National Flower Series – Papua New Guinea (Dendrobium Lasianthera or Sepik Blue – unofficial)
As at to date, Papua New Guinea (“PNG”) do not have any official national flower.
However, Dendrobium lasianthera or Sepik Blue orchid were unofficially deemed to be the national flower. The flower is unique to the Yimas Lakes region of the East Sepik Province , Papua New Guinea and have another beautiful name : “Lady Veronica Somare”,(nicknamed after PNG’s Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare’s wife). It is highly regarded throughout the world because of its purity of color and form.
A large sized, hot growing epiphyte from damp, humid river and streams in lowland forests of Papua and New Guinea below 100 meters in elevation with terete, erect stems carrying leaves throughout the length and have elliptic, coriaceous, emarginate, alternate leaves. The bloom season is from spring through autumn on an axillary, medium length to 1 to 2’ [30 to 60 cm], several to many [10 to 30] flowered raceme with showy flowers that arises from the nodes near the apex of mature leafy canes with water and fertilizer applied evenly year round. (Source: www.orchidspecies.com)
In Andree Millars book ‘Orchids Of Papua New Guinea-an introduction’, the charming characteristics of the orchids can be visualized via the following quotes: “The trees are small, averaging 3 to 4m high, and it is something to remember all of your life-acres of swamp and the beautiful ‘Sepik Blue’ or ‘May River Reds’ in their hundreds standing above the tree tops.” (source: www.orchidsonline.com)