Cruz de Malta y Canarios, Maltese or Jerusalem Cross

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By now you know I love flowers. Big ones, little ones, yellow, red, purple, blue, pinks, I love them and Puerto Rico has for all tastes. The other day, I couldn't help but see those bright yellow ones at the top we call Canarios, which loosely translated means, canaries. Canaries are yellow. So that's the name. Then today I came across a hedge of Cruz de Malta*. Someone is going to have to help me here with the English names. The Malt Cross, I think will not cut it. Anyway, there were yellow ones and bright orange, and cross pollination ones which I thought were cool. By the way, these flowers not only are beautiful, they also have the sweetest nectar. No wonder butterflies and hummingbirds flock to them.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.


I did a little more research and found that it is called the Maltese Cross, Constantinople champion, Jerusalem cross, and Scarlet lychnis. I love all the beautiful names it has. So I wasn't that far off after all and it is called a whole bunch of other names:

Lychnis chalcedonica L.

CHINESE : Zhou ye jian qiu luo, Zhou ye jian qiu luo.

DANISH : Brændende kjærlighed.

ENGLISH : Constantinople champion, Jerusalem cross, Maltese-cross, Scarlet lychnis.

NORWEGIAN : Branntjæreblom, Brennende kjærlighet.

SLOVAKIAN : Kukuãka hustokvetá.

SPANISH : Cruz de Malta.

SWEDISH : Studentnejlika.

About the Canary

Its Common names are:

* alamanda-amarela (Source: D. Groth, p.c. 2005)
* allamanda (Source: World Econ Pl )
* Allamande (Source: Dict Rehm )
* carolina (Source: D. Groth, p.c. 2005)
* copa de oro (Source: Dict Rehm )
* dedal-de-dama (Source: D. Groth, p.c. 2005)
* golden-trumpet (Source: Hortus 3 )

Doing this research I discovered two invaluable websites:

One is called GRIN Where you can type the common name of the known plant and it will get you its scientific name and lots of information of where it is cultivated, what use is given to the plant, among lots of other useful information such as is it poisonous, etc.

The GRIN site also provides a picture of the plant. Incidentally, the Canario, wasn't listed I don't think as a plant in Puerto Rico, but obviously it is. You can also research plants according to country, and I did and didn't see the allamanda listed, but the picture I have proves otherwise.

The other site is called:

Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database

Both are excellent resources for finding the common and scientific names of plants.


Carla said…
Me encanta tu blog; me gusta que aun viviendo en Estados Unidos aun conserves ese amor por Puerto Rico. :)
Elba said…
Gracias, Carla. Ese amor me lo inculco mi mama, que es original de Naranjito, y mis experiencias en Puerto Rico y con toda esa gente bella, carinosa, y humilde de mi isla. Gracias por tus comentarios.

Robert Rossi said…
The plant we call "Canario" in PR is known to the rest of the world as "Golden Trumpet" and can't tolerate temperatures under 60 degrees (neither can I !); it's from Brazil. Also know as "Allamanda Cathartica" (yellow) and "Allamanda Blanchetti" (violet). Once established, it's a tough and beautiful plant, easy to break apart and propigate, keep moist, it will look like a dead stick for a month, then explode with growth and flowers.

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