Friday, December 08, 2006

Bali

With lake effect snows and a windchill of -8 outside the window, I've decided to do a little dreaming through this winter.

There are lots of places I'd love to someday visit, so as the winter blues pile up and I feel more and more as if spring really will never arrive, I'm going to make myself feel better by taking virtual mini vacations. With a small limit - find out what the national flower of each place is and learn about it. What is better than gazing at beautiful flowers and ignoring all that white stuff, if only for a little while?

So Bali is first. It has an average temp of 86 degrees from November to March, with very high humidity. (Sounds fab to me right now!) I found out something rather interesting; Indonesia didn't even have a national flower until June 5, 1990 for World Environment Day. (Established in 1972 by the UN)
And then, they didn't choose one, but three.

Rafflesia arnoldi (How cool is that?) There are 16 known species of Rafflesia, the latest discovery was in 1988. It was first discovered by Sir Stamford Raffles and Dr. Joseph Arnold in 1818. It is the largest flower in the world and can weigh up to 15 pounds. It's also called the corpse flower of course, using flies as pollinators, but I think that's an awful name for such a beautiful flower. (No, I don't want to smell it.) On the opposite end, the smallest flower in the world is duckweed - which you can only see with a microscope.

Moon Orchid (anggrek bulan / Phalaenopsis amabilis) Ooooo, pretty! Maybe Carol should give it a go! :) Anggrek bulan is also the title of a song.

Melati (Jasminum sambac) Also known as Duke of Tuscany. Mmmmm. Can't you just smell it? A drink is made by soaking the flower in water. (Jasmin tea) Grows to 10' but will stay from 1' to 3' if grown in a container. The government nicknamed it 'people flower', puspa bangsa. Beautiful!

So, where would you like to go this winter?

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2 comments:

Sissy said...

HA!! Every night, PBS has been showing the travel show. Last night, Barcelona, Wed night-Tuscany.
Tuesday night, French Riviera....
Tonite? Chaperone the school dance in Northern Illinois.
It's 6, here, by the way...!
WWWOOOOOO!

Carol said...

Thanks for your confidence in my orchid growing abilities. Honestly, they just grow themselves and I just try to stay out of there way. That is a pretty orchid, by the way.