Quisqualis indica – Radha Manoharam (Telugu), Madhumalti (Hindi), Rangoon Creeper
We had Radha Manoharam growing up in Nandyala and I wished one for my Houston home garden too. Luckily I found a small seedling this March at Fort Bend Master Gardeners’ Sale. I planted it in the backyard, near the patio column, hoping it would cover the column and eventually make a nice arbor between the columns. It thrived in that spot and draped the entire column in just five months with vigorous growth. It started blooming in late August. Right now, the whole vine is adorned with hundreds of pretty flowers.
The flower buds open in the evening in pale white color. On the following day the bloom changes to pink and then gradually darkens to red and deep magenta by the third day. The clusters of blooms usually open few flowers at a time, so in blooming season multiple colors – white, pink and red are always visible on the plant making it visually very appealing. The flowers also seem to stay fresh at least for a week on the plant. I have noticed that during the day, pink and red flowers are visited by a wide range of visitors like bees and hummingbirds for the flower honey, and in the evenings freshly opened white blooms are visited by moths. The flowers have a pleasant fragrance that scents the air we breathe. So beautiful and divine, no wonder the plant is named in Telugu after the celestial romantic pair Radha and Krishna.
Another must have for fragrant flower lovers, heavenly Radha manoharam is my autumn garden goddess.