I May be Simple and Common But I Am Breathlessly Beautiful…(PART 2)

A 3 hour trips to the Garden by the Bay Singapore uncover many beautiful yet common flowers.

Part I of this post is the common roadside flowers whereas Part II of the post the photo taken in a section of the garden where almost flowers nearby are white in color.




“Be like the flower, turn your faces to the sun.” – Kahlil Gibran


“Where flowers bloom so does hope” – Lady Bird Johnson



“Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.” – Sigmund Freud



Friends are flowers in the garden of life” – Proverb


“The flower which is single need not envy the thorns that are numerous.” – Rabindranath Tagore



“Just living is not enough. One mus have sunshine freedom, and a little flower”


“The flower that smells the sweetest is shy and lowly” – William Wordsworth


Thanks for appreciating these simple monotone flower with me ! I just love the way they are. White is simple, white is purity and definitely white is nobly. Cheers.

I May be Simple and Common But I Am Breathlessly Beautiful…(PART I)

A 3 hour trips to the Garden by the Bay Singapore uncover many beautiful yet common flowers.

Part I of this post is the common roadside flowers whereas Part II of the post the photo taken in a section of the garden where almost flowers nearby are white in color.



I may be common, but I am not ugly.


I choose to be hairy but you chose to be neat…


We chose to group together but you chose to keep a distance away


I am simple, I am elegant…… I am common……. but I am happy..


We may be small…. but we chose to work as a group…… 


You chose red, I chose yellow and he chose purple….and he ….and he … and he chose all colors..


I have my shape, you have your color. We chose what we want.


We want to be adored, we want to be loved. and most important of all, we want to get our babies born.


Be it purple, be it white, be it red and be in pink, we may be common but we are beautiful. 


Do You Love Me! 你爱我吗?


I love plants. When I drove or when I strolled in the park or even around the neighborhood, I will always be amazed by the various shapes and styles that plants have chosen to present themselves  for purposes of reproduction. I am sharing with readers some of the photos that I have taken around my neighborhood and around the net and hope that you can draw your own inspirations from the photos below

Today’s pictures are compiled from my trip to Singapore’s Garden By the Bay. If you visit Singapore, please ensure that this is one of your destination.


Hai, Malaysian, South Koreans and Haitians, my family, hibiscus is your countries’ national flower emblem. Do you know all our families’ relatives. Look, these are my cousins currently lucky enough to live in Garden by the Bay. They are well fed and therefore they are able to afford beautiful cloths and see, they are so fat! It really make me jealous..



The above are hibiscuses that have ever mentioned in my posts. In the left picture, A is South Korea’s national flower – Hibiscus Syriacus (Mugunghwa); B for Rosella drink – Hibiscus Sabadriffa (Roselle or Rosella); C is Malaysia’s national flower – Hibiscus Sinensis.


Hi, beautiful ladies, I know you like to put your nose near me to appreciate our fragrance, thank you very much! I am sorry my ancestors wants me to have stigma hanging down causing you inconveniences to appreciate me. Will you still love me when I have such an awkward posture?




We are just tiny flowers squatting near corners of the walls. Sir, madam, can you please “donate” some love to me.




Hey, above, all of you are so self centered, that’s why nobody will ever love you. Look at us, we worked as a group, we go out together, we wear the same clothes and therefore we are definitely more presentable than you lonely little flowers! Sir, Madam, I know you will agree with what I said and shower me with your loves!




We succulents, are hard to bear flowers. We believed we are beautiful enough. We don’t need flowers to reproduce and I refused to disclose our family secrets of reproduction. You human being, only like flowers. Look at us, our juicy leaves are even more beautiful than their flowers. Sir, come here and have a closer look at us, sure you will love us!

花花花,每天心里就只有花!!我们的叶子就比其他的花来的漂亮! 先生,请你靠近我一点,仔细地看,轻轻地摸,我相信你一定会爱上我们!来啊!



Hey, don’t touch us! We are nice to see but definitely not nice to touch! Sir, sorry, we have selected these thorny clothes to protect our own self. Sir, do you agree that we are still beautiful with these thorns? You will not change your loves to us right? Will you?



Go and asked my mum why she want to born me with these funny shapes! It wouldn’t affect your love to me, right? Will it?


Happy reading.

The Beautiful Hong Kong Orchid Trees …..

