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Chinese New Year plants stick to traditional blooms

Published on Jan 25, 2013 11:36 AM

It may be coming up to the Year of the Snake, but floral nurseries here are sticking to traditional plants or past favourites to celebrate the festive season.

Unlike last year's deluge of dragon- shaped offerings, it is hard to find plants shaped like snakes across the six big nurseries that Life! visited.

Madam Sharon Goh, director of Candy Floriculture in Thomson Road, says that the snake is not considered an auspicious symbol by many and has bad connotations such as jiak zua or "eat snake", which means to skive in Hokkien.

She says: "Last year, everyone wanted plants shaped like dragons or with lucky dragon names because the dragon is seen as an auspicious creature.

Chrysanthemums at World Farm. Instead of snake-themed plant designs, nurseries here are banking on traditional plants such as kumquats, chrysanthemums and pussy willows to usher in the Year of the Snake. -- ST PHOTO: ALAN LIM

"But across religions such as Christianity and Buddhism, there is a negative meaning associated with the snake, so such plants are hard to sell."

Instead, nurseries are relying on traditional plants such as kumquats, chrysanthemums, kalanchoes and phalaenopsis. These are flying off the stands, with some varieties being sold out already despite nurseries only bringing in the plants about 10 days ago.

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