We sailed in the MV Voyager from Singapore to the port that serves Kuala Lumpur, we then hopped onto a bus which took us to the most interesting Forest Research institute that, at the turn of the Millennium, started work on the official establishment of the Kepong Botanical Garden.
This botanic garden has a very interesting collection of Malaysian plants from the wild including this Cucumber tree which I had not seen or eaten on my previous trip to Malaysia.
The fruit of the cucumber tree is edible, it tastes rather like Granny Smith’s apples. It is eaten raw or cooked and then added to curries.
Interestingly they had not had rain for 6 weeks which is, I am led to believe, is a hundred year record. This was very noticeable when we went on to see the Orchid and Hibiscus gardens which were certainly suffering from the lack of rain.
This was made up for by this amazing Platycerium bifurcatum and Platycerium superbum Stag Horn Ferns
The next day was a relaxing day by the sea in Langkawi where I saw for the first time Catharanthus roseus growing wild along the seashore.
This herb is extremely important in so many ways as it is used in traditional medicine to treat malaria, diarrhoea, diabetes and cancer. Interestingly one of the passengers on the ship was a Surgeon and he told me that they used extracts from this herb in the treatment of child leukemia at Great Ormond Street.
After our relaxing day it was off to Phuket where, with friends, we found, purely by chance, the Botanic Garden.
It was great fun, with the plants divided into rooms, for example Fern, Aromatic and of course, Herbs where we came across this interesting edible vine.
It is cooked as a vegetable and eaten throughout Asia. Medicinally it is used rather as we would use Symphytum officinale, Comfrey, to help heal broken bones
After these three contrasting days we had two days at sea before arriving at the unique Port Blair in the Andaman Islands which will be in the next part of this blog .
Here at Jekka’s Herb Farm, spring has arrived and the Herbetum is flourishing.
We are looking forward to welcoming all those coming to Jekka’s Herb Garden Design Master Class this Saturday.
Please note all the photographs are ©Jekka 2014. We would appreciate if you would kindly respect this.