National Flower Series – East Asia 6 – Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China – Bauhinia Blakeana


Bauhinia blakeana or Hong Kong Orchid Tree is an orchid tree of the genus Bauhinia with large thick leaves and striking purplish red flowers. It is a native species discovered in Hong Kong was chosen as the logo of the Urban Council in 1965, it was later incorporated in the flag and emblem of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China after the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floral_emblem#Hong_Kong)

Species Information

Scientific name: Bauhinia blakeana
Family: Leguminosae
Common name(s): Hong Kong Orchid-Tree, Hong Kong Bauhinia, Butterfly Tree
Chinese name: 红花羊蹄甲 洋艳紫荊, 香港兰

Bauhinia Blakeana is a garden legume which is a close relative to garden peas and can grow until 20 to 40 feet in height. The leaves are large twin lobes, with grayish green color and can be as large as 6 to 8 inch in diameter.

Source: www.public.asu.edu

The large, orchid-like flowers are rich magenta purple with paler veins, and the uppermost petal is darker towards the base.

Source: www.gardenweb.com

The Hong Kong orchid tree is now widely planted as an ornamental within the Special Administrative Regions and many other tropical countries. Flowering seasons usually begins around December and closes in March each year.

A distinct species or A cultivar……?

Though the flower has been Hong Kong’s emblem since 1965, however, there are still debates if the trees is a true species by its own or a hybrid between Bauhinia Purpurea or Bauhinia Variegata.  In in the American Journal of Botany article published in November 2004, “Hybrid origin of “Bauhinia blakeana” (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae), inferred using morphological, reproductive, and molecular data” , it was written :

“…………..It is therefore evident that although B. blakeana is a hybrid that has resulted from a cross (probably natural) between B. purpurea and B. Variegate, it has only been perpetuated genetically by artificial horticultural practices: it is not capable of reproducing itself independently. It is therefore inappropriate to regard it as a distinct species and is better referred to as an artificially maintained cultivar. A new cultivar name is accordingly formally published here, replacing the previous specific binomial published by Dunn (1908):  Bauhinia purpurea × variegata ‘Blakeana’, cv. nov. “ (Source:http://www.amjbot.org/content/92/3/525.full)

However, it was written in Wikipedia that:

“….A 2008 research was able to identify the female parent as Bauhinia purpurea, but it could not differentiate the male parent as Bauhinia variegata var. variegata or Bauhinia variegata var. candida. This is not unexpected, as Bauhinia variegata var. Candida is a white-flowered form of Bauhinia variegata var. variegata, and not a separate specie or sub-specie. Interestingly, the 2005 research suggested Bauhinia blakeana is genetically closer to Bauhinia variegata, while the 2008 research indicated it is closer to Bauhinia purpurea instead.”

Bauhinia purpurea Bauhinia variegata var. candida

Source: kumarpati.wordpress.com

Source: www.tropicamente.it

Bauhinia Blakeana is very similar to Bauhinia Purpurea. One way of differentiating them is the number of stigmas/ Bauhinia Blakeana have 5-6 stamens whereas Bauhinia Purpurea have 3-4 stamens.

Another distinct differentiation is Bauhinia Blakeana can only be perpetuated by horticultural practices (e.g. Grafting) and seed pods are seldom noted. Whereas in Bauhinia Purpurea, being a parent plant, long seedpods are always being produced for future reproductions. In the above Bauhinia purpurea picture, take note of a brownish seed pod next to the flower.

 Source: www.efloras.org

Hong Kong and Bauhinia Blakeana

  • Hong Kong people call the leaf “clever leaf” (聰明葉/聪明叶), and regard it as a symbol of cleverness. Some people use the leaves to make bookmarks in the hope that the bookmarks will bring them good luck in their studies.
  • It is the official flower emblem of Hong Kong and appeared in Hong Kong’s state flag. Besides, it also appeared in coins, stamps of Hong Kong.


  • In North Wan Chai, outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, there is an open area with a 6 meter high giant statute of a golden Bauhinia Blakeana. This area is called The Golden Bauhinia Square (Chinese: 金紫荊廣場) and it is the place where the ceremonies for the handover of Hong Kong and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was held in July 1997. The major part is composed of a bauhinia on a base of red grantite pillar on a pyramid. It became a tourist attraction and a flag-raising ceremony is held every day at 8:00am.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Bauhinia_Square

Additional Notes:

  • The Genus “Bauhinia” is named after the 16th Swiss botanists and brothers, John and Caspar Bauhin and the twin lobe leaves were said to represent the two brothers.
  • Bauhinia Blakeana blooms can be used as cut flowers and in flower arrangements.


