Tropical Flowers in Cambodia
Below are some common tropical flowers growing in Cambodia with Khmer and English names and short descriptions.
1. ផ្កាឆោមឆា (Pka Chhorm Chha) – Royal Poinciana or Flamboyant. The scientific name is Delonix regia. Royal poinciana is a flowering plant which often grown as ornamental tree along the city streets in Phnom Penh. In the period of May to Sep, the tree is covered with exuberant clusters of flame-red flowers. Beside this, Royal poinciana provides good shades along the city streets and decorates the city with its beautiful flowers.
2. ផ្កាដកឃឹម (Pka Dok Kheum) – Ixora Coccinea. It is a genus of Rubiaceae family, consist of tropical evergreens and shrubs. Native to tropical Asia. It’s also known as West India jasmine. The species have various colors of pink, yellow, red, and orange.
3. ផ្ការាសី៨ទិស (Pka Reasei Brambei Teus) – Crown of Thorns (Euphorbea milii). The Crown of Thorns full grown at about 1 meter high, it has dark green stems and resemble as Cactus with thorns cover the entire plant, except the flowers. It has long spindly arms that reach out in all directions. The flower grow out in cluster on top of each long stems with many colors as pink, yellow, red, white and bright green. The plant is growing well under direct sunlight.
4. ផ្កាក្រដាស (Pka Kror Das) – Bougainvillae . Pka Kror Das in Khmer means ‘paper flower’. Bougainvillae is a genus of flowering plants native to South America. They are growing as thorny, woody vines up to 12m tall. The actual flowers are small of white or bright yellow, but each cluster has three flowers and surrounded by three bracts with many colors including pink, purple, red, orange, white, and yellow.
5. ផ្កាជើងគោ (Pka Cheung Ko) – Bauhinia flower. Pka Cheung Ko is Khmer name which mean ‘cow leg flower’. The plant got this name because of the shape of its leaves that look like the cow’s leg. Bauhinia is a tropical tree, it grows with large thick leaves which provide wide shade and striking purplish purple flowers. The flowers are fragrant, bloom from August to March. It’s a kind of ornamental tree of Phnom Penh city streets.
6. ផ្ការំយោល (Pka Rumyol) – Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos). Hibiscus or Rose mallow or Swamp-rose mallow is a cold hardy perennial wet land plant that can grow in large colonies. They exist in numerous forms and petal colors range from white to deep rose, hot pink, red, and orange.
7. ផ្ការំចេក (Pka Rum Chek) – Lobster Claw Flower (Heliconia rostrata). The plant is native to South America (Peru and Ecuador). It’s related to banana and birds, the leaves are similar to banana leaves, the plant has downward facing flowers. Some other species grow in the upright position, their cup-shaped flower storing water for birds.
8. ផ្កាផ្គរលាន់ (Pka Pko Loarn) – Equestrian Starflower (Hippeastrum equestre). The plant native to tropical America. Flowers bloom from 2 to 6 across on a hollow stem, usually up to 50cm tall. It’s very popular to be grown along the entrance to the houses in Cambodia countryside.
9. ផ្កាទំហូ (Pka Tum Hu) – Globe Amaranth Flower (Gomphrena globosa). It’s an all-time flowering plant, grow to about 80cm high, blooming clover-like flowers, growing in groups on long stalks. It has white and violet color. The flower is used in additional decoration of jasmine flower garland.