Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was presented with an orchid named after his late father and founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew at the Istana today.
The full name of the orchid is Aranda Lee Kuan Yew. The orchid takes between three and five years to breed and grow, and produces flower sprays of up to 10 flowers each. Each bloom measures about 9.5cm to 10cm across.
The orchid is a hybrid between an orchid native to Singapore – called arachnis hookeriana – and an orchid in the Vanda series similar to Vanda Kwa Geok Choo – named after Mr Lee’s wife, according to National Parks.
“For a while now, we had been looking for an orchid that had the stature, and with colours that reflect Mr Lee’s qualities. At the same time we wanted an orchid that matched Vanda Kwa Geok Choo,” explained NParks CEO Mr Kenneth Er.
“We can predict what the orchid looks like from the parent plants, but frankly we don’t know until it flowers. (Aranda Lee Kuan Yew) is exactly what we had been looking for.”
This is the first time Aranda Lee Kuan Yew has flowered, and it coincided with Mr Lee’s passing.
The orchid will be on display at the Parliament House where the body of Lee Kuan Yew will be laid in state.