Theoretically, I have already finished the East Asia series of National Flowers after my post on Taiwan’s national flowers here, but I have decided to include two Special Administrative Regions of People’s Republic of China namely Hong Kong and Macau. Too bad, Mongolia does not have national flowers.

Rest be assured that this series (national flower series) will be continued and I am aiming to complete the series in one years’ time.

Thank for reading.


I Dare To Be Different ……I Am Who I Am..…….


Hey, everybody, how is my little red flower, is it nice? I am old and sturdy but actually, I am young at heart…….

I love plants. When I drove or when I strolled in the park or even around the neighborhood, I will always be amazed by the various shapes and styles that plants have chosen to present themselves  for purposes of reproduction. I am sharing with readers some of the photos that I have taken around my neighborhood and around the net and hope that you can draw your own inspirations from the photos below


If he chooses black and red, I will choose white and yellow….

(Pic source:  a plant in Garden’s by the Bay)


Anybody want to join me to bear my fruit in the trunk?

(Pic source: another old plant next to my apartment’s car park)


 I am just some little white dot flower in a patch of green.

(Source: a grass patch below my apartment that blossoms beautifully after a heavy downpour)


I have the strongest will to survive.

(Pic source: A crack in the block next to my Apartment)


I don’t know why my ancestor choose this color of clothing and live in this type of ugly environment

 (Pic source:  Mushrooms I found when I strolled in Bedok Reservoir Park, Singapore)


You are ugly but I am beautiful. My mother just make me this hat! Don’t ever come close to me snatch my hats away! I will poison you to death

(Pic source:  Amanitas Mushroom, University of Connecticut)


“Competition is tough but  I chose to disguise as a pink little bird.. Hopefully, this will attract more people to shower me with their lovesbut I am lonely.”

(Pic source: A Pedilanthus Tithymaloid planted in Apartment with its first ever blossom)


“Hi, don’t feel sad, just come and join us for a chat”

(Pic source: internet www.visoflora.com)


I have to make myself stand out in the cold winter, wearing the most eye catching and beautiful clothing and diligently present myself. I hope my dearest bee guest and other pollinator guest will visit me and help me to deliver some pollens to my loved ones in the next branch.. Hi bees, welcome. Here is my pollen for you..”

(source: www.wikimedia.com)


Me, too..Even you are  cherry blossoms and we are plum blossoms. we shared the same objectives. We are strong, we are tough, we are hardworking, we flower long before other plants even have a leaf.. and may be that’s whyI am chosen to become national flower of Republic of China???

(Source: internet- www.absolutecinatours.com)

Happy reading!


National Flower Series–Southern Europe 1– Kingdom of Spain – Dianthus Caryophyllus (Carnation)


Carnation is Spain’s national flower (or clavel in Spanish or 康乃馨 in Chinese) and widely grown in the Aragon region of Spain. Also called Dianthus Caryophyllus , carnation is a favorite flower of choice and revered for centuries. It’s Latin Name basically translated into flower of god or love. Carnation in Spain is very much influenced by South Spain or Andalusia’s Spanish folklore and commonly associated to distinction, love and fascination.

Spieces information

  • Scientific name:         Dianthus Caryophyllus 
  • Family:                              Caryophyllaceae
  • Common name:          Carnation, clavel (in Spanish), 康乃馨(in Chinese)

In Spain, carnation is associated with a symbol of affection between lovers and  a religious symbol related to Jesus’s passion representing Crown of Thorns. It is also  related to the seedy side of Spain like gipsy’s lapels  thrown into the bullring ruedos.        

Clavel Sevillano

Spieces information

  • Scientific name:         Dianthus Caryophyllus 
  • Family:                           Caryophyllaceae
  • Common name:         Carnation, clavel (in Spanish), 康乃馨(in Chinese)

Carnation is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 80 cm tall. The leaves are glaucous greyish green to blue-green, slender, up to 15 cm long. The flowers are produced singly or up to five together in a cyme; they are 3–5 cm diameter, and sweetly scented; the original natural flower color is bright pinkish-purple, but cultivars of other colors, including red, white, yellow and green, have been developed. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnation)


Source: http://www.wholeblossoms.com

Additional notes:

Carnations are traditionally flowers used to express feelings since olden days. Like roses, colors of carnations carry different meanings and it is wise to find out the meanings for each color before you present the flower to them. In addition, different colors  are used for different occasion. The following table summarizes the common colors, its meanings and occasions to wear them.



