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Glorious Colors of Nature

February marks the beginning of the transition from the cold season to the blooming hot season in Chiangmai. There are many treats in store for flower lovers at this time, as many of the tropical cool season blooms are still in evidence, as well as the beginning of the hot season blossoms. Here are some of the more prominent examples to be found in and around Chiangmai at this time.

The Hibiscus The Hibiscus Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Originated in China and is also known as the Shoe Flower. The large shrubs will be covered with brilliant red, pink, or yellow flowers. Unusable as a cut flower it is still a common feature of landscape design in gardens throughout Chiangmai.
The Weeping Lantana The Weeping Lantana Lantana camara This is another plant that originated in the tropical Americas but is very common in Chiangmai. The small blossoms are multi-colored in a variety of hues. It is akin to a flowering weed as it grows on tall bushes quickly and spreads rapidly.
The Damask The Damask or CommonRose Rosa damascena Mill Although not native to Thailand, the rose has become one of the commonest flowers in the city, gracing every garden and available in a variety of colors in cut flower markets. Gardeners' skills in grafting create exotic plants that grace the most elegantly designed gardens.
The Golden Shower The Golden Shower cassia fistula The brilliant yellow flowers bud and bloom on a small tree that is native to Thailand. It is seen on the lowlands of Doi Suthep and decoratively planted lining roads. When it blooms it makes a beautiful display of yellow blossoms.
The Canna Lily The Canna Lily Canna x generalis L H Bailey. This hardy flower likes very wet soil. It is found along the edges of ponds, or else villagers who have a canal running between their house and the road will plant at the edge where it grows by itself giving a colorful display in a variety of tints from yellow, to pink, to red.
Thai Peacock Tail Thai Peacock Tail Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L) Swz. The most common English name is Pride of Barbados. This small flower originated in the tropical areas of the Americas, but is common in the North. The way the petals, sweeping pistils and stamens imitate the spread wings and fanned tail of the male peacock in his mating dance is the reason for the local name.
The Orange Trumpet The Orange Trumpet Pyrostegia ventusa Miers The orange trumpet blossoms from December through March and visitors can see this lovely display in gardens throughout Chiangmai. These brilliant orange flowers bloom on a vigorously climbing vine, which can grow to a height more than 40 feet. Gardeners must spend a great deal of energy to prevent the plant from overwhelming everything.
The Crinum The Crinum Crinum asiaticum L. This flower originated in North Asia but is found in Northern Thailand, especially in Chiangmai. It is a popular flower for gardens, and owners take pleasure when the infrequently blooming brilliant pink lily-like blossoms appear.
The Chinese Lxora The Chinese Ixora Ixora chinensis Lmk. The origin of the flower's name is found in it's scientific name. Untended, it grows as a shrub, but when carefully pruned, it makes an excellent hedgeplant decorated by the beautiful red-orange blossoms. It is most often seen in this form in Chiangmai as a bordering shrub.
The Chrysanthemum The Chrysanthemum Chrysanthemum x hortorcum. This is a horticultural cultivar mainly dervied from two species: C. vestitum and C. idicum, both of Chinese origin, where cultivated varieties have been grown since 500 BC. The smaller yellow and mixed sorts are most common in Chiangmai gardens. The Royal Project produces yellow pom-poms and exotic spider mums.

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