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Noon Edition

Hibiscus Heaven

The national flower of both Jamaica and Malaysia is the hibiscus. I have never been to Jamaica, but in Kuala Lumpur I saw a magnificent public garden dedicated to displaying hundreds of species of this tropical flower. Of course, because it is so close to the equator, it is always summer in Malaysia and so hibiscus plants flower year round.

When I visited the hibiscus garden I was amazed to see the number of varieties that I had never seen anywhere else. There are even lamp posts in the city of KL, with the light on the top of the poles fashioned to look like huge red hibiscus blooms.

In the public garden there were climbing hibiscus covering stucco walls, miniature hibiscus, and some large hibiscus with the tiniest flowers imaginable. They even had bushes with huge flowers both single and double, in a range of delicious colors.

Mass Of Color

Similar colors and varieties were massed together in beds, but there were varied deigns that used combinations of plants to good effect. From the excellent descriptions that were provided, I learned that many were native species but there were also some rare hybrids.

The extensive garden had been terraced so that there were varied levels in the terrain and there were also fountains, pergolas, and wide paths for visitors to stroll among the plantings.

"Hotter Than Hell"

Since the temperatures never seem to go below 95 degrees F in that part of the world, I heard many European visitors exclaiming that it was hotter than hell. I felt that I was in Hibiscus heaven.

Staff in hotels in Kuala Lumpur will direct visitors to the famous Hibiscus Garden and the Orchid Garden which is next to it. Both can be seen in the same visit.

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