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Common Flowers of Malaysia

Malaysia that boasts of the world famous tourist attractions is also covered with colorful and spectacular flowers. It is projected that there are nearly 20,000 species of different flowering plants in Malaysia and the majority of which are found on the rich soils of Sarawak and Sabah.

Rafflesia Arnoldii

This is the solitary and largest fresh flower in the world. Being a parasitic flower, the flower can be easily found growing on the mountain slopes in certain areas of South East Asia like Peninsular Malaysia. The flower was first discovered by Dr Joseph Arnold and Sir Stamford Raffles; the European discovers in 1816 and was named as Rafflesia Arnoldii in their honor. Apart from being the largest bloom of the world, it is a very baffling and strange plant. The plant belongs to the Rafflesiaceae family together with Hydnoraceae and Mitrastemonaceae, they comprise the Rafflesiales order.

The Rafflesia Arnoldii does not have any specific flowering season. The flower has not leaves, stem or root. Apart from this each flower produces a seed which can only germinate if it succeeds in accommodating itself in the tissues of Tetrastigma plant that can be found in the rainforest soils. This is the main reason for the flower to be floor bound. This flower gets its food from the Tetrastigma plant by extending fine filaments in its tissues. The productive of this flower that depends exclusively on the Tetrastigma plants would explain why this flower is very rare.

The plant only opens to a flower after taking nearly 9 months to mature into a cabbage sized bud. The petals of the flower are usually five and sometimes six which are red in colour and are covered with several lighter colored spots. When the flower has opened fully, it gives off a foul odor that attracts small insects like flies. The flower would only last for nearly five to six days as the petals would blacken and the flower would wither. The flies do the great task of transferring the pollen of this flower from one flower to another. Although these flowers are estimated to grow up to one meter in diameter the flowers are generally half the size due to the irregular monster sized bloom. The Rafflesia Arnoldii has also made its way in the Guiness Book of Records as it stretched nearly 91cms in diameter, which was nearly 3/4 inches thick and was around 7kgs in weight.


Hibiscus also called as Bunga Raya had originated in China and around the Pacific islands, but they are found throughout the tropics in the world. The Hibiscus is the national flower of Malaysia and it is called as the Queen of Tropical Flowers as they signify bravery and peace. The hibiscus flower species belong to the Malvaceae cotton family. This flower is found to grow throughout the country and does not seem to gain much attraction. It is a plant that hardly has any problems and it flowers throughout the year. The delicate petals of the flower are fine and light and are found in various colors that range from deep red to light pink. The flower blooms in the morning and usually starts wilting by afternoon. Although the flower lasts for a day or two, there are new buds that open the next day so you find the plant always covered with flowers.


Ixora or Jejarum is among the best known shrub gardens in Malaysia. The flower Jejarum in the local language means a needle flower as the buds look like needles. The nectar of the flower being very sweet it is very much attracted by small insects and butterflies. The flower actually originates in the Asia and Pacific. The flower blooms throughout the year and is found in a variety of colors and the most common is the bright red. The flower also makes a good hedge.


Although the Bougainvillea flower is a native of South America it is largely found in Malaysia, which is famous as an ornamental plant and used for landscaping purposes. In Malaysia the flower is called as Bunga Kertas or Bunga Kekwa that means paper flower. It is estimated that there are more than 250 species of Bougainvillea flowers. These flowers bloom all the year round and are found in different colors. Although the flower is actually white-yellow in colour, the main property which makes it attractive is the layer of bracts.