A leaf with a fishbone pattern
If you treasure leaves then you may have enjoyed our blogs about the ducksfoot and the golden leaf bauhinia. Another spectacular leaf in a Thai monsoon garden is that of the ‘Indian coral-tree’ or ‘thong lang lai’ (Erythrina variegata, Fabaceae):
At Dokmai Garden we grow this tree for the beauty of its leaves, although at times you see red or white flowers depending on cultivar. Currently I establish trees of both colours nearby each other. Bear in mind the tree is deciduous.
It is fast growing and easy to establish from cuttings if planted in full sun. Being a native around the Indian Ocean and northern Australia it is good to leave it dry for some time during the cool season. Monsoon plants may develop rots if they are treated as rainforest plants.
The bark is a necessary ingredient for making a special plant dye.
Text & Photo: Eric Danell