Chinese New Year Plants

With just one week to the New Year, red lanterns hang amidst peonies and peach blossoms everywhere you turn, dancing with the wind to lively festive songs. Early in the morning, trucks carrying pots of flowers and citrus trees join the rush hour traffic, and those who haven’t bought them yet are doing some last-minute shopping…

Calamondin (x Citrofortunella microcarpa)

The pet shop, normally rather dreary but for brightly coloured fishes and plastic reefs, had bedecked itself with row upon row of citrus plants for the upcoming Chinese New Year. Besides the usual huge shapely ones, corseted with branches sticking out the top, they’d also brought in some little ones in jade green porcelain pots,…

Orchids (Orchidaceae)

In April 1981, it was decided that Singapore’s national flower was to be the hybrid orchid, Vanda Miss Joaquim, or as modern day Science has re-classified it, the Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim. They’d chosen it for its “vibrant colours, hardiness and resilience”, which indeed it bears, although they’d also quietly and conveniently ignored its requirements for heavy…