In recent times study of flora in Thailand is catching up and now is in a
well-advanced stage. The most indigenous vegetation in Thailand is divided into
two basic types to tropical forest; namely: Monsoon forest and Rain forest.
Natural forest area covers about 25% of Thailand’s land mass. The countries is
enriched with an incredible array of flora like fruit trees, bamboo, tropical
hardwoods and more than 27,000 flowering species, and 10,000 vascular plants
species. Thailand’s national floral symbol is ‘the Orchid’.
Sneak peak at prominent flowers in Thailand
Bat Plant: Also known as “devil flower” or “tacca chantrieri” is native to
Thailand. This purple-black flower looks like a flying bat. Some say it looks
like a sinister face, some see it as a mean cat with lots of whiskers. It
usually blooms in late summer and early fall. It’s a complex plant having shiny
green and white leaves. Proper shade with little filtered light and proper
protection from wind is ideal for its growth. Proper drainage and a good organic
soil mix are also useful. It’s got high humidity and can be a good house plant.
Frangipane: Referred to as ‘lantom’ in Thailand, mostly used in Buddhist temples
for worshiping. Basically it is a deciduous plant and comes from the genus
Plumeria. It can grow to a height of about 8mtrs. It blossoms in three different
colors namely pink, white or yellow; but usually its flowers are pink.
Interestingly these flowers are most fragrant at night. Sphinx moths used as
pollinating agents are attracted to their fragrance, but the flowers have no
Golden Shower: It is counted amongst the nine most auspicious trees of Thailand,
and is also the national tree here.
Ratchaphruek: It is the national flower of Thailand and is known as “thais”. It
is very common and can be seen anywhere in the country. It blossoms in summer
and bears cute cluster shaped flowers. These flowers are bright yellow in clolor.
Gluay Mhai: Known to us by the common name Orchids. Orchid mostly flowers during
winter in Thailand. January is the most ideal month to see a variety of shapes,
sizes and attractive colors of gluay mhai. Orchids habitually grow on frost
trees, and mostly depend on the rain water running down the trunks. Due to this
they are categorized under epiphytes. Thailand hosts maximum number of orchids
in the whole of Asia, hence, it is unofficially the national flower of Thailand.
Cultivation and breeding of these orchid plants has turned into a major export
Curcuma petiolata 'Emperor': Referred to as ‘hidden lilly’ or ‘hidden ginger’,
it blooms in June and is found in different colors like near white, pink and
white. It comes from the family Zingiberaceae and often has tuber-bearing roots.
Steams are usually short and are replaced by pseudostems formed by leaf sheaths.
It is a perennial and terrestrial herb.
Orange Trumpet: It usually starts blossoming in the month of December and
continues till the month of March and tourists can see these lovely flowers on
display in all gardens. These vibrant orange flowers blossom on aggressively
climbing vine. It can be about 40 feet tall. This plant stands a high risk of
overwhelming, hence gardners must take special care and work hard to sustain it.
There are many more popular flowers like Hibiscus, Crinium, Weeping lantana,
Canna lily, Chinese Ixora, Damask Rose, Gerberas, Caesalpinia Pulcherrima and
Chrysanthemum. Thai people use all these flowers to express their emotions.
Preserving the flora culture
In last 30yrs Thailand has had moderate progress in preserving its flora and
fauna. The recent popularity of tourist spots in Thailand has degraded its
natural environment. Thankfully Thailand has realized the need to protect its
natural heritage. Green groups are coordinating with government and
international organizations to set some guidelines and practices which will help
them to develop sustainable tourist areas in forests, marine parks, etc. Native
people are being roped into tourism sector and are taught the advantages of
preserving the environment. Efforts are being made to boycott goods which use
turtle shell, ivory or body parts of tigers and leopards as its raw material.
Awareness is being spread to dispose off garbage properly and to report any
tread in endangered wildlife to “Wildlife Fund Thailand”.