Garden Goddess ~ Radha Manoharam

Rangoon Creeper
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.

Rangoon Creeper
Radha Manoharam

22 Comments

  • By Madhavi, October 28, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

    Wow, just beautiful!

  • By arundati, October 28, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

    how lovely is this… we had one each at the gate post in my maternal home, and each time i see a plant, cant help getting nostalgic about it… we would braid them into a garland of sorts.

  • By BongMom, October 29, 2012 @ 11:17 am

    How pretty this is. Would love to see the whole column draped in this. You should do a home and garden tour Indira

  • By Versa Kay, October 30, 2012 @ 2:25 am

    This lovely creeper is ubiquitous, popular and pleasing to look at. I did not know that it had such a beautiful Telugu name. I like it even more now. Thanks for the nice post.

  • By vineela, October 30, 2012 @ 11:13 am

    Hi Indira,
    Beautiful flowers.Love that flowers fragrance.

    vineela

  • By Vidya, October 31, 2012 @ 10:38 am

    Gorgeous! I didn’t know the name of this flower until now..these flowers take me back to my childhood days. As kids, we used to stick the petals on our nails and pretend we had pretty pink nails! We would of course lick the petals first, to make them stick. :)

  • By Roopa, November 2, 2012 @ 10:42 am

    Such a nice name to a nice flower. It feels so nostalgic just to think of it

  • By lakshmi chinnamma, November 2, 2012 @ 11:45 pm

    Hi indira,
    flowers bagunnai.veeti peru radha madhavee latha.kada?

  • By Deepta, November 3, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

    Indira,
    So nice to see you back! Love the flowers & of course brings back lots of memories! Thanks for sharing with us.

  • By Radhika, November 18, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

    Hi Indira,
    I always see this creeper when I go to work at some ones. Wondered what would be the name in English.
    Thanks for sharing.
    I love reading your blog…keep it up.

    Radhika

  • By sushi, November 20, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

    Hello!!!
    Beautiful…
    Haven’t seen you on the food blogging scene for a long while now. I miss your beautiful creations.
    Take care.

  • By Narayan, December 9, 2012 @ 2:00 am

    It is wonderful that you have these in your house in TX. I loved the flowers for their fragrance, and remember my grandfather pick these for his daily puja. I never knew their name till I saw your photos.

  • By lakshmi, December 13, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

    namaste, indira garu.

    flowers are beautiful.
    venna mudda poolu antaru, evenaa? chala bagunnai.

    meeku duckweed green leaves gurinchi telusa?
    looks like thick menthi leaves.market lo buy chesamu.pappu laga cook chesanu, bagane undi.
    but telugu lo emantaro teliyadu.meeku teliste cheppandi.

    lakshmi.

  • By mustardseed, December 14, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

    These are so pretty! I wonder if they are what we called madhu malti. I remember as a kid we used to taste the flower as it had this sweet nectar and also join one over the other to make a garland! Sweet memories!

  • By Zara, January 26, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

    You have made my day!! I have spent hours looking for the botanical name of this flower. It is very common in Mumbai where I grew up, but did not know the name. Saving it now- only problem is, I doubt it will grow in cold London! God bless you

  • By Nik@ABrownTable, January 28, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

    I remember seeing these pretty pink flowers in Bombay, I have been looking for this here in the U.S. to grow but have not had much luck. Thanks for sharing!

  • By Jyothi, February 13, 2013 @ 7:13 pm

    Hi Indira,

    Would love to see your Garden pics, please post more.

    Thanks,
    Jyothi.

  • By Anjali Rao, February 19, 2013 @ 7:16 am

    Dear Indira
    I have just chanced upon your blog and this post makes me so nostalgic for my grandparents house in Secunderabad. Brought back so many wonderful memories of long summer holidays spent with cousins. Thank you.

  • By Tarun, February 19, 2013 @ 7:53 am

    Hi:
    This vine is also called the Rangoon creeper. I have it in my backyard and the fragrance when it is in full bloom is simply amazing.
    Love your website and have been a lurker for the past two years. :-) loved every recipe I have tried from your repertoire! You are my inspiration to become a food blogger some day. Will def try to realize this dream of mine.
    Cheers and great work!
    Tarun

  • By Vaidehi, February 24, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

    In mumbai we called this Madhumalti. I too have have many wonderful memories around these flowers. Sometimes you can get a drop of fragrant nectar by sucking on the stem of the flower.

  • By Meghana Prasad, December 2, 2013 @ 6:12 pm

    Hello Indira garu, Namasthe!

    Please accept my heartfelt Thanks to your conscious efforts of spreading into our universe – sugar, spice and everything nice! Your every recipe, picture, blog post and comment is a seed of positivity.

    In these days and times, the passion for food, garden, and life are a few of the threads that strongly bind us, the “global citizens”. With similar interests for food, flowers, and a heart string that admires various forms of art and photography – I feel a bit more connected with you. And of course, adding to it is my love for kitti gadu (and Kitti Godu) :-)

    I am not saying this because I have similar cultural background coming from Guntur, India. As a matter of fact, even if I were an Italian or an Innuit, my expressions for your efforts would be the same.

    May God bless you and your Family!

    Cheers and Best Wishes,
    Meghana Prasad

  • By Ny, March 23, 2014 @ 12:00 am

    Hi,
    I purchased this flower after seeing your post at Home Depot last September. It’s now Spring in Texas and I have not seen them coming back ( iam in Austin). Would you please let me know if these come back for you. Please email me .
    Thanks

    Hello Ny,
    The plant comes back for me every year for the past three years. I cut it near to the ground in fall and new growth appears by April. I do mulch around the plant.
    Austin winters are severe than Houston, though. Adding some bone meal or fertilizer could stimulate the root system. All the best.
    -Indira

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