Occasions to wear

Light red Admiration  
Red Symbol of love; symbol of Portuguese Carnation Revolution; symbol of socialism and labor movements Wear on Mother’s day if mother is alive, Parents day for Korea; May day as a symbol of socialism and labor movement for Austria, Italy and former Yugoslavia ; Final examination of University of Oxford
Dark red Symbolic of deep love or admiration, depending on the depth of the red  
White Purity and luck Wear on Mother’s day is mother is dead; 1st examination of University of Oxford;
Pink Sign of gratitude, symbolizes mother’s love MOTHERS DAY, weddings, Parent’s day for Korea;
Examinations between first and final examination of University of Oxford
Purple Indicates capriciousness, In France, a traditional funeral flower, given in condolence for the death of a loved one.  
Striped Regret or refusal  
Yellow Dejection  
Green Symbol of homosexuality in the early 20th century St Patrick’s day;

Happy Mother’s Day and enjoy reading.


I have yet to complete my National Flower Series – East Asia. As tomorrow is Mother’s day, I thought it would be nice to put up something on carnation and therefore, I have written this post about the national flower of Spain.   The series on East Asia will resume in my next post on National Flower Series.

National Flower Series–East Asia 3–North Korea (Magnolia Siboldii)




Magnolia sieboldii also called “Mongnan” or “Mokran” (목란; 木蘭) is the national flower of North Korea. It is usually grown as an ornamental tree in gardens. This species, Magnolia Sieboldii is one of the hardiest magnolias that can thrive in difficult environment and can be found  as far north as the Arboretum in Finland.

It  is a large shrub or consider as small tree 5–10 m tall. The stalks, young leaves, young twigs and young buds are downy. The leaves are elliptical to ovate-oblong, 9-16 cm (rarely 25 cm) long and 4-10 cm (rarely 12 cm) broad. The flowers, unlike the better-known spring flowering  species of  Magnolias, blossoming primarily only in early summer and continue intermittently until late summer. The flowers are pendulous, cup-shaped, 7-10 cm diameter, and have 6-12 petals with the outer three smaller tepals and the remaining larger white petals.  The carpels are greenish and the stamens can be reddish-purple or greenish-white.The magnolia also produces a reddish-brown cone-like fruit in the center of the flower, which contains the seeds.  The fruit is a source of food for birds.

Interesting to note

  • Magnolia fossils dating back millions years ago have been found confirming that magnolia are one of the most ancient flowing plants;
  • Ylang ylang and nutmegs are actually species of the magnolia family;
  • Magnolia trees can grow as old as 100 years.
  • In Chinese, if you twist around 木兰花,it will become 花木兰,a female legendary  figure in the Ballad of Mulan who disguised as a guy and joined the army on behalf of his father.

    Some people have mistaken Kimilsungia flower, a hybrid cultivar of orchid Dendrobium ‘Kim Il-sung’ of orchid is North Korea’s national flower.  An interesting article explaining about the history of  Kimilsungia (name after Kim Il Sung and Indonesia) can be found here.


    Another flower commonly mistaken is the Kimjongilia which is named after the late North Korean leader,  Kim Il-Sung’s son, Kim Jong-Il. Kimjongilia  is a hybrid cultivar of tuberous begonia.  


    Both Kimilsungia and Kimjongilia are not national flowers of North Korea though  large scale exhibitions of these two flowers were held annually in North Korea.



    National Flower Series – East Asia 2- China (Mudan) – Unofficial

    National Flower Series – East Asia 2 – People’s Republic of China – UNOFFICIAL

    Although People’s Republic of China has not officially declared a national flower, everyone in China knows that the Republic’s unofficial national flower is peony (Paeonia Suffruticosa) also called 牡丹 (mǔdān) or 富贵花 (fùguìhuā) “flower of riches and honour”, 花王 (huawang) “king of the flowers”, and is used symbolically in Chinese art and is considered as a symbol of prosperity.

    The Qing Dynasty adopted Poeny as the national flower for China. However, over the past 20 years, numerous attempts have been made to select a national flower. The two front-runners are the peony and Chinese plum blossom. Some people believe China is too large and diverse to be represented by just one flower. The idea of a dual national flower (including both the peony and plum blossom) is growing in popularity. Another suggestion proposes having a different flower to represent each season. In 1994, a panel from the Chinese Flower Association recommended the peony as the national flower, along with these seasonal flowers: orchid (spring), lotus (summer), chrysanthemum (autumn) and plum (winter). This, however, was not ratify by the National People’s Congress. In 2003, another selection process had begun but until to date, no decision had been made.

