North Thailand Flowers

This is a collection of flowers that are prevalent in North Thailand. Some of these you might encounter during your trip in North Thailand.

Sapria Himalayana

Sapria Himalayana is a rare parasitic flowering plant related to Rafflesia, the beautiful flowering plant found in national parks in South Thailand. Sapria himalayana is entirely dependent on its host plant for water, nutrients and products of photosynthesis which it sucks through a specialised root system. We have seen the Sapria Himalayana on Doi Suthep, in Chiang Rai province and on Doi Inthanon. You are most likely to see it in the cold season, November until February.

Beautiful red flower
Sapria Himalayana. Source Wikipedia. Picture by Andreas Fleischman

Poinsettia

The poinsettia (also known as Christmas Flower) is a commercially important plant species. The species is indigenous to Mexico. It is mainly well known for its red and green foliage and is widely used in Christmas floral displays. It derives its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first American Minister to Mexico. He introduced the plant to the US in 1825. In Thailand, it is prevalent in the cold season at altitude. It has a stunning red flower.

Red flowers
Poinsettia on Doi Pui

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum is sometimes called mums or chrysanths. They are native to Asia and northeastern Europe. Most species originate from East Asia. The centre of diversity is in China. Countless horticultural varieties and cultivars exist. There are Chrysanthemum plantations on Doi Inthanon.

White and blue flowers
Chrysanthemum flower on Doi Inthanon

Plumeria aka Frangipani aka Lilawadee aka Champa flower

Plumeria is a genus of flowering plants in the dogbane family. Most species are deciduous shrubs or small trees. The species are indigenous to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, and as far south as Brazil and north as Florida. They are grown as cosmopolitan ornamentals in warm regions. Common names for plants in the genus vary widely according to area, but Frangipani or variations on that theme are the most common. Plumeria Alba, a variety, is the national flower of Laos, where it is known under the local name Champa or “dok Champa”. In the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, the plumeria is often planted on burial grounds in these countries.

If you travel to Mae Wang National Park you will almost certainly see this beautiful flower.

White Lilawadee flower Mae Wang
Lilawadee flower Mae Wang

Red Hibiscus

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis, known locally as Chinese hibiscus, China rose, Hawaiian hibiscus, rose mallow and shoeblack plant, is a species of tropical hibiscus. It is a flowering plant in the Hibisceae tribe of the family Malvaceae, native to East Asia. You most likely will see it on your trip.

Hibiscus Flower

Wild plantain aka Heliconia

Heliconia is also popularly known as lobster-claw, wild plantain or false bird-of-paradise. It is a beautiful, multi-coloured flower and different structure. This giant herb is closely related to the banana. The flowers may be hanging or erect. There are three main growth habits: banana-like, canna-like and ginger-like. The leaves are usually quite large. Heliconia species are pollinated (fertilised) mostly by hummingbirds. One species, Heliconia solomenensis, is pollinated by bats. Many bats and insects seek shelter within the complex structures of these plants. You will likely spot a variety of the Heliconia on your trip.

colorful heliconia flower Mae Wang
Heliconia flower Mae Wang