The panorama on the sunrise side: an awesome view of Malarayat

The quiet panorama on the sunrise side of the farm: an awesome view of Mount Malaráyat and the river below the gap.

12 October 2011

Shingle Vines

Another interesting tropical curiosity is from the Rhapidophora family, a vine native to the Philippines yet I don't see it much in gardens here. In fact, I first got acquainted with it in Indonesia (where it's possibly indigenous as well). 

Researching on the web does not yield much information. Some sites and books don't even agree on the everyday name of the more common type (left). I've heard some people call it "Shingle Vine" or "Shingle Plant" but I have yet to see an authoritative source confirm this.

A robust grower, the vine trails vertically without branching out, at least in my experience. I think most aroids behave like this, what books call "self-heading."

The leaves look like they cling to the wall (or to a tree in the wild), but surprisingly, they are not adhered as one initially imagines it to be. They're just uprightly flat and always evenly laid out.

Some months back, I visited the private garden of a native plant collector and I was astounded to see that he has another variety (right) with a beautiful texture and a richer hue. He sold to me a cutting and so far, has vigorously started to grow in my garden.


  1. Yes they are lovely but they can aggravate weathering of the cement wall. The roots seek crevices and water seeps through, which hastens decay. I want to plant a vine when still younger, a more common plant than that, but my father said the snakes will climb the walls faster with them. I just don't know if it's true. But both forms or varieties are beautiful

  2. I guess just like any other plants in a garden, periodic maintaining by pruning will help.

  3. Beautiful vines! Would you know where I can get those here in QC? Haven't seen any at the Seedling Bank..

  4. Just like Andrea, I wanted something similar for the perimeter wall but I was also warned about its effect on cement walls. It would help to have a gardener since it would be too time-consuming for just one to personally check the wall for cracks especially once the leaves cover the wall's entirety. It does make for a lovely cover though. Especially the textured one that you have.

  5. @Tin: Yes, they're not common to find. I've hardly come across any for sale and I guess it's not a regular item in stores.

    @Bom: It naturally climbs trees but the surfaces are hardly flat and (in my opinion), the attractiveness of the vine is more apparent if it trails up a wall. Thanks for your and Andrea's input, I guess we'll just keep the vine solitary to make it more manageable and at the same time, look more sculptural and visually effective.

  6. Mga sir at ma'am. Saan kaya makabili nyan?