Rain of Gold

Yellow Jasmine

Yellow Jasmine, originally uploaded by malyousif.

Good morning! It’s Friday again and this is my gift to you this morning my friends.

I hope that your weekend will be a joy spent with your loved ones doing whatever brings you happiness and satisfaction.


  1. Barry

    Pretty plant, I wonder what the Latin name is, because over here in the US, “Yellow Jasmine” usually refers to Carolina Yellow Jasmine (at least in my experience.)

    Do you find yourself ending up with a bias towards one flower color or another? No? Well, I do. When I first started gardening, I kept buying white flowered plants: Mandevilla, Dietes, Pink Jasmine (the flowers are white, the pink refers to the calyx). Mom got worried and asked if I was going to include other colors (yeeeeees…. the flowering plum).

    These days I’ve been trying to mix it up a bit. The Monkey flowers I have are apricot for one species, and an almost brick red for another. We’ve got the rosemary which blooms blue. The Mexican sage is purple and white. The new Spiraea are bright pink, both the Galvezia and the California Fuchsia are red, and of course, the Dendromecon are yellow. That’s just the front garden too.

    I also spent this afternoon finishing up pulling weeds in one area. I’m almost done with cleaning up the front garden. I can’t wait!

  2. Post

    I consider myself a very new gardener, therefore, anything new is a “wow” and “must have” moment! 😉

    I find myself partial to rich colours rather than whites; I love the deep yellows of the cassias, the orange and reds of the poinciana, the purple of the larkspur, the reds and firy pink of the ixoras, the various colours of the lantanas.

    I think in a year or two I will develop an affiniti to a plant or colour, but for the moment, I see, I buy, I plant, and I like!

    Good luck with your gardening efforts, weeding is not my favourite activity, especially with the back, but I find that nothing like that particular activity that would really make you feel “at one” with your garden!

  3. Post

    And I was hoping that you would tell me what it is! I just call it a yellow jasmine because this is what I have been told and its flowers do look like the white climbing jasmine we have right next to it.

    It has no scent as far as I can tell.

  4. Barry

    Ah, those halcyon days of new gardening, when any plant is an “OMG, MUST HAVE!” Still, I like what you dow ith your garden, it’s so full of things.

    Of course, I don’t buy annuals only because my garden is intended to be geared towards plants which can take 8 – 9 months without water, and annuals need to be watered often. So, it’s all perennials, which take time to fill in.

    You’ve got more leeway with things you can grow due to your year round warmth. I am limited by the constant cool temperatures here, and the occasional freezes. I refuse to fall into the lawn, juniper, and hedge gardening though.

    Weeding isn’t too bad. With our lack of rain this year, most of the weeds had very shallow roots, so what I couldn’t pull, a push of the dirt around them loosened them up. The annual grasses ( a gift from Europe and colonization, yay!) are ueually easy to pull, grab them at the base and give a tug. I always shake the dirt off of the roots though, which is easy since it’s all sand. I just hate doing it because it is tedious, and if the seeds are dry, they get stuck in my hands and clothes. Of course, I’ve got the entire back yard to take care of, and there’s a lot of weeds back there! Maybe this weekend will be a weed pulling battle? Nothing like a weeded garden though… everything looks so neat and clean after.

    I am planning on picking up a couple of palms, as I saw some young Senegal date palms:


    and I MUST have them! So I’ll be buying some this weekend (of course, this depends upon my funds… pay day isn’t until next tuesday).

    I think I might have found the name of your vine. I did a little google hunting, because the flowers reminded me of a plant with sky blue flowers similar to yours, and I came up with

    “Galphimia gracillis” – “Rain of Gold”


    I admit I really had no idea what that was until I did a google search on it.

  5. Post

    Wow, thanks mate! Trust you to find it; you should write a manual on how you do this, I shall be the first in line to buy one!

    I love palms in all their kinds; I think they really give soul to a garden. I’ve got 4 date palms (different varieties) and 3 washingonias. The palms are quite developed, at least 10 years old each I think, while the washingtonias are new, only a year or so old.

    I realise how fortunate we are in Bahrain with the weather, generally, even the 3 months or so of summer acts as a respite to the soil and garden, but even then we get summer annuals that beautify the garden.

