Get to Know Your Local Thai Flowers
Thai flowers are so colourful and unique, each carrying their own meaning and a particular occasion for giving them to your loved ones. Learn more about Thai flowers in our little guide:
This bright yellow flower is everywhere, as befits the national flower of Thailand. Ratchaphruek usually grows in a cascading pattern hanging from its tree. This flower is also called “Dok Khoon” in Thai and has a very positive meaning, it is believed that whoever has Ratchaphruek or is given it will enjoy great wealth and luck as “khoon” means multiply. So, grab some of these yellow beauties and your fortune could grow immensely.
You can smell the refreshing aroma of Thai Jasmine from miles away. This flower has been used since ancient times as an offering to the gods with its white colour a symbol of purity. Jasmine is a symbol of longing, love, good wishes and also loyalty to the family--that’s why it is also a popular flower to give on Thai Mother’s Day.
Lotus has a special place in Thai culture, especially in Buddhism. It is the flower of choice when Thais want to make a sacred offering to monks. The flower also appears in many Thai proverbs. For example, there’s a saying, “Lotus under mud”, which refers to someone who’s very stubborn and doesn’t want to change their view. Interestingly, the shape of the famous Thai greeting “Sawasdee” was meant to mimic the shape of the Lotus as well.
Torch Ginger is in the same family as ginger and galangal, and believe it or not, this flower is edible. It’s hard to find in Bangkok, but if you’re heading south, many locals are very familiar with it. Torch Ginger is a symbol of everlasting love as it has a famous Romeo and Juliet-style folktale behind it. Once upon a time, a Malaysian maiden was waiting for her Thai lover. When he didn’t came back, she prayed to be reincarnated as a flower that grows along the border so she could wait for him forever. What a sad story for a beautiful flower.
Even though Hibiscus is one of the most popular flowers in the world, some Thais still associate it with ill meaning. In the Ayutthaya kingdom, they used Hibiscus to decorate the ear of a prisoner awaiting execution before they see their last light. The original belief of associating this flower with bad luck might also came from India where the flower is a common offering to Maha Kali, the goddess of death and time. Nowadays, though, Hibiscus has also become a symbol of strength and perseverance.