Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

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Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:54 pm

I got this Malpighia from a friend after it was dropped off at our Botanical Gardens like a baby on the doorsteps. It's about 30 inches tall. I've had it for a couple of years but I haven't done anything with it yet except strenghten it, so it's more of a bush in a pot than it is a bonsai. But that seems to have paid off because it's blooming like crazy this year so I thought I'd post pictures.

I grew up in a bonsai club in north Florida, and remember the 'old folks' always bringing small Malpighias home from conventions but nothing ever seemed to come of them. I don't recall ever seeing a good, big Malpighia bonsai on display, in a collection or in print. Do any of our Florida (and other tropical area) people have any pics to share?

All I know is that it doesn't appreciate cold weather and really doesn't come back to life until our nights get really hot. It will start to show stress as our nights cool in October. If anyone has some cutural info, "dos/don'ts" or helpful hints about Malpighia they could share I'd really appreciate it. (How hard can I cut it back? Will it pop on old wood? Does it wire well?)

Russell






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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Rob Kempinski on Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:59 pm

Russel, that’s a decent Malpighia. Most are pencil thin cuttings (like mine). However, there are several now in Florida that came from Puerto Rico where there is a variety that grows rather stout and large. Also in the Yucatán area of Mexico another variety of Malphigia grow that is quite large and usually multi-trunked. I used to have photos on my blog until the database was corrupted.

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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Neil Jaeger on Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:05 pm

Sorry i'm of no help, but i had to comment on how beautiful this tree is. It has nebari to die for, and if it's only 30 inches then it has alot of branches (ramification). And the flowers are gorgeous, i don't really understand what is going on with them but there is yellow, white, pink and clumped. They almost remind me of lilac. I don't know alot about judging, but this tree looks like it could be a show stopper. Beautiful potential.

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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:48 pm

Russell,

here is an image of 1 of 4 of roots that were separated. Just done this year and will need about 5 years to see how much I can tighten and densify these shrubs. About 12 inches tall. It will bloom to the point where no leaves can be seen.
I live on the island of Trinidad [ next to Venezuela,] tropical.

Soil is my standard, sifted all, crushed red brick,sharp sand,home made compost and these days ground coconut meant for hydroponics.The idea is a soil that drains quickly,but can retain moisture in the compost,cocopeat and the porous red brick.

Placement can be full sun or light over head shade.

Excessive rain turns the leaves yellowish.

Fertilizer is diluted lawn fertilizer and in the rainy season [ June to December ] an Osmocote type lasting for 8 months at 30 deg.c Lazy man's way of handling feeding in the wet weather.
Hope this helps.
Khaimraj


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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Todd Ellis on Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:22 am

Russel, that's the biggest malphigia I've ever seen. Very pretty! Would you consider taking a picture of it with a solid background? Those flowers are stunning! Great nebari!
Todd

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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Russell Coker on Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:52 pm

Thanks guys.

Here are a couple of (slightly) better pictures. It's a pretty screwed up composition, but it was free so I'm not complaining. What you're seeing are 2 separate twin trunk trees that are placed really badly in relation to each other. I don't think I could get them apart, and I'm not sure it would be an improvement if I could. To make matters worse, the big tree has a crazy branch with lots of movement and then this terrible straight leader with a poof on top. It's big and it blooms well, that's about as much as I can say. To be honest I'm not really even sure about the front. Plenty of backs, but no fronts! I guess I'll start wiring and see what happens. Maybe it will turn out better than I think.

Thanks again Rob and Khaimraj.

R




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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:08 pm

Russell,

Years ago I had the mother plant out of Chase Rosade's nursery,sometime in the early 80's, and it looked like what you have, save it was about 14 inches tall and had a 1 inch trunk. At home in tropics I did something correctly and in a few weeks I had a tree so dense that it resembled a Chinese elm with a gazillion flowers. Sadly, I don't know what I did and by the yearly repotting it began to fade away.

Fortunately, I planted a few cuttings around the yard, now I am harvesting off of the roots and allowing the roots to regenerated, to keep the trunk size. I want to see if I can hit an optimum of 3 inches trunk and 14 inches or so of height.

Re-starting the tests with properly graded soil.

Anyhow, I will make an effort to let you know how the densification technique goes.
Getting height / length is no problem,as it happens naturally.
Best of luck in your efforts.
Khaimraj

*When that shrub is in full bloom, the effect is stunning and the scent is heavenly.


Last edited by Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:28 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : more accurate)

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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:27 am

Hi Rusell.
nice tree....i have one but no flowers a this season, il post it with flowers.
...well, never mind the tree. but what caught my attention is your new photo...looking great.

Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool
regards,
jun

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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Randy_Davis on Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:23 pm

Russell,

Such a nice tree!!!! Are you sure about the species name "Pendiculata". I've been doing some research and have not found any technical reference sites (International Plant Name Index) to that being a recognized species of Malpighia. Would be nice to know the real identity of that lovely tree!

