Four flowers worthy of a Queen
Several kinds of plants are named after famous people in history from royals to scientists and from statesmen to botanists. Thailand Today proudly presents 4 kinds of beautiful flora that bear the name of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, The Queen Mother.
Cattleya “Queen Sirikit”
The Cattleya ‘Queen Sirikit’ is a hybrid orchid created in 1958 by the English company Flory & Black Ltd. It is a cross between a Cattleya ‘Bow Bell’ and Cattleya ‘O’ brieniana’ var. alba. After receiving First Prize from the Royal Horticultural Society in the United Kingdom, Flory & Black Ltd. asked permission from Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, The Queen Mother of Thailand to name the rose after her. It is now the official flower of the Thai Women’s Day, which is celebrated on 1 August of each year.
Before receiving the honour to be named after Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, The Queen Mother the orchid was called Cattleya ‘Exquisite’ due to its unsurpassed beauty. The flowers possess vibrant yellow centres surrounded by elegant white petals with wavy edges. The height of a full-grown plant can reach up to 20 – 40 centimetres. The scent of the flowers is described to be sweet, fragrant, and gentle.
Dona Queen Sirikit
The Dona Queen Sirikit (Mussaenda philippica ‘Queen Sirikit’) is a hybrid of Mussaenda Luz with M. phillipica‘ Aurorae’. It was created by the University of the Philippines and named after Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, The Queen Mother of Thailand on the occasion of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great and Her Majesty, The Queen Mother’s visit to the Philippines in 1963. The name Dona comes from the Spanish word doña, which means married women. New variations of Dona are traditionally reserved to be named after the First Lady of the Philippines, making the creation and naming of the Dona Queen Sirikit a truly special event.
The Dona Queen Sirikit is a variation of the Mussaenda philippica, a species of plant in the Rubiaceae family that is native to the Philippines. The flowers are tiny in size and yellow in colour. White leaves with pink edges surround the flowers, while green leaves grow along other parts of the stems. Under the sunlight, the white leaves give off silvery reflections, creating a beautiful colour contrast between pinkish-white and green.
Queen Sirikit Rose
The Queen Sirikit Rose (Rosa ‘Queen Sirikit’) was first introduced in 1968, and went on to win First Prize at a rose competition in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1970. In August 1971, Andre Hendricx, Director of Grandes Roseraiea du Val de Loire in France asked permission from Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, The Queen Mother of Thailand to name the rose after her. A part of the document from the rosarium compares the rose to “the Queen of Thailand, whose beauty echoes Eastern charm, superior to the charm of the West”.
A hybrid of Konigin der Rosen and Golden Giant Rose, Queen Sirikit Rose boasts a lively yellow colour that turns into a yellowish orange with tints of pink at the edges of the petals under strong sunlight. The plant blooms year-round, with an average blooming flower measuring 5 – 10 centimetres in diameter. The scent of the flowers is described to be a gentle fragrant.
Nymphaea ‘Queen Sirikit’
Nymphaea‘ Queen Sirikit’ is a hybrid water lily that was created by the famous Thai lotus breeder Phairath Songpanich. The Botanical Society of Thailand asked permission from Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, The Queen Mother of Thailand to name the water lily after her on Her Majesty’s 80th birthday anniversary in 2012. The naming of the plant also marked the occasion of Her Majesty, The Queen Mother being honoured as the Mother of Biodiversity Conservation by the Thai government in 2010, which coincided with the United Nation’s Year of Biodiversity.
The Nymphaea ‘Queen Sirikit’ is a cross-breed between Nymphaea ‘Perry’s Fire Opal’ with a variation of Brachyceras. The flowers possess vibrant yellow centres with hints of orange. The inner petals are white with purple tips. The outer petals are greenish white. It’s the first Nymphaea to possess a purple colour.