Why did Singapore choose Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim (aka Vanda Miss Joaquim) as its national flower?

February 07,2023


In the intricate tapestry of Singapore's cultural heritage and natural beauty, one symbol stands out with grace and resilience - the Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim, more affectionately known as the Vanda Miss Joaquim or the Singapore orchid. Selected on April 15, 1981, as the national flower, it embodies the essence of Singapore's identity, blending resilience with beauty in its year-round blossoming.


Amidst the bustling urban landscape and the thriving metropolis, the Singapore orchid emerges as a testament to the nation's enduring spirit. Its selection as the national flower was not merely an arbitrary decision but a reflection of its symbolic significance. The orchid's ability to bloom throughout the year mirrors Singapore's constant growth and progress despite challenges.


Originally named after Agnes Joaquim, a Singaporean horticulturist who discovered the hybrid in her garden in 1893, the Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim holds a special place in the hearts of Singaporeans. Its vibrant hues of purple and pink exude a sense of elegance and sophistication, mirroring the multicultural fabric of Singapore's society.


What sets the Singapore orchid apart is not just its beauty but its resilience. Thriving in the tropical climate of Singapore, it withstands the harsh sun and torrential rains, symbolizing the indomitable spirit of the nation. In a city-state where space is limited and nature often contends with urbanization, the orchid serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and nurturing the environment.


Beyond its botanical significance, the Singapore orchid serves as a cultural emblem, embodying the nation's hybrid identity. Just as the orchid is a result of cross-breeding between different species, Singapore is a melting pot of cultures, languages, and traditions. The orchid's diverse origins reflect Singapore's commitment to inclusivity and diversity, making it a fitting symbol for the nation.


Over the years, the Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim has become more than just a flower; it has become a source of pride and inspiration for Singaporeans. From its humble beginnings in Agnes Joaquim's garden to its elevated status as the national flower, its journey parallels Singapore's transformation into a modern and dynamic nation.

The selection of the Singapore orchid as the national flower was not merely a botanical decision but a reflection of Singapore's values and aspirations. Its resilience, beauty, and hybrid nature embody the spirit of Singapore, making it a timeless symbol of the nation's uniqueness and cultural diversity.


As Singapore continues to evolve and adapt to the changing times, the Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim stands as a reminder of the nation's roots and aspirations. In its delicate petals and vibrant colors, one finds the essence of Singapore - a nation that thrives amidst adversity, celebrates diversity, and embraces the beauty of resilience.

Founded in May 2016, FLORAMOMENTS.SG is one of the leading online gift and florist atelier in Singapore. Dedicated to bringing you fresh blooms and balloons. If you can picture it, we can create it.



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