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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Russell Coker on Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:39 pm

Randy,

I'm not sure about anything! I think I got that name from googling "malpighia bonsai". The first site to come up is http://www.bonsai-bci.com/species/malpighia.html. It lists 3 species, "pendiculata" being one of those 3. But when I do that search now I see what appears to be the same thing called "punicifolia" a little further down the list at http://www.rareflora.com/malpiguiapun.htm. Is that what you're thinking?

Maybe "pendiculata" is an old name that got changed along the way. Taxonomists like to screw around with names, like how they rearrange the grocery store just when you figure out where everything is!

Russell

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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Randy_Davis on Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:28 pm

Russell,

Punicifolia I found listed at Purdue University http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/barbados_cherry.html#Description and they have a good write up on it. They even call it Barbados cherry. They don't have a picture of the flowers but do have a pic of the cherries and leaves. To my eye the leaves are not of the same character of yours but that could be a cultivar difference. From the places I've visited it appears that there are at least 100 malpighia's. I agree those taxonomists drive me nuts. I do make an attempt to keep up but boy it's difficult.

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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:56 pm

Fellahs,

as it was given to me for Bonsai.

glabra is the West indian or Barbados cherry - which I believe almost grows up to lower Texas ?
Down here it is about 18 feet tall and 24 or so feet wide. Nice 12 inch diameter trunks. Got an old one, over 50 years old in the back yard, came with the house. Sweet cherries.

punicifolia is Russell's own

coccigera is a thorny leaf type - Singapore holly.

There are different forms of punicifolia, weeping and non weeping. Coccigera comes as a tiny thorny leaf and a leaf about twice the size of the thorny one, with no thorns. This shrub is a pain to grow as it easily suffers from root rot. The bigger leaf type, I have seen with a 6" diameter trunk, but the digging out of the shrub killed it.

The punicifolia is heavenly in bloom with scent.

Please note my latin spelling maybe off.
Stay well.
Khaimraj

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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Jerry Meislik on Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:59 am

Russell,
Nice tree. I too have never seen a very large specimen of this material.
Keep up the good work.
Jerry
www.bonsaihunk.us

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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:39 pm

Thanks Y'all.

We had an unusually cool week last week, and it's 48 degrees outside this morning. Shocked Maybe we'll actually see some fall color this year before Christmas. Anyway, this tree is heading to a friend's greenhouse. I really want to do some wiring and see where it goes, but I think I better wait until May or June.

R

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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  jrodriguez on Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:28 pm

Russell,

This is a M. Pendiculata. Pendulum malpighia has a creeping/weeping habit and bears fruit the size of a pea.

Larger, commercially viable Malpighias are: Malpighia Glabra (sometimes M. Emarginata) and Malpighia Punicifolia. Some may argue that the aforemetioned species are the same, but it is not so. Malpighia Punicifolia has red flowers, pointed leaves and smaller fruit. Malpighia Glabra, on the other hand, have pink flowers, rounded leaves and larger fruit.

As far as the so called Singapore holly, it grows in basically all of the Caribbean Islands in limestone thickets. As far as difference in leaf type, it depends. I have over 30 trees of this species, and some are quite large. Some were collected with rouded leaves, without their distinctive thorns. After being exposed to the sun, the signature serrated margins emerged. I think leaf variations are directly linked to climate.

All Malpighias have one thing in common; Root Nematodes. This can easily be eliminated by adding crab,shrimp or lobster shells to the soil mix. Once bacteria break down the shells, the microorganisms that much on them will not discriminate, and will eat the nematodes. You might also opt to add a small amount of brown sugar to the mix, as nematodes despise it.

Kind regards,

Jose Luis


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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:52 pm

Jose Luis,

Thanks for the info, especially about the nematodes. I'll be sure to take care of that the next time I repot. While I have you, what are your thoughts about working with this material? The only person to offer suggestions so far has been Khaimraj. What are your thoughts on styling, wiring and caring for this material in a not-so-tropical environment? I'm not comfortable with this plant and I don't want to screw it up.

Randy, it looks like you have some more taxonomy homework to do!

Russell


Last edited by Russell Coker on Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  EdMerc on Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:56 pm

jrodriguez wrote:You might also opt to add a small amount of brown sugar to the mix, as nematodes despise it.

Jose Luis, once again you have "wowed" me with a bit of info that makes so much difference in how I treat my trees.

Gracias,
Ed

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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  jrodriguez on Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:14 pm

Russel,

This material is easy and forgiving. I think you won't encounter problems with it. You only have to be careful while wiring, as they may be particularly brittle. I have also noticed that is a branch tears, almost 100% of the time a small branchlet emerges from the cut. I have used this fact to my advantage and have made angular cuts with a knive on my trees at spots where i need a branch.

