The Makiling Botanic Gardens (MBG) Plant of the Month (POM) for September 2019 is the “trailing watermelon begonia” or scientifically known as Pellionia repens (Lour.) Merr. It belongs to family Urticaceae. It is native to Singapore, Bhutan, India, Southern China, Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The trailing watermelon begonia is also known as “satin creeper,” “rainbow vine,” and “gun powder plant.” Its leaves are used by the Malays for boils, swollen areas, and stomach ache. Moreover, it can be used to threat rheumatism. It also serves as food for caterpillars and eggfly insects (Hypolimnas sp.). It has attractive leaves that made it popular to most landscapers.
In Singapore, trailing watermelon begonia is presumed to be nationally extinct.
Come, visit and explore MBG and see for yourself this perennial tree!
by: Angela A. Limpiada and Analyn C. Malayba