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The National Flower Story

In 1981, the then Ministry of Culture formed a national committee to select a representative national flower “as part of an overall effort to foster national pride and identity”. The committee deliberated over 40 types of flowers, to find one that is “popularly known, free flowering, colourful and attractive”. In the end, the Vanda Miss Joaquim was chosen for its “resilience and year round blooming quality”. It was proclaimed as the National Flower of Singapore by then Minister of Culture S. Dhanabalan on 15 April 1981.

A cross between Vanda hookeriana and Vanda teres, the orchid is named in memory of Miss Agnes Joaquim, who discovered the flower in her garden at Tanjong Pagar in 1893. It was registered as Singapore’s first orchid hybrid and the world’s first Vanda hybrid, and soon became popular all over the world as a cut flower due to its beauty and hardiness.

During National Day or other national events, images of Vanda Miss Joaquim can be found on banners, buntings and other decorations. Images of Vanda Miss Joaquim can also be found on currency and postal stamp series. The flower is also used in souvenirs, jewellery and has become a source of inspiration for art, songs, fashion and architecture.


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