Like with most trees, not everything is golden. Cut ont Malpighias do not heal particularly well. Some ofthe collected specimens that are available in Florida and which originally came from Puerto Rico, have large-unsightly cuts. Usually, it is only a matter of time until the tree succumbs to rot and dies. The first signs of disease are sap withdrawal and die back of old branches. In my opinion, it is better to start with younger trees and grow them to the desired shape. Correct usage of sacrifice branches and directional pruning will aid in developing interesting specimens. Wiring can be performed at the final stages of refinement. Initial directional pruning will result in natural curving and tapered trunks and main branches.

Below, a Malpighia Glabra from the last Taiwan Bonsai Creators Exhibition. Note the rounded black cuts on several branches. These have been 'healed' by letting younger growth develop, only to repeat the process further until the main structure is established.



Kind regards,

Jose Luis


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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:29 pm

Jose,

thanks for the nematode information.

You can see the nematode bumps on my glabra's roots, but it doesn't seem to harm or slow down the shrub.

AND as usual, the Bonsai quality malpighias are not native to this island. In fact practically nothing wonderful that you guys have is native to here - Laughing

Fortunately, the nia made it here as cuttings, as did the bucida spinosa, the clerodendrum and I keep trying to find out what exactly is that Poui type you guys use ?

Okay, I have a malpighia that weeps, has small pointed leaves, with pink flowers and small red fruit. Hybrid ?
Also grows well in heavy clay soil.
Origin - Texas from a nursery.
?
Thanks again.
Khaimraj

Jose, just as I posted your message came through - adding on.
Cuts on the Glabra [ West Indian or Barbados ] don't heal, but they don't seem to rot.
I have a large stump which I intend to lift, and will probably end up with a monster bonsai thingee.


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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:34 pm

Thanks again Jose Luis!

The advice you and Khaimraj have offered will be most helpful.

I remember the stunning pictures of glabra and coccigera you have posted from the Taiwan exhibits. I had no idea that Malpighia could make such amazing bonsai. Do you have any pictures of pendiculata bonsai?

Russell

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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  jrodriguez on Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:11 pm

Russell,

I was looking through my pictures, but i didn't find any M. Pendiculata. I will look through my files once again or take a picture of one of my bonsai for your review. For now, some Malpighia bonsai for your viewing pleasure:


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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  jrodriguez on Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:12 pm

Another one:


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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  jrodriguez on Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:13 pm

Finally, a shohin bonsai Malpighia Cocciguera by Mr. Lo Min Hsuan:


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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:02 pm

Interesting, the coccigera feels like an exposed root allowed to re-sprout.
Very effective as a design.

And so healthy!
Khaimraj

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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

Post  Randy_Davis on Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:36 pm

Russell Coker wrote:Randy, it looks like you have some more taxonomy homework to do!

Russell

Russell,

hmmmm a mystery evolves! I can find many references to Malpighia pendiculata in the bonsai community, but none in the global botanical librarys. The International Plant Name Index doesn't recognize it as a valid name. Here is a listing of all of the Malpighia's from O-R for which there is a documented botanical record. For some reason I just think it's a trade name and not the true name. Not that the name is important, It's still a beautiful tree! Very Happy Tripicals are a pain to research. I even checked subspecies and varietial listings and no cigar! after some additional looking around your tree "flowers and Leaf type" seem to fit the bill for Malpighia punicifolia.

