Friday, April 20, 2012

Rangoon Creeper - a new flower for perfumery

Last year Trygve of Enfleurage asked me if I was growing Quisqualis in my fragrant garden.  She knew I grew and harvested fragrant flowers leaves and roots for scent extraction.  The distillations, tinctures and enfleurage washes are made from my garden bounty and find their way into my perfumes.  At first the name didn't register, then I remembered Rangoon Creeper, a vine that is almost a weed here in South Florida.

It can spread aggressively, covering trees and buildings! I decided to give it a try, on a length of fence on the far side of my property, a place that doesn't get any supplemental irrigation.  Within one year, the vine is about 25' long, and is setting out spreader branches in several directions.  I'll prune it to keep in check, and in the meantime, I'm enjoy the nighttime/early morning fragrance of the thousands of flowers blooming.  I'm growing the single-flowers variety, and there is a double-flowered variety available.  The double-flowered variety is most fragrant in the afternoon.

The fragrance?  Intoxicating - sweet, fruity and floral.

I have read of it coming back from hard freezes in zone 8.  If you want to grow it in a cold climate, I recommend you join an online gardening forum for your area and ask for tips.

I'm still pondering how to extract the scent.  I'll probably do 50/50 - tincure half and enfleurage half.  

Quisqualis indica


The flowers open white, then turn pink, then red.  Spectacular!

The Rangoon Creeper has a long flowering season, spring through fall.

So much growth in one year!  I couldn't get the entire 25' in one photo.


7 comments:

  1. Anya, I wish that I was 1/2 the gardener that you are. The blooms are beautiful. Blessings, lydia

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  2. That's the puppy! There was one of these growing in the back of the Sohar Beach Hotel in Sohar-that's northern Oman. I passed under it in the afternoon and wit smelled lovely but at night? Look out! Good night nurse! It was unbelievable! I cavorted around it, ate dinner under it and would have slept there if the staff hadnt talked me into going upstairs. I planted one 2 years ago but it wasnt happy--he got transplanted into my my new garden today and we shall see.......

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  3. Lydia, if you live in a climate zone where it might grow, give it a try. I totally ignored the plant, not even giving it water when it was transplanted. It helps if you have acid soil, but I have high alkaline soil. Btw, about the rampant growth: someone on Facebook said quis means this way, and qualis means that way, LOL!

    xoxo,
    Anya

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  4. Oh, Trygve, what synchronicity that you plant a new one just when I blog about my success growing one at your urging! See my message to Lydia, above, about the soil and totally neglecting the plant.

    BTW, I think you perfectly defined the definition of someone "intoxicated" by floral scent. :-)

    xoxo,
    Anya

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  5. Hi there Anya--I tried to post this before but I think I got kicked off before it went in. Those are the ones, those flowers I saw years ago on the back patio of the Sohar Hotel in Northern Oman. They were lovely enough when I passed under them in the afternoon but once evening set they were ridiculous!!! I ate my dinner under them and cavorted around them and would have slept there too had the staff been ok with it.
    Now I need advice. I brought back 2 sandalwood saplings from Mysore and they are in the ground now and it appears they are ok with their new home as they are lush perky and very soft green but they are not really any taller.
    Since they are parasites I planted them near two trees--a lime (citrus) and an unknown friendly tree, but I remember seeing sandalwood plantations in Assam and they were twinned very closely with agarwood, each one of them. Agarwood grows really fast.
    Is there a set distance for these saplings to sit next to their neighbors? In Karnataka they are not so close as those trees were in Assam, and I imagine once the roots are established they can root around (!) and steal what they like from other trees. But I don;t think these poor little ones have much root yet. But maybe they can smell or feel the nearby trees and grow towards them?
    I don't know, obviously. Do you, or any of your readers have any experience with Sandalwood trees??
    xo Trygve

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  6. Haha, never mind, I see it actually did go up there. Sorry! I'm a disaster with this thing sometimes wallah

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  7. I live Dubai and planted the Rangoon Creeper 2 years ago hoping to cover our pergola with its beautifull flowers and it did! The smell is absolutely amazing, esspecially in the evening and it looks fabulous.......the only down part is that it is difficult to sit under the pergola to eat as the dead flowers and leaves are dropping constantly during the bloom period and we have to broom twice a day. But....it is a small price to pay for the joy we get from the perfume and the beauty of this plant.

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