considered edible.
From:
The cold central parts of Europe eastward through to Siberia.
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden in Palermo, Sicily, Italy, 2012.
Planting and Care: Plant seeds in the place where you would like to see this grow. Full sun and routine watering or rainfall will keep the plants happy.
Text and Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013/2018

My #8 Flower Mystery was solved by Ursula G. living in Southern Germany

Jewels of Opar, Fame Flower, Flame Flower, Pink Baby's-Breath Talinum paniculatum
This is an annual and it is not happy about being too cold. At its best, it will grow to be about two feet tall and plants should be spaced about 1 to 1 and 1/2 feet apart.
Benefits: The leaves are edible and make a nice addition to salads. Parts of Jewels of Opar are used in traditional medicine in Asia.
From:
The southern United States, the Caribbean and much of Latin America
Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island, in 2013.
Planting and Care: Plant these little beauties in full sun and expect to enjoy blooms for most of the summer. It is a drought tolerant annual once settled in and could be considered for a xeriscape garden.
Text and Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013/2018

My #50 Flower Mystery was solved by Ursula G. living in Southern Germany

**Jimson Weed See The "D" Page DEVIL'S TRUMPET
Jitsuko's Star Leopard Plant, Leopard Plant, Green Leopard Plant Farfugium japonicum 'Jitsuko's Star' syn. Ligularia tussilaginea
This is a peculiarly appealing perennial plant with both very attractive foliage and spikes of pretty yellow daisy like flowers produced toward the end of the summer season.
Benefits: I didn't find anything of interest.
From: Japan
Planting and Care: Jitsuko's star leopard is not frost hardy. It will grow happily in bright shade or in early morning or late afternoon sun in a place with rich humusy soil.
It likes routine rainfall or watering, but in general is considered to be an easy plant to grow and maintain.
Text & Photographs ©KO 2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2018

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

Photographed: At the Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol, Rhode Island, in 2014.

 
JOSEPH'S COAT FAMILY OF PLANTS
Copper Leaf, Joseph's Coat Acalypha wilkesiana
Copper Leaf is a tropical and subtropical garden shrub growing to almost 10 feet tall and about 6 feet wide. It is an evergreen large enough to make a good privacy hedge.
Benefits: It is used to treat skin disorders and is said to have other medicinal benefits as well.
From:
Pacific Islands.
Photographed:
In a neighbor's garden in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: Copper leaf can handle full sun or bright shade though it does not appreciate strong winds. It likes to be planted in moist well-drained fertile organic soil.
Text and Photograph ©KO 2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2018
 
Fire Dragon, Joseph's Coat, Match-Me-If-You-Can, Copper Leaf, Beefsteak Plant, Jacobs Coat, Three-seeded Mercury Acalypha godseffiana
This bush provides a striking bit of colorful and oddly shaped foliage in a tropical garden.
From: This plant hales from humid and warm Fiji.
Photographed: On the left at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: This is an easy one as it grows in full sun with little water and the more sun it gets the more color it will have. It prefers well-drained soil. It is easily propagated by cuttings and will grow to be as tall as ten feet if happy. Keeping it well pruned will prevent it from becoming leggy.
Text and Photograph ©KO 2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2018
Photographed in Crown Point Tobago in 2017
Joseph's Coat Acalypha wilkesiana Hoffmanna
This is a leafy tall growing slender bush reaching a height of almost 10 feet. It does not appear to flower, but does serve as a decorative green and white background or filler plant
.
Benefits: I didn't find anything specific to this plant.
From:
Tropical and sub-tropical Americas.
Photographed:
At a neighbor's home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: This plant like the others in this group like well-drained moist soil and this one isn't at all fussy about what type of soil. It will do well in full sun or in a place in the garden that gets morning shade and afternoon sun. It does flower, but you have to look closely to find them.
Text & Photograph ©Krika.com 2008/2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2018
Joy Weed, Joseph's Coat Alternanthera ficoidea
This low growing plant is useful as a fill in as it brings a stable bit of color to a garden that may sometimes be lacking in blooms. It will grow to be only about 1 foot in height so it makes a good undergrowth planting.
Benefits: I didn't find anything at all on this aspect of the plant.
From:
Mexico and South America
Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in 2010.
Planting and Care: This Joseph's Coat is a warm climate perennial that will grow well in full sun or partial shade. It is easy to grow and likes routine watering or rainfall.
Text and Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014/2018

My #7 Plant Mystery was solved by Glenn a visitor to my website who lives in Brisbane, Australia. Many Thanks.

**Match-Me-If-You-Can, Joseph's Coat, Acalypha wilkesiana
This is a wonderful bit of greenery with each leaf seemingly a work of art combining greens and whites in never quite the same pattern, hence its common name.
From: This plant hales from the humid and warm parts of the South Pacific.
Photographed: In our deck garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care:
Joseph's coat loves heat, moisture and sun and will delight you when it receives them. When it gets dry it looks very sad indeed. It is easy to grow from a cutting; put several in a sandy soil mix kept moist and in bright light and soon you'll have healthy new plants. Once in the garden, keep the dead flowers picked off and stem ends routinely pinched to have it at its best.
Text and Photograph ©KO 2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2018
 
 
Joy Perfume Tree, Champak, Yellow Jade Orchid Tree, Fragrant Himalayan Champaca Magnolia champaca
Almost unbelievably, this sweet smelling flowering tree will grow to be over 150 feet tall.
Benefits:
Joy, the most expensive perfume in the world uses the flowers of this tree for their strong and appealing scent. Its scent is also a strong attractant for bees, birds and butterflies. Parts of the tree are used in traditional medicine and it is a source of wood and yellow dye.
From: Tropical Asia
Photographed: At the Magdalena Hotel in Tobago in 2018.
Planting and Care: You will most likely purchase this tree and the sellers will give you the best information on planting it in your area. At the most basic it grows best in full sun with regular rainfall or watering.
Text and Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2018
**Jumbie Beads, Crab's eye, Cock's Eyes, Rosary Pea (and many, many more) Abrus precatorius L.
This is a tenacious twining vine that produces bright orange/red seeds used in jewelry and other crafts in the Caribbean.
Benefits: Its seeds are poisonous, though other parts of the plant are used locally in Montserrat for their healing qualities.
Planting and Care: Unless you plant to use the seeds, I would not recommend letting this plant grow in your garden. It is hard to eradicate and it is prolific.
Text ©KO 2008 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2018
**Jumbie Crab See The "W" Page -- WILDLIFE -- Black Crab

**Justicia secunda I have no common name yet.
It is an extremely tough plant surviving heat and drought, though appearing pathetic while doing so. When rainfall becomes routine again, the plant very quickly revives and becomes lovely and green.
Benefits: In Montserrat the leaves of this plant are steeped as a tea to help control high blood pressure.
From:
The Caribbean and continental South America
Photographed: In the new garden I started on the other side of the stairs beside the banana garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: I have no advice on caring for this plant as it was a volunteer that arrived on the wind. It did grow well in the organic soil I created and it lived well on the routine rainfall we enjoyed in our part of the island.
Text & Photographs ©KO 2009 and GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2018

I am very grateful to a Twitter follower, www.botanistadventures.com and botanistdesign.com for solving this plant mytery.

 

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