Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Malaysia 9.10.2008 - Unique Flowers of Malaysia

There are many varieties of flowers found in Malaysia and there are some species that are attractive and unique due to their special shape or rare fragrance. Most traditional Malay landscape comprise of plants with fragrant flowers, leaves and wood. In fact, most traditional poetry refers to these unique traits. The issuance of these  Unique Flower stamps was an effort to increase the awareness of such flowers as well as to popularize Malaysian flowers.  The stamps were issued on 9.10.2008. A brief description of the stamps on the FDC are given below.

30 sen: Kenerak is a shrub or small tree up to 3 metres high with ascending branches and shot twigs forming conical or uneven crown. Leaves are oblong in shape, widest near apex and bluntly tipped, 12 - 24 cm long, 6 – 11 cm wide, dull yellow green. Flowers grow solitary on leaf twigs hanging from short stalks. Calyx is green in colour, and outer petals are cream white or pale yellowish and very fragrant. The fruits are ellipsoid, 1.2 cm long, red in colour and turn purplish black as it ripens. Kenerak is often planted in Malay villages, especially in Kelantan and Terengganu. The flowers are often sold in the markets.

30 sen: Climbing Lily. This plant is a species of lily that climbs up to 2.5 metres in height, aided by tendril-like tips at the of its narrow lanceolate shaped leaves. The flowers are attractive and unique with narrow yellow and red curly edged petals. When it blooms, the flower turns inside out and points upwards, with the stamens and pistil more or less horizontal. The plant has underground bulb which is poisonous.The plant is cultivated in Malaysian gardens for its unique and attractive flowers. Malays call it Bunga Kembang Songsang because when the flowers fully bloom the petals grow inverted.

50 sen: Rangoon Creeper is a climbing shrub, and is planted as an ornamental plant because of its unique flowers. It can also be found growing wild. The flowers are very attractive and borne in short clusters. The flower tube is 5 cm long and the petals are white but turn to red when matured. The flower blooms at night and are very fragrant. The plant is often planted as climber on fences, on specially prepared pergolas or left to climb on big trees.

50 sen: Banana Shrub. The shrub is about 1 – 2 metres high, branched to form bush-shaped canopy. The leaves are elliptical in shape, 5 – 10 cm long, 2 – 6 cm wide, with short petiole, and dark green in colour. The flowers are about 3-4 cm in diameter when fully opened, the bracts are brownish and hairy, and the petals are yellowish white with slightly purplish base. The flowers are fragrant reminiscent of banana. In Malaysia the plant seldom bear fruits.

The Chinese community uses the flowers to fragrant tea and the Malays use the flowers in aromatic bath and potpourri.

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