There is the only one country in the world to have a hybrid as her national flower. It is a free flowering plant and each inflorescence can bear up to 8 buds, and usually the same amount of flower blossom at a time. Each flower measures up to 30 cm across and 12 cm width. The petals are twisted such that the shiny black surface faces its surroundings. The petals from the top to the bottom sepal are grey-beige, while the lateral parts of the sepals are dark grey, almost black. The large and broad pedicel of the flower which looks like a fan is coloured grey or beige, and merges into a colourless monochrome that is finely spotted with dark grey-brownish dots. This fast-growing hybrid is a robust sun loving plant, which doesn’t mind heavy rain though requires electrical fertilising, vertical support to enable it to grow straight and tall along with free air movement and high humidity. It starts blossoming after its stem rises 300 to 500 cm above the ground, though also air-rooted species are common, and blooms throughout the year.
- Cyanotypes of Singapore’s 'National Flowers'. A technique which was used by botanist Anna Atkins mid 19th century and now applied to document the appearance of this unusual tropical flower.