    Talking of which, I’m visiting a couple of nurseries tomorrow to select some summer annuals; I’ve removed most of the petunias and geraniums, the front garden is looking rather bare without the path being in full bloom!

  6. Barry

    I LOVE palms. Seriously, they are my favorite plant, but we are limited to the hardiest palms (and even some of the hardiest do poorly here). We have Washingtonias all over the place here, but they get really ugly due to lack of water and warmth. I’ve seen date palms (edible type), but we are too cool and humid to get the fruit to ripen properly. I’d LOVE to have an edible date palm grove (but that means desert or hot and dry and I don’t do well with hot for too long).

    Our best palm comes from an island off the coast of Mexico called Guadalupe Island. The climate there is similar to here, and in fact, there are plants you find in California. The pine growing on that island is the same species as the type found only in 5 other small places in California. The palm can take the cold sea winds, year round cool temps, etc and they look far more exotic (in my opinion) than the Washingtonias. Canary Island Date Palms are common here, but I am not a big fan of them until they get about 20 feet of trunk (plus they are full of spines and difficult to trim).

    My technique for looking up plants is probably related to taxonomy — taking a look at the structures and figuring out what plants I know are similar. It’s 7 years of University, my man :).

    What I really want to plant out in the garden are a few Salvias, which should provide great color, texture, and provide food for butterflies and hummingbirds (funny little things). I also have plans to purchase a few perrenial grasses to line the walkway to the house.

  7. Post

    Well, thank you for using your knowledge to help me with naming them! Your seven years evidently have borne fruit.

    I think I love palms because I grew up with them all around. I associate them with childhood too where my family sometimes take us to a natural spring or a palm grove for a swim (the palm groves had wells from which the water is pumped into a huge holding tank which people used as a ‘swimming pool!’) Obviously, the main feature of those places are palms in all shapes and sizes.

    It is said that there are around 400 varieties of date palm and I think very few people actually know more than a few just by sight of the tree rather than the fruit. There aren’t many resources on the net either to help with scientific and local names or how to differentiate them.

    I have an idea now (seriously) to open up a garden centre. This is still in the very initial stages of discussions and research at the moment, but I can tell you that I will probably plant all the profit (if any) in my garden!

  8. Barry

    Mahmood: Thank you :). I’d heard there were hundreds of varieties of date palm. There are quite a few cultivars grown in California, but most people know the Deglet Noor or the Medjool:

    ‘Barhi’— introduced into California in 1913 from Basra, Iraq; nearly cylindrical, light amber to dark brown when ripe; soft, with thick flesh and rich flavor; of superb quality. For shipment needs refrigeration as soon as picked, then curing and special packing.

    ‘Dayri’ (the “Monastery Date”)—introduced into California from convent grounds in Dayri, Iraq, in 1913; long, slender, nearly black, soft. Palm requires special care. Not grown extensively in California.

    ‘Deglet Noor’—a leading date in Algeria and Tunisia; and in the latter country it is grown in inland oases and is the chief export cultivar. It was introduced into California in 1900 and now constitutes 75% of the California crop. It is semi-dry, not very sweet; keeps well; is hydrated before shipping. Much used for cooking. The palm is high yielding but not very tolerant of rain and atmospheric humidity.

    ‘Halawy’ (‘Halawi’)—introduced into California from Iraq; soft, extremely sweet, small to medium; may shrivel during ripening unless the palm is well-watered. It is especially tolerant of humidity.

    ‘Hayany’ (‘Hayani’)—the cultivar most extensively planted in Egypt; but not exported. Introduced into California in 1901, and is sold fresh; is not easy to cure. The fruit is dark-red to nearly black; soft. The palm is one of the most cold-tolerant.

    ‘Khadrawy’ (‘Khadrawi’)—important in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and is grown to some extent in California and Arizona. It is the cultivar most favored by Arabs but too dark in color to be popular on the American market, though it is a soft date of the highest quality. It is early-ripening; does not keep too well. This cultivar is the smallest edible date palm grown in the United States and it is fairly tolerant of rain and humidity.

    ‘Khastawi’ (‘Khustawi’; ‘Kustawy’)—the leading soft date in Iraq; sirupy, small in size; prized for dessert; keeps well. The palm is large and vigorous and produces its offshoots high on the trunk in California. The fruit is resistant to humidity.

