Do you think I love turquoise? Yes? No? Let's look at this collage.
What do you think now? I didn't include pictures of my swimsuit, laundry room countertop, scarfs and towels in the collage, but believe me, they would blend into it perfectly. Yes, I love turquoise! Who doesn't?
I already love the name itself. It is apparently related to the fact that it was brought to Europe from the Eastern Mediterranean by Levantine traders, more commonly known as Turks. It has been used as a valuable ornament for ages and was used by the Egyptians thousands of years ago. The range of turquoise colors varies from green and greenish blue to sky blue shades.
Turquoise is one of the official birth stones for the month of December as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912. (Alternate Birthstones of Sagittarius the Archer (Zodiac sign for November 22- December 21, ) are: Topaz, Beryl, Blue Topaz, Blue Zircon, Rubies, Lapis Lazuli and Citrine).
It is also the wedding anniversary gemstone for the 5th and 11th year of marriage.
The properties with which Turquoise, the birthstone of the Zodiac sign of Sagittarius, are claimed to be associated are as follows:
Prosperity, success, happiness and good fortune, open communication, protection against all diseases, regeneration, and strengthening.
The healing properties of turquoise are reputed to be effective for the throat, lungs, asthma, teeth, depression and infections.
These are all interesting facts, but they were not the reasons for this post. I wanted to share with you the pictures of a beautiful plant. I took them last summer on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. This vine was hanging from nowhere. I stopped in amusement when I bumped into it.
It looked almost unreal, like nothing I would expect to see even in an exotic land. The size and shape were impressive, but most of all it was the color that stunned me. What a spectacular show it was!
It reminded me of one of my favorite chimes back home.
As I learned later, the plant was a STRONGYLODON MACROBOTRYS, Jade Vine. Other names: Turquoise Jade Vine, Blue Jade Vine.
Specimen vine, it belongs to a Fabaceae Family and originates from the Philippines.
Size: 30- 50 feet.
Light Requirements: full to partial sun.
Water requirements : average.
Minimum temperature is in low 30's. Cannot stand frost or drought. Grows best in Zones 10-11.
They say it blooms during winter and spring. My pictures were taken in August.
They say it can be grown indoors! Who is brave enough to try?
The flowers have a beautiful seagreen/turquoise color that is considered to be the rarest in the flower world. The bloom is a pendant, clustered birds beak like inflorescence up to 4 1/2 ft. long. Spectacular show! The flowers are often used in Lei making.
The young leaves have a very dark, almost black color, then the leaf turns pale green with dark veins which looks like chlorosis, but it is not. As the leaf matures, it turns deep green.
They also say, although this vigorous grower can reach 30-50 feet tall once established, it is perfect for a pergola where the blooming clusters can hang down.
Since I touched upon a Hawaiian theme, I want to show you, as I promised in August, what I brought from our last trip. I brought a lot, although I could hold it all in one hand. I brought a part of Hawaiian culture, Hawaiian flora and most importantly - I brought friendship. While in Kauai, I met some wonderful people, Amelia U. and her daughter. With the help of all the members of their family, they make Hawaiian Kapa Cloth. Pounded Wauke tree bark is used as a base. Tapioca starch serves as a glue. Hibiscus flowers and roots, together with Kukui Nuts, are used for creating a dye.
These are two pieces of Hawaiian Kapa Cloth. This first one, I bought as a wedding gift for my friends who were engaged in Hawaii. Thus, it had a special meaning for them.
The red color of the cloth comes from Kauai's signature vibrant red dirt. You can see it on the next picture:
What causes Kauai’s dirt to have such a red color? Kauai is 5 million years old. It's enough time for the high iron content of its volcanic soils to oxidize, especially with the wet conditions of the island (one of the wettest spots on earth is in Kauai, with an annual average rainfall of 460 inches (1,170 sm).
I treasure this piece as well as a simple lovely friendship bracelet which Amelia gave me. Meeting local people who keep traditions of the islands alive was the the highlight of my trip. Thank you Amelia. Happy New Year to you and your wonderful hardworking family!
Copyright 2009 TatyanaS