In Thailand, March through May is the annual flowering season for the popular Mahalab herbaceous bulb plants, leading to a burst of cheerful reddish-orange blooms around my tropical garden.
As mentioned in an earlier blog, “Mahalabs” are tropical bulb plants with large, very light green, spade-shaped leaves that grow approximately 20 inches high. Mahalabs are among Thailand’s most popular bulb plants due not only to their beauty, but also the popular belief that these plants attract wealth and good fortune. This stems from their name, whereby the term “mahalab” translates to “great wealth and fortune” in Thai. During the period spanning the months of March through May, these bulb plants produce reddish-orange blooms atop tall stalks which are shaped like tiny Japanese lanterns:
These orange-reddish blooms are truly adorable, and add lots color to Thai gardens during the annual hot dry (pre-monsoon) season:
Another close-up view of the bright reddish-orange Mahalab blossoms that resemble tiny Japanese lanterns, atop tall green stalks. These attractive blossoms are frequently visited by large numbers of bees during the cooler morning hours.
Amazingly, the flower stalks of Mahalab plants are much taller than the spade-shaped, light green leaves, thereby creating a colorful contrast to these normally low-lying herbaceous bulb plants:
Depending upon the particular bulb and plant, flower stalks start to appear in Bangkok from early March onwards until late April, while the colorful blooms persist until approximately mid-May, when they wind down just as the rainy monsoon begins.
For more information on this amazing plant, please visit my earlier blog on this beloved herbaceous tropical bulb, via the following link:
Readers’ comments are very welcomed! Please note that the name “Malahab” is a local Thai name for this plant. Any suggestions regarding its Latin biological name would be much appreciated.
Happy gardening, wherever you are around the world!
Lat (Ratasit C.)