Orchid named after Mr Lee Kuan Yew matches Vanda Kwa Geok Choo

Orchid named after Mr Lee Kuan Yew matches Vanda Kwa Geok Choo
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong being presented the Aranda Lee Kuan Yew at Sri Temasek on March 24. With him are (left to right) Simon Tan, Assistant Director of National Orchid Garden, National Parks Board, David Lim, manager of the National Orchid Garden, National Parks Board and Kenneth Er, CEO of National Parks Board.

SINGAPORE - An orchid has been named after Singapore's first prime minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who died on Monday at the age of 91.

A specimen of the Aranda Lee Kuan Yew was presented to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today at Sri Temasek in the Istana, where Mr Lee's casket now lies.

Minister of National Development Khaw Boon Wan said in a blog post today that the flower matches the Vanda Kwa Geok Choo, an orchid named after Mr Lee's late wife.

"The match is not only in terms of colour, form and stature, but both hybrids also share a few species in both their lineages," Mr Khaw wrote.

The Aranda Lee Kuan Yew, bred by National Orchid Gardens nursery manager David Lim, produces flower sprays of up to 10 flowers each. It has bright golden yellow petals with a green tint and a tinge of white at the base.

Mr Khaw revealed that NParks had been looking out for a suitable orchid hybrid to name after Mr Lee, whom he called the Chief Gardener of Singapore's Garden City.

"The making of a Garden City was a key element in Mr Lee's development strategy. It differentiates us from other cities, setting a benchmark for other cities to emulate. None of this would have been possible, if not for Mr Lee's vision and single-minded commitment to creating the best possible living environment for all Singaporeans to enjoy," Mr Khaw wrote.

The Aranda Lee Kuan Yew can be seen by visitors at the ongoing private wake in the main hall of Sri Temasek. Members of the public can view it when Mr Lee's body lies in state in Parliament House from Wednesday to Saturday.

huizhen@sph.com.sg

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