The Vanda Miss Joaqium is Singapore’s national flower. It was chosen in April 1981 for its vibrant colour, hardiness and resilience – qualities which embody the ideal of the Singapore spirit.
There is some excitement to the story of this first Vanda hybrid. There was doubt cast on Agnes Joaquim for crossing Vanda Hookeriana and Vanda Teres, two orchids commonly cultivated in gardens in Singapore in the late 19th century. It was speculated by some that she merely discovered the hybrid in her garden. After numerous investigations, the National Heritage Board and the Singapore Botanic Gardens amended their official records in 2016 to reflect credit to Miss Joaquim. This engaging encounter is found in an article called Blooming Lies: The Vanda Miss Joaquim Story.
The work of orchid breeding continues in the Orchid Breeding and Conservation Biotechnology Laboratory, at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. They produce new orchid hybrids, clone orchids and other ornamental plants, and promote the conservation of native orchids. They also work to re-introduce endangered species of Singapore’s native orchids in places such as nature reserves, parks and roadsides.
This laboratory has glass windows to provide visitors with a view of all four areas of the laboratory:
- Media Preparation Room for preparation of plant culture media
- Transfer Room for transferring plants between culture vessels
- Shaker Room with shakers for plant cultures in liquid media
- Culture Room with illuminated racks for plants growing on solid media.
Interpretive panels are available on all windows to help visitors understand the work that happens within the Laboratory. It is Panel #4 which prompted this contribution to One Word Sunday: Culture hosted by Debbie at TravelWithIntent.