There are some trees and plants that my mind automatically associates with memories of my childhood. I call them nostalgia trees/plants. One of them which I have blogged about is the Casuarina tree. Another is the Bryophyllum.
|From our garden|
There are two things that I remember from my childhood days about this interesting plant.
1) Tiny plantlets start to sprout at the edges of the leaf after it is plucked from the plant. My wife tells me that when she was young, she used to use this leaf as a book mark, and even when the leaf had been pressed between the pages of the book, roots would still appear. Thus one can understand why the common name for this plant in Chinese is 落地生根 (luodi shenggen) – translated literally; “grows roots when falls to the ground”.
2) Among the kampong folks, it was believed that the leaf of the Bryophyllum has medicinal properties, in that it is able to promote healing of wounds. That’s why, in Hokkien, we called it Ti Tan Heok – literally, “iron nail leaf”. I cannot remember the details; but you’d probably have to pound it and apply it to the wound with the bandage. (Check out my story of childhood accidents here).