The orchid family contains a huge variety of flowers, in a great many colours that range from deep purple and vivid pink, to creamy white and vibrant yellow. A fun and lesser-known fact is that the vanilla pod actually comes from a genus of orchid plants!
Singapore national flower is an orchid hybrid known as the Vanda Miss Joaquim. The orchid is named in honour of a Singaporean woman of Armenian descent called Agnes Joaquim. The Vanda Miss Joaquim is the world’s first cultivated orchid hybrid and was bred by Agnes Joaquim for a flower show in 1899. The orchid won first prize, and in 1981, the Vanda Miss Joaquim was chosen as the national flower of Singapore.
If you want to be truly amazed at the varieties of orchids available, and have a look at the Vanda Miss Joaquim, head to the National Orchid Garden, located within Singapore’s Botanic Gardens. With more than 60,000 plants, 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids, this is a paradise for flower-lovers.
Highlights of the National Orchid Garden include a Heritage section that houses orchids named after important historical figures, a celebrity orchid garden with orchids named after famous personalities as varied as Jackie Chan, Jane Goodall and Andrea Bocelli, and a cool house where you’ll experience the climate of a tropical highland cloud forest, and see a wide variety of unique and beautiful orchid species.
Orchid gifts in Singapore are a great way to bring a bit of Singaporean magic home, and some jewelry brands create necklaces, earrings and brooches made by gold plating real orchid flowers.
The orchid is also used in aromatherapy, with orchid essential oils favoured for their light, sweet fragance – perfect for gifts and souvenirs.
To really indulge all your senses, try the signature Harmony Banyan treatment at the Banyan Tree Spa at Marina Bay Sands. For more than two hours, you’ll have the attention of two therapists with a treatment inspired by the orchid, to brighten the skin, as well as a Therapeutic Orchid Bath.