Dendrobium Elizabeth is an orchid hybrid with twisted Dresden-yellow petals and a uranium green lip.
Named after the late Queen of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II, when she visited Singapore-a former British colony- in 1972, said Whang Lay Keng, Singapore’s National Orchid Garden curator.
According to the BBC, her Majesty died as the UK’s longest-serving monarch, aged 96, after seven decades of reign.
Dendrobium Elizabeth is described as a majestic, resilient and robust plant.
After Queen Elizabeth II’s death last week, Singapore’s Botanic Gardens loaned a towering spring of Dendrobium Elizabeth to the residence of the British high commissioner, to be displayed alongside the photos of the monarch.
The curator compared the flower to the Queen on how she presents herself to her constituents.”It’s kind of like how Queen Elizabeth carried herself.”
The Dendrobium Elizabeth is flowering just twice a year and is bred from originating orchids from the city-state and Papua New Guinea and can carry just about 40 blooms per plant.
Singapore’s Flower-Naming Tradition
Orchid-mad Singapore city boasts their delicate and colorful blooms as their national flower-Vanda Miss Joaquim- and the city-state often christens the latest hybrids after visiting dignitaries as part of the country’s diplomatic charm offensive.
This tradition took root during British colonial rule in 1957-which spanned 140 years when the orchid variety was named after the spouse of London’s high commissioner to Singapore.
Queen Elizabeth II made her first state visit to Singapore in 1972, followed by two succeeding trips in 1989 and 2006.
During the 1970s, the yellow-green color was very popular, Whang said. She added that they wanted to choose something fashionable and very interesting for Her Majesty’s visit, so she added yellow as the hue refers to the color for royalty.
(Photo: Roslan Rahman | AFP)
An orchid named after the late Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Singapore in 1972 is temporarily displayed at Eden Hall.
Colorful and Wonderful Orchid Traits
Aside from its color, the tropical lowland orchid also has distinct Southeast Asian traits.
The orchid curator described the plant as a “sun-loving plant” because the bloom thrives in a moist and humid climate. She added that sunlight and warmth are important factors for the flower’s growth.
Among the 200 more orchid hybrids named after visiting leaders and celebrities-displayed in the VIP section of Singapore’s sprawling Botanic Gardens-there is another orchid hybrid named after another monarch from the United Kingdom.
Dendrobium Memoria Princess Diana is a pastel-while bloom that was dubbed after the death of the princess of Wales in 1997.
The Orchidaceae commonly referred to as orchid(s), is a morphologically widespread and diverse breed of monocots in the order of Asparagales and Asteraceae. It is one of the two most prominent families of blossoming plants, with 21,950 and 26,049 accepted species currently found in 880 categories.
The orchids have been closely associated with the city’s National Orchid Garden since 1859. Currently, the national park has a thousand and two thousand hybrid species on display. These orchids are “hand-crafted” by the Garden’s horticultural employees, who handle the orchid hybrid process on their own, according to The Garden information site.
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