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. 


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 – South East Asia 1 – Singapore

    National flower series -Singapore – Vanda Ms. Joaquim (Chinese: 卓锦万黛兰; pinyin: zhuójǐn wàndàilán), also known as the Singapore Orchid and the Princess Aloha Orchid is a hybrid orchid cultivar that is Singapore’s national flower

    Agnes Joaquim bred this orchid which carries her name. It was recognised as a hybrid not only by orchid expert Henry Ridley in 1893 and again in 1896, but by other contemporary orchid growers as well as orchid journals including the Orchid Review. Sander’s Complete List of Orchid Hybrids, which distinguished between natural and artificial hybrids, listed Vanda ‘Miss Joaquim’ as an artificial hybrid.Vanda ‘Miss Joaquim’ is a cross between the Burmese Vanda teres and the MalayanVanda hookeriana. It is not known which of the two species produced the seeds and which one provided the pollen. The hybrid was shown to Henry Ridley, the director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Ridley examined it, had it sketched and sent a description to the Gardeners’ Chronicle writing that: ‘A few years ago Miss Joaquim, a lady residing in Singapore, well known for her success as a horticulturist, succeeded in crossing Vanda hookeriana Rchb. f., and V. teres, two plants cultivated in almost every garden in Singapore。 (sourced from Wikipedia)

    National Flower Series – South East Asia 6- Myanmar


    National Flower Series – Myanmar or formally known as Burma

    It is known that there are two national floral identities for Myanmar. One is Thazin and the other is the Paduak.

    Thazin (Bulbophyllum auricomum)

    In Burma, the the most beloved orchid of Myanmar is Thazin, (Bulbophyllum auricomum) which blooms with tiny white flowers in graceful sprays that grow out of a small, bright-green, pear shaped bulb. It symbolizes royalties and purities.

    Found in Thailand, Burma, Sumatra and Java in lowland seasonal forests as a miniature to small sized, hot to warm growing epiphyte with 3.8 to 3/4″ spaced, ovoid-oblong pseudobulbs carrying 2 to 3, apical, deciduous, rather thin leaves that are often not present at blooming which is on an arching, basal, to 8 3/4″ [22 cm] long, racemose, many [25] flowered inflorescence occuring in the late fall and early winter and has fragrant flowers

    This rare, dainty and almost extinct species of orchid is beloved for its simple yet delicate beauty and its remote habitat high up in mountain trees. The likability of the orchid can be seen in the Burmese cultures via songs and the literatures.   

    At some point of time, they were so rare that no commoner however wealthy was allowed to wear it in the hair. It was only meant for queens and princesses and special envoys had to go deep into the jungles in Rakhine Yoma mountain ranges to collect some of these orchids for ceremonial purposes. Nowadays, people grow it easily with bulbs collected from the jungles but even then, it is still an expensive flower that brides drape around their high chignons. 

    Padauk (Pterocarpus Indicus)

    The Padauk (Pterocarpus Indicus) blossoms in tiny fragrant yellow-gold flowers after the first showers in April, coinciding with the Myanmar New Year festival. and the Water Festival (Thingyan). Once in bloom, the entire tree turns gold overnight. 

    Due to the large concentration of yellowish flowers in the trees during the blossoming period, Padauk is often confused with Thailand’s National Flower, Cassia Fistula or Golden Shower Trees. Though both trees belong to the Fabaceae family nut Padauk belongs to the Pterocarpus Genus whereas Thailands Golden Shower Trees belong  to the Cassia Genus.

    The Myanmar people regard the Paduak tree as the symbol of strength and durability. It was also being featured in the love sonnets fo a 16th century poet king and attached the elements of youth, love and romance to the flowers. The flower plays an indispensable part in traditional and religious ceremonies. The Paduak can be found throughout the country. The wood of the tree is also used for making furniture.

    The flowers were worn as beautiful adornments during important racial festivities.

    Source : adopted from www.mianmarburma.com and http://www.sanooaung.wordpress.com