    The ancient Chinese city Luoyang has a reputation as a cultivation centre for the peonies. Throughout Chinese history, peonies in Luoyang have been said to be the finest in the country. Dozens of peony exhibitions and shows are still held there annually.

    Paeonia (peony or paeony) is a genus of flowering plants, the only genus in the family Paeoniaceae. They are native to Asia, Southern Europe and Western North America. Boundaries between species are not clear and estimates of the number of species range from 25 to 40.

    Most are herbaceous perennial plants 0.5 to 1.5 metres (1.5 to 5 feet) tall, but some resemble trees 1.5–3 m (5–10 ft) tall. They have compound, deeply lobed leaves and large, often fragrant, flowers, ranging from red to white or yellow, in late spring and early summer.


    National Flower Series–East Asia 1–Japan–Chrysanthemum


    National Flower Series – East Asia 1 – Japan (De-facto or non-official)

    Japan do not have officially declared national flowers like other countries. However, two flowers that have significant influences in Japanese cultures and histories : Chrysanthemum (菊花) and Cherry Blossom (樱花) were deemed to be the de-facto national flowers.


    Chrysanthemums, often called mums or chrysanths, are perennial flowering plants of the genus Chrysanthemum in the family Asteraceae which are native to Asia and northeastern Europe.Chrysanthemum are herbaceous perennial plants growing to 50–150 cm tall, with deeply lobed leaves with large flower heads that are generally white, yellow or pink in the wild.

    Chrysanthemum had a deep rooted relationship with the royal family as evidenced by the following observations. It is believed that chrysanthemum may have been brought to Japan in the eighth century AD and the Emperor adopted a 16 petals yellow chrysanthemum flower design as his imperial seal (菊花印章) which shall solely be used by the members of the Japanese Imperial family. The Emperor also have chosen to name “Chrysanthemum Throne” to represent the periods reigned by Japanese emperors. A number of formerly state-endowed shrines (官国弊社), kankokuheisha) adopted chrysanthemum in its crest, most notably Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine. In addition, the Japanese honor awarded by the emperor were named as the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum.In Imperial Japan, small arms were required to be stamped with the Imperial Chrysanthemum, as they were considered the personal property of the Emperor.

    Cherry Blossom (Sakura)

    A cherry blossom is the flower of any of several trees of genus Prunus, particularly the Japanese Cherry, Prunus serrulata, which is sometimes called sakura after the Japanese (桜 or 櫻; さくら). Many of the varieties that have been cultivated for ornamental use do not produce fruit. Edible cherries generally come from cultivars of the related species Prunus avium and Prunus cerasus.

    In Japan, cherry blossoms are richly symbolic, and have been utilized often in Japanese art, manga, anime, and film, as well as at musical performances for ambient effect. There is at least one popular folk song, originally meant for the shakuhachi (bamboo flute), titled “Sakura”, and several pop songs. The flower is also represented on all manner of consumer goods in Japan, including kimono, stationery, and dishware.

    The Sakurakai or Cherry Blossom Society was the name chosen by young officers within theImperial Japanese Army in September 1930 for their secret society established with the goal of reorganizing the state along totalitarian militaristic lines, via a military coup d’état if necessary.

    During World War II, the cherry blossom was used to motivate the Japanese people, to stoke nationalism and militarism among the populace. Even prior to the war, they were used in propaganda to inspire “Japanese spirit,” as in the “Song of Young Japan,” exulting in “warriors” who were “ready like the myriad cherry blossoms to scatter.” A cherry blossom painted on the side of the bomber symbolized the intensity and ephemerality of life;in this way, the aesthetic association was altered such that falling cherry petals came to represent the sacrifice of youth in suicide missions to honor the emperor.The first kamikaze unit had a subunit called Yamazakura or wild cherry blossom.The government even encouraged the people to believe that the souls of downed warriors were reincarnated in the blossoms.

    In its colonial enterprises, imperial Japan often planted cherry trees as a means of “claiming occupied territory as Japanese space”.

    http://www.examiner.com; http://en.wikipedia

    It is such a coincidence that the two countries (Japan and China) I have selected to kick off the EAST ASIAN COUNTRIES NATIONAL FLOWER SERIES do not have officially declared national flowers. However, its is still included as part of the National Flower Series because of their significant influences in these countries’ culture; that particular species’ origins; uniqueness to the countries; likability and perception by the people that rendered their de-facto status.