Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cat’s Whiskers

It is known as “Misai Kucing” or "Kumis Kucing" in the Malay language (translated as “Cat Whiskers”) because the sprays of white flowers look like a cat’s whiskers!

The scientific name for this plant is “Orthosiphon Aristatus” , this is a common ornamental plant or garden herb in Malaysia.
It is now getting more popular in Singapore too. They can be found in our  neighbourhood garden. They are excellent for the home landscape as bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to the plant for its nectar.
The plants have tropical and exotic blossoms , color in white or bluish-purple, it has a long curved stamens that extend an inch or two past the petals, giving the long bloom spikes an attractive, whisker-like appearance. Nothing better than "cat's whiskers" for the enchanting description of its showy blooms.  
...and this is the bud form of its flowers. 

This shrub-type plant can reach about 2 feet in height and spreads 3 to 4 feet. Cat's whiskers grows well in evenly moist soil,  full sun is recommended, but the plant will grow with several hours of filtered light combined with spotty direct sun. Frequent watering are needed especially in hot climates. Snipping off the flower spikes as they fade encourages new blooms to develop. It's easy to propagate cat's whiskers from cuttings, no serious problems with pests or diseases.

Cat's whiskers is herbal medicinal plants too, the leaves are made to drink, also known as Java Tea. Java Tea, which is used to help pass kidney stones. They are more other benefits of this plant what you can easily find online. Do share with me if you know something about this plants which I have not mentioned in this post.

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1 comment:

Rambling Woods said...

I don't know of any other benefits, but it does look like cat's whiskers as I have 2 cats..Michelle