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Brassica oleracea (Kailan) x Momordica charantia (Bitter Gourd)

Brassica oleracea (Kailan) x Momordica charantia (Bitter Gourd)

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Brassica oleracea, commonly known in Southeast Asia as kailan or gai lan, is a plant species in the family Brassicaceae, which includes many common foods as cultivars such as cabbage, cauliflower and collard greens. This family of flowering plants are commonly known as the mustards, the crucifers or the cabbage family. Brassica oleracea is an important and established food crop, because of its large food reserves, stored over winter in its leaves. It is rich in essential nutrients including vitamin C. A leafy blue-green vegetable, it grows to about 30 centimetres tall when harvested. Believed to have been cultivated for thousands of years, its history as a domesticated plant is not clear before Greek and Roman times, when it was a well-established garden vegetable. It is a key vegetable in Asia cuisine and usually cooked as a stir fry. Brassica oleracea is an important source of dietary fibre, vitamins C and E, a range of B vitamins and carotenes.

Momordica charantia, common names for the edible fruit are bitter melon, bitter apple, bitter gourd, bitter squash, balsam pear, is a tropical and sub-tropical herbaceous tendril baring vine of the family Cucurbitaceae. Native to India and introduced into China in the 14th century, it is widely grown in Asia, where it is used in the cuisines of East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia. It is also grown in Africa and the Caribbean. It differs substantially in shape and bitterness across varieties of the fruit. The vines grow up to 5 metres in length with simple, alternate leaves. The oblong fruit is a pepo with a warty exterior. The fruit’s crunchy and juicy flesh is often eaten green, and the young shoots and leaves are eaten as a vegetable. The fruit is bitter raw, but salting and soaking in cold water reduces the bitterness. Momordica charantia has long been used in Asia, Africa and in Turkey as a traditional medicine for a variety of ailments, particularly stomach complaints and diabetes. They are rich in vitamins A and C.



100% Cotton based, 320g, Acid-free, No optical brighteners. 

Printed Area
A3, 297mm x 420mm – Approximately 207mm x 342mm

About the Collection

The Garden of Miss Joaquim Collection: Illustrated Botanical Prints

Agnes Joaquim was a Singapore-born Armenian who created what would become Singapore’s National Flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim (scientific name: Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim), in 1893. The artificial hybrid was recognised by the first director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, botanist Henry Ridley.

Agnes, the first woman in the world to create a hybrid orchid, was a well-known and successful horticulturist, garnering 70 horticultural awards from 1881 to 1899. The Garden of Miss Joaquim Collection of botanical prints commemorates her horticultural legacy and complements her story told in the book Agnes and Her Amazing Orchid.

In presenting Agnes’s award-winning plants in the illustrated collection, we looked at the newspaper records of the times, but they were of no use because they used common name descriptions of the plants, such as ‘rose’ and ‘durian’. So we turned to the Singapore Botanic Gardens and collaborated with a botanist to identify the likely species. To complete Agnes’s story, the collection includes two additional images: of Vanda Miss Joaquim’s parents, Papilionanthe teres (pod parent) and Papilionanthe hookeriana (pollen parent) — formerly in the genus Vanda — both of which may have been present in her award-winning floral bouquets or cut flowers. Waiwai Hove, a talented and respected botanical illustrator, was chosen to produce the prints.

*Disclaimer: Representative only based on subject. Not species definitive.
About the Illustrator

Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Waiwai Hove developed a love for nature from a young age. Growing up surrounded by rich tropical flora and nurtured by her mother, a keen gardener, Waiwai has always held a special place for plants in her childhood memories. She holds a diploma in botanical illustration from the Society of Botanical Artists (UK), graduating in 2013 with a distinction and the highest marks in the history of the course. 

She has since worked for the Singapore Botanic Gardens, where highlights include illustrations for ‘30 Heritage Trees’ and more recently ‘15 Gingers’. Four of Waiwai’s ginger paintings were subsequently used for a series of stamps issued by Singapore Post in 2018. Since 2019, Waiwai has begun working on the cover illustrations of 14 volumes of The Flora of Singapore, to be published over the next few years. Her works are in numerous private collections and can also be found in publications by the National Parks Board and in the Shirley Sherwood Collection in Kew Gardens, UK.