    ‘Maktoom’—introduced into California from Iraq in 1902; large, red-brown; thick-skinned, soft, mealy, medium sweet; resistant to humidity.

    ‘Medjool’—formerly exported from Morocco; 11 off-shoots imported into California from Bou Denib oases in French Morocco in 1927; is now marketed as a deluxe date in California; is large, soft, and luscious but ships well.

    ‘Saidy’ (‘Saidi’)—highly prized in Libya; soft, very sweet; palm is a heavy bearer; needs a very hot climate.

    ‘Sayer’ (‘Sayir’)—the most widely grown cultivar in the Old World and much exported to Europe and the Orient; dark orange-brown, of medium size, soft, sirupy, and sometimes some of the sirup is drained out and sold separately; not of high quality but the palm is one of the most tolerant of salt and other adverse factors.

    ‘Thoory'(‘Thuri’)—popular in Algeria; does well in California. Fruit is dry; when cured is brown-red with bluish bloom with very wrinkled skin and the flesh is sometimes hard and brittle but the flavor is good, sweet and nutty. Keeps well; often carried on journeys. The palm is stout with short, stiff leaves; bears heavily, and clusters are very large; somewhat tolerant of humidity.

    ‘Zahdi'(‘Zahidi’)—the oldest-known cultivar, consumed in great quantity in the Middle East; introduced into California about 1900. Of medium size, cylindrical, light golden-brown; semi-dry but harvested and sold in 3 stages: soft, medium-hard, and hard: very sugary; keeps well for months; much used for culinary purposes. The palm is stout, fast growing, heavy bearing; drought resistant; has little tolerance of high humidity.

    Among the less well-known cultivars in California are:

    ‘Amir Hajj’—introduced from Mandali Oasis in Iraq in 1929. The fruit is soft, with thin skin and thick flesh; of superior quality but little grown in the United States.

    ‘Iteema’—offshoots from Algeria were introduced into California in 1900. The fruit is large, oblong, light amber, soft, very sweet. Much grown in Algeria but not rain resistant and little grown in California.

    ‘Migraf’ (‘Mejraf)—a very popular cultivar in Southern Yemen. Fruit is light golden-amber, large; of good quality.

    In inland oases of Tunisia, in addition to the ‘Deglet Noor’, there is ‘Ftimi’ (‘Alligue’) which is equally subject to humidity, less productive and less disease-resistant.

    ‘Manakbir’ has a large fruit and ripens earlier but has the disadvantage that the palm produces few offshoots and its multiplication is limited.

    I’ve been known to consume an entire container of dates in a couple of days. My favorites are the very soft, and very sweet ones. The harder, drier ones, not so much. I once had a bunch of date seedlings come up in the garden from seeds I had spat out while eating them on the front porch. Had I known better, I’d have left them, but I think they might’ve been too close to the house anyway.

    If we had summers regularly above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you can bet I’d have my own date palm grove with delicious dates hanging off of them (I could do it in the city of Fresno, but that town is an armpit and it gets TOO hot.

    I really do think you’d be well suited to running a garden centre. Perhaps you can get your fellow countrymen into planting much more interesting things than American mercenary trees :). If anything, you’d simply have a wonderful garden. I’m sure you could get lots of things by seed, and be the source of plants that aren’t readily available in Bahrain.

  9. Post

    That’s a good list!

    Other varieties I can tell you that are prised in Bahrain are:

    Khasayib Alasfoor

    and others of course. I did come across a reference site from (I think) the ministry of agriculture in Saudi so I’ll dig that up if I still have the link.

    Of the ones you mention, I’ve got one in my garden: Hallawi. I’ve also got a Khwaja. The other two I don’t remember (basically because I got conflicting names from the ones I asked.)

    As to the garden centre, want to act as a consultant? Man, you’d be more than welcome!

  10. Barry

    You’ve got a similar problem with two of your dates as some people here have when they inherit fruit trees ;).

    If you would like me to do some consulting, I’d be glad to help. Not sure how MUCH help I can offer, but I’m good at research, and think it would be fun to give you ideas on what to grow :).

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