Singapore names orchid after Duterte

SINGAPORE – Introducing Dendrobium Rodrigo Roa Duterte, a "violet-red" orchid named after the Philippine President during his state visit to Singapore.

Duterte himself got a first-hand look at the orchid when he visited Singapore's National Botanical Garden on Friday, December 16, the last day of his visit.

The orchid, a new hybrid cross between a Dendrobium Sonia Beauty and Dendrobium Urmila Nandey, is described as a "compact, robust, and vigorous hybrid."

ORCHID DIPLOMACY. President Duterte meets the orchid named after him at the Singapore Botanic Garden. Photo from PCO

ORCHID DIPLOMACY. President Duterte meets the orchid named after him at the Singapore Botanic Garden.

Photo from PCO

It has upright flower sprays that bear up to 15 "striking and well-arranged blooms" each measuring 6 centimeters across.

Its sepals and petals are "an attractive violet-red" complemented by a lip of a darker shade of the same color.

It's a tradition in Singapore to name orchids after visiting heads of state and even celebrities.

As of last year, there were 200 orchids named after dignitaries like Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and US President Barack Obama.

This "orchid diplomacy" is a "gesture of friendship to promote goodwill between Singapore and other countries," according to the Singapore National Parks website. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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