Turnera ulmifolia: Yellow alder

Family: Passifloraceae
Common name: Yellow alder, Sage rose, Western Indian holly, Yellow Turnera, Holy rose, Ramgoat dashalong

Yellow alder plants make beautiful ornamentals for gardens, as hedges or border plants since they grow quite bushy and flower almost throughout the year in tropical countries. A native of Hawaii, these plants are now grown all over the world and have even escaped cultivation in some countries.

Yellow alder plants have woody, brown stems towards that base, and are heavily branched. Leaves are dark green and toothed with distinct serrations along the edges. Leaf veins are sunk deep into the leaves, like they are etched onto the surface.

The plants are covered with beautifully delicate yellow-orange flowers that have 5 unequal petals. These flowers only last for a day, blooming in the morning and closing after a few hours. But the Yellow alder plants flower abundantly keeping the garden beautiful, and also attractive to pollinators like bees, insects, ants, and small birds.

Deep yellow stamens are clearly visible at the center. Fruits are small capsule-like, containing tiny seeds.

Yellow alder plants are very sturdy, surviving in drought, extreme weather, and soil conditions, making them garden favorites all over the world. They can be pruned heavily into desired shapes, making them useful hedge plants.

If left unpruned, they can grow tall and gangly with long stems. These plants can even grow from cracks in walls, concrete floors, etc., and even in elevated areas. They flower well in good sunlight and do not do well as indoor plants.

Though Yellow alder plants are mostly grown as ornamentals, they also have some medicinal uses. Tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of gastrointestinal problems, flu, and cold. They are also used in the treatment of skin diseases, thrush, and hair loss.

Propagation is through seeds and stem cuttings.