What better time to show off our firecracker plant (russelia equisetiformis, aka coral plant/fountain bush) than at Chinese New Year?
The cascading red flowers call to mind the clustered strings of hanging red firecrackers that were traditionally set off to ward off evil spirits and bad luck, and to welcome the lunar new year.
Of course, exploding firecrackers are not that common in Singapore any more, because of the fire hazard they posed in the past. However, a tradition is a tradition, and you can still see them used as decorations – and of course, hear the occasional string of smaller firecrackers going off…
It’s just timely that our firecracker plant is in bloom for the festive season. Our plant, a gift from a family friend, sits in semi-shade and seems to like a well-drained soil. I’d like to transfer it to a larger pot so it can grow even bigger. And if I figure out how to harvest the seeds and propagate them, perhaps next year we’ll have a whole row of them to display!
For now, the year of the Rabbit begins, and I’d like to wish my Chinese readers a happy, prolific bountiful New Year. Gong Xi Fa Cai! 8)