Malpighiaceae Malpighia oaxacana Nied. Bull. Herb. Boissier 2(Cool: 544, t. 20, f. 6-12 1894
Malpighiaceae Malpighia oblongifolia Griseb. Sem. Hort. Gotting. 8 1878
Malpighiaceae Malpighia obovata Kunth Nov. Gen. Sp. (quarto ed.) 5: 146 1821 [1822]
Malpighiaceae Malpighia obtusifolia Proctor Bull. Inst. Jamaica, Sci. Ser. 16: 20 1967
Malpighiaceae Malpighia odorata Jacq. Enum. Syst. Pl. 21 1760
Malpighiaceae Malpighia ophiticola F.K. Mey. Phanerog. Monogr. 23: 451-453, pl. 120 2000
Malpighiaceae Malpighia ovalis (Ekman & Nied.) F.K. Mey. Phanerog. Monogr. 23: 284 2000
Malpighiaceae Malpighia ovata Rose Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 1: 310 1895
Malpighiaceae Malpighia ovatifolia Small N. Amer. Fl. 25: 157 1910
Malpighiaceae Malpighia oviedensis F.K. Mey. Phanerog. Monogr. 23: 344-345, pl. 77 2000
Malpighiaceae Malpighia oxycocca Griseb. Fl. Brit. W. I. 117 1864
Malpighiaceae Malpighia oxycocca var. biflora (Poir.) Nied. Malpighia 14 1899
Malpighiaceae Malpighia oxycocca var. corymbosa Nied.
Malpighiaceae Malpighia oxycocca fo. grisebachiana Nied. Malpighia 14: 1899
Malpighiaceae Malpighia oxycocca fo. megaphylla Nied. Malpighia 14: 1899
Malpighiaceae Malpighia oxycocca var. oxycocca
Malpighiaceae Malpighia palenquensis F.K. Mey. Phanerog. Monogr. 23: 324-326, pl. 70 2000
Malpighiaceae Malpighia pallens Small N. Amer. Fl. 25: 157 1910
Malpighiaceae Malpighia pallidior F.K. Mey. Phanerog. Monogr. 23: 287-290, pl. 55 2000
Malpighiaceae Malpighia parvifolia A. Juss. Arch. Mus. Hist. Nat. 3: 268 1843
Malpighiaceae Malpighia pasorealensis F.K. Mey. Phanerog. Monogr. 23: 367-369, pl. 86 2000
Malpighiaceae * Malpighia peruviana Moric. Pl. Nouv. Amer. 109, t. 67 1841
Malpighiaceae Malpighia phillyreifolia F.K. Mey. Phanerog. Monogr. 23: 360-362, pl. 83 2000
Malpighiaceae Malpighia phlomoides Spreng. Syst. Veg. 2: 385 1825
Malpighiaceae Malpighia polystachia Andrews Bot. Repos. 9: pl. 604 1810
Malpighiaceae Malpighia polytricha A. Juss. Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., sér. 2, 13: 336 1840
Malpighiaceae * Malpighia polytricha subsp. confusa Vivaldi ex Correll & H.B. Correll Fl. Bahama Archip. 760 1982
Malpighiaceae Malpighia polytricha subsp. parvifolia F.K. Mey. Phanerog. Monogr. 23: 404-405, pl. 100 2000
Malpighiaceae Malpighia polytricha subsp. polytricha
Malpighiaceae Malpighia polytricha subsp. vivaldiana F.K. Mey. Phanerog. Monogr. 23: 402-404, pl. 99 2000
Malpighiaceae Malpighia proctorii Vivaldi J. Arnold Arbor. 63(3): 256 1982
Malpighiaceae Malpighia pulchra Sessé & Moc. Fl. Mexic. 115 1894
Malpighiaceae Malpighia punicifolia L. Sp. Pl. (ed. 2) 1: 609 1762
Malpighiaceae Malpighia punicifolia var. lancifolia Nied. Malpighia 8 1899
Malpighiaceae Malpighia punicifolia var. obovata Nied. Malpighia 8 1899
Malpighiaceae Malpighia punicifolia var. punicifolia
Malpighiaceae Malpighia punicifolia var. vulgaris Nied. Malpighia 8 1899
Malpighiaceae Malpighia pusillifolia (Ekman & Nied.) F.K. Mey. Wiss. Z. Friedrich-Schiller-Univ., Naturwiss. Reihe 38(2): 295 1989
Malpighiaceae * Malpighia pusillifolia (Ekman & Nied.) Vivaldi Fl. Hispaniola 4: 34 1986
Malpighiaceae Malpighia racemiflora F.K. Mey. Phanerog. Monogr. 23: 295-297, pl. 59 2000
Malpighiaceae Malpighia racemosa F.K. Mey. Phanerog. Monogr. 23: 293-295, pl. 58 2000
Malpighiaceae Malpighia raunkiaeri F.K. Mey. Phanerog. Monogr. 23: 181-182, pl. 9 2000
Malpighiaceae Malpighia reclinata (Jacq.) Colla Hortus Ripul. 85 1824
Malpighiaceae Malpighia reticulata Poir. Encycl., Suppl. 4: 8 1816
Malpighiaceae Malpighia retusa Benth. Bot. Voy. Sulphur 74 1844
Malpighiaceae Malpighia revoluta F.K. Mey. Phanerog. Monogr. 23: 321-323, pl. 69 2000
Malpighiaceae Malpighia reyensis F.K. Mey. Phanerog. Monogr. 23: 465-467, pl. 128 2000
Malpighiaceae Malpighia roigiana Borhidi & O. Muñiz Acta Bot. Acad. Sci. Hung. 17(1-2): 8 1971 [1972]
Malpighiaceae Malpighia romeroana Cuatrec. Webbia 13(2): 561, f. 33-34 1958
Malpighiaceae Malpighia romeroana var. nayaritensis Vivaldi Brittonia 36(3): 331-332 1984
Malpighiaceae Malpighia romeroana var. romeroana
Malpighiaceae Malpighia rzedowskii

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Re: Dwarf Weeping Barbados Cherry - Malpighia pendiculata

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