Radermachera sinica/ China Doll
Imagine a tree from the hills of southern China, with gorgeous, trumpet-shaped, perfumed white flowers that hang on the trees from spring to summer. Imagine its mysteriously twisted longish pods that are brown in colour and look like snakes hanging from the branches, yielding China Doll the moniker of ‘Serpent Tree.’ Imagine also its feathery and glossy green leaflets that are many in number and live long enough for the tree to be called evergreen.
Then imagine a wise soul who took a look at this beautiful doll from China and thought he would tame it in a pot and grow it in his home!
Ah… Like the Little Mermaid who gave up her voice to be with her prince, our China Doll had to give up her precious flowers and fruits as it limited herself in a pot. But the sacrifice is worth it, indeed! How else would we have known about this pretty houseplant of ours?
Shortened to around 3 meters, when she can grow to 30, the China Doll, even shorn of its flowers and fruits (for in pot and indoors, it yields flowers very seldom) is an exquisite living décor element. It can add the pizzazz to an office corner as well as to the living room space. Its fern-like leaves adorn its multi-branched frame.
China Doll is not a fussy plant – however, even indoors, it prefers a well-lit corner. It can be watered 2-3 times a week when kept indoors.