Papilionanda Aung San Suu Kyi: Orchid named after Myanmar leader

Suu Kyi is on a three-day trip to Singapore after PM Lee invited her to visit the city-state.

Aung San Suu Kyi
Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi attends a welcoming ceremony in Beijing Reuters

Singapore honoured visiting Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi by naming an orchid hybrid after her. Papilionanda Aung San Suu Kyi was unveiled at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on 1 December, during the Burmese politician's visit there.

Suu Kyi is on a three-day trip to Singapore and she is scheduled to meet all top leaders including, Acting President J Y Pillay and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Papilionanda Aung San Suu Kyi, which is a cross between Papilionanda Josephine van Brero and Vanda Varut Fuchsia, is a purplish looking variety that blooms on a strong upright stalk. The cluster generally bears 5-10 flowers, each measuring about 9cm across.

"The sepals and petals are a delightful pastel bluish purple adorned variously with fine purple spots and tessellations, each bloom is complemented by a prominent waxy reddish purple lip," said Singapore' s National Parks Board, as reported.

Presenting delegates with orchid flowers variants named after them as been a quite popular trend in Singapore. NParks, according to reports, explained that this orchid diplomacy "serves as a gesture of friendship to promote goodwill between Singapore and other countries" and also strengthen bilateral ties.

Since 1956, several leaders, including Ban Ki-moon, Nelson Mandela, Prince William and Kate Middleton, who visited Singapore have been honoured by naming orchid hybrids after them.

Aung San Suu Kyi was given a grand welcome by PM Lee upon her arrival in Singapore. The prime minister also hosted the Nobel laureate for a dinner at the Istana on Wednesday. On Thursday, both the leaders will be guests-of-honour at the opening ceremony of a three-month exhibition of Myanmar artefacts at the Asian Civilisations Museum.