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Moon Beam or Tagar

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Blog entry by sharad posted 02-26-2012 06:28 PM 4323 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In my blog on Addition to my terrace garden(3) I have described Srilankan Tagar or Moon beam flower. Recently I added a local variety of this plant to my garden as it flowers profusely and is true to its name moon beam. It is also known as Crape Jasmine or Pinwheel. This evergreen garden shrub originated in India and is very popular in the country. It has two forms, single which is wild and double is cultivated. I have added the single form. It is used for making garlands. The leaves are glossy green in color. The plant has been used as a traditional medicine for treatment of various diseases. The sad part of the blog is that as the plant was growing it was attacked one day by Caterpillars. For a couple of days I was wondering what has happened to the plant as I had not noticed the caterpillars which were wonderfully camouflaged. One day I saw small seed like particles on the floor around the container. First I thought they were seeds of some plant in the vicinity but there was no such plant that can give this type of seeds. Next day on close examination I saw a big green caterpillar on one of the branches and was shocked to see the speed with which it was devouring the leaves, buds and flowers. The speed was really amazing. On further examination I saw five more caterpillars feasting on the plant. A little search showed me that they were butterfly caterpillars and they will enter the third stage of their life cycle the pupa. The seed like particles were their droppings. I decided to wait further to see what happens but to my surprise the next day morning none except one remained on the plant. I thought they must have been eaten by birds or they have crawled to some unknown destiny. I gave up the search and removed the remaining caterpillar to another container as there was nothing left on the plant for it to feed. I don’t know what has happened to it. I am hoping that the plant will survive and start making leaves and flowers in due course. I learnt that one has to be very vigilant in the garden.

Tagar plant

Flower

Pinwheel

Droppings of caterpillar

Caterpillars and Destruction

Damaged Plant

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein



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sharad

1639 posts in 1875 days
hardiness zone 11

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6 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 02-26-2012 07:48 PM

oh my goodness!!
I’m saying to myself, “ooh ahh” at each of the photos until that last picture! Oh my goodness. That is tragic.
Crossing my fingers for the plant.

The flowers are so beautiful – definitely little pinwheels. I do hope the plant survives.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 2438 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 02-29-2012 05:41 PM

Did you squish that caterpiller good for ruining your beautiful plant Swharad.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

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sharad

1639 posts in 1875 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 03-18-2012 03:34 PM

After almost total devastation of my Moon Beam plant by the caterpillars I was happy to see after about fifteen days that the plant is still alive and is giving new healthy bursts of leaves. I am sure it will start flowering shortly. Look how nature works. The plant gave food to the caterpillars for their survival and is again ready to do it.

Here is a picture of one of my Hibiscus flower that has started blooming

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

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MsDebbieP

14683 posts in 2658 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 03-18-2012 05:45 PM

your hibiscus is BEAUTIFUL

and how wonderful that the plant survived!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View jroot's profile

jroot

5066 posts in 2288 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 03-18-2012 09:44 PM

I love your hibiscus, Sharad. I have one somewhat similar, and it is one of my favourites.

I am glad your Moonbeam survived. Isn’t Mother Nature wonderful? ... most of the time.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3808 posts in 2288 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 03-19-2012 04:19 PM

I loved your story of the moom beam and the caterpillars, Sharad. It must have been hard for you to watch the destruction of your beautiful plant. But observing the caterpillars eating to survive is interesting. I wonder too, were did they go to change into the next stage…...I hope a bird didn’t get them. They really didn’t look that tastey. :) Perhaps after a time you will see the butterfly that came to lay her eggs on your plant. I imagine it will bring more beauty to your patio. And how wonderful the moom beam survive and is ready to bloom again for you…...and to feed the next generation of butterflies.

Thank you for sharing your observations with us.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

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