One of the most exotic of plants, the Orchid holds a special place amongst flowers in Singapore. Most Singaporeans would recognise the Vanda Miss Joaqium Orchid hybrid, which was selected as our national flower in 1981, but here a couple more ways that the orchid has become an unmistakable part of our national heritage.
Orchid Series currency notes
Some of us may be too young to have ever seen one of these but the Orchid Series was Singapore’s very first circulation currency notes. Issued from 1967 to 1976, this beautiful series prominently featured different orchids species and hybrids in the centre of each note.
Today the exotic orchid is still featured on our currency – you can spot it at the back of your five dollar note or on the front of a one dollar coin.
As a sign of goodwill, ‘orchid diplomacy’ is a trademark Singaporean tradition where new orchid hybrids are named after foreign dignitaries. Pictured above, the eponymous Dendrobium Barack and Michelle Obama is a hybrid of breeds native to Singapore and Hawaii, where the President was born.
Many other dignitaries also have a namesake orchid dedicated to them – from Princess Diana to Margaret Thatcher, Narendra Modi, Angela Merkel, Willian and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and more recently, Kamala Harris on her visit to Singapore in August (2021).
The National Orchid Garden
The largest exhibit of orchids anywhere in the world can be found right at home in Singapore – at the National Orchid Garden, a part of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. With the Botanic Gardens starting its orchid breeding and hybridisation programme back in 1928, Singapore has long been a global centre for orchid breeding. Now, many of these hybrids are housed in the National Orchid Garden where one can see over over 1000 species and 2000 hybrids on display.
Orchid Garden Gemstone Earrings
Our tribute to the National Orchid Garden, the Orchid Garden Gemstone Earrings (available in studs and drops) pair the beautiful form of the Vanda hybrid orchid with a colourful variety of gemstones. The gems in our sterling silver earrings can be easily switched out, with each gorgeous gemstone turning the petals into an entirely different hue.