It's a well-known fact that Malaysia is a country with diversity in a range of aspects like our culture, people, food, art, attractions, language and so many more. You can ask any Malaysian about any of these and we’d tell you how much we take pride in our colourful country and all that it has to offer.
Though we each share a similar set of Malaysian general knowledge that we could probably talk to others about, many may not be aware that we are actually blessed with a wide range of flowers that are native to us, too!
As a matter of fact, did you know that Malaysia is home to one of the largest flora biodiversities in the world?
In conjunction with our upcoming National Day, it is only appropriate that BloomThis pay tribute to our nation by doing what we do best - sharing some facts about our Malaysian flowers. Here are five flowers that are grown locally on our soil:
Orchids are actually one of the largest flowering plant families with more than 25,000 species worldwide. And a segment of that number stems from Malaysia alone as our land breeds over 3,000 species of those beauties.
To break it down further, around 1,000 are found in Peninsular Malaysia while a significant amount of 2,500 types of orchids grow in Sabah and Sarawak.
The vanilla orchid, which is represented by 12 species in Malaysia are another huge economic potential commodity species with at least three species that could produce vanilla essence.
Yes, vanilla! The second most expensive spice in the world (after saffron) comes from vanilla orchids, which can be grown in Malaysia.
In terms of domestic use, Malaysian orchids are usually favoured and widely used for gifting purposes.
Come check out BloomThis’s very own orchid bouquet like our Phoebe, Angelina and Annabeth.
Now, this is one native flower that you might know too well! The ixora, also known as “Jejarum” in Bahasa Malaysia, is a flowering garden shrub that is visible all around us.
Directly translating to “Needle Flower”, you may have had the experience of pulling out the needle-shaped bud of this flower and sucking on its nectar as a child, remember?
This vibrant bush often grows in areas that has a lot of sunlight - typically in residential vicinities or public gardens.
They are an all-year bloomer and come in an assortment of colours like red, pink and orange. But of course, the bright reds are the common ones that we see in our neighbour’s front yard all the time!
Also another flower that is planted all around us, the bougainvillea are flowering evergreens that allows you to get creative as it can be planted in many ways. They are usually used as ornamental or bonsai plants in containers.
Other common usage also includes ornamental vines, shrubs and hedges to decorate and brighten pergolas, patio, decks and balconies. You’d surely be able to spot them at resorts, residential buildings and hospitals.
It is easy to see which this tropical beauty is a favourite among Malaysians as we can’t argue that they do look enliven any environment with their cascading stems and flowers that also bloom in a medley of bright colours.
Did you know that the pagoda flower is rated as among the most beautiful native flowers in Malaysia? They are best identified through their myriad of red, orange and white blossoms sprouting from the stem.
Belonging to the species of Clerodendrum paniculatum, the more commonly known identity - pagoda also goes by the name “Panggil-Panggil” in Malay. This means ‘to summon’ and it fittingly comes with the story of trappers using these plants when trying to ‘summon’ and lure mouse deers.
Some Malaysians and Indonesians believe that pagodas have supernatural powers due to its namesake, as well. There is a belief that they can be used to summon spirits. Yikes!
On the other hand, their usage also includes being sprinkled on ‘sacred water’ at traditional Malay weddings and blessing ceremonies.
5) Yellow Allamanda
Though allamandas are originally native to South and Central America, they have become naturalised throughout the tropical regions of the world, including Malaysia over time.
They are usually planted as shrubs, vines or as ornamental house plants here with flowers that are often bright and large that bloom all year round.
Belonging to the Apocynaceae family, it also carries the name Yellow Bell, Golden Trumpet or Buttercup Flowers.
On a more local front, the yellow allamanda is known as ‘Akar Kuning’ or ‘Akar Cempaka Hutan’ in Malay.
Meanwhile, its Chinese name is ‘ruan zhi huang chan’ which directly translates to soft stemmed yellow cicada, because the shape and colour of the flower resemble newly-emerged cicadas. How cute!
Got other local flowers in mind that you’d like to share? Just comment and let us know below. In the meantime, Happy National Day and have a lovely celebration, all!