Mahalab Bulb Plants: Flowering Season

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.

Orange-reddish blooms of Mahalab bulb plants in Bangkok, Thailand. These look like small, lovely Japanese lanterns.

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:

Awesome Mahalab flowers in my front garden.

These orange-reddish blooms are truly adorable, and add lots color to Thai gardens during the annual hot dry (pre-monsoon) season:

A close-up view of the bright reddish-orange Mahalab blossoms.

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.

The bright reddish-orange blooms of the Mahalab bulb plants resemble tiny Japanese lanterns.

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:

A full view of Mahalab flower stalks.

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.

Mahalab flowers add a bright, cheerful touch to my tropical garden.

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.

Mahalab bulb plants produce orange-reddish blooms shaped like tiny Japanese lanterns during March to May in Bangkok, Thailand.

Happy gardening, wherever you are around the world!

Lat (Ratasit C.)


About Lat (Ratasit C.)

Greetings! I'm a world traveler, a food connoisseur, an avid gardener who loves gardening, and an enthusiast in the Buddhist dharma of mindfulness, wisdom, and peace. Find me on Twitter at or also visit my Travel and Food Blog at and join my culinary journey. Also visit for a glimpse of my spiritual journey. Welcome!
This entry was posted in Bulb Plants, Herbal Plants. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Mahalab Bulb Plants: Flowering Season

  1. Pingback: ‘Mahachok’: Lovely Tropical Bulb Plants in Thailand With Fragrant White Blooms | Lat's Gardening Blog

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