Orchid hybrid named after Chinese President and wife

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, his wife Ho Ching, President Xi Jinping and Madam Peng Liyuan appreciating the Papilionanda Xi Jinping-Peng Liyuan, an orchid hybrid named after the visiting dignitaries, at the Botanic Gardens. PM Lee and Ms Ho hostin
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, his wife Ho Ching, President Xi Jinping and Madam Peng Liyuan appreciating the Papilionanda Xi Jinping-Peng Liyuan, an orchid hybrid named after the visiting dignitaries, at the Botanic Gardens. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, his wife Ho Ching, President Xi Jinping and Madam Peng Liyuan appreciating the Papilionanda Xi Jinping-Peng Liyuan, an orchid hybrid named after the visiting dignitaries, at the Botanic Gardens. PM Lee and Ms Ho hostin
PM Lee and Ms Ho hosting Mr Xi and Madam Peng to a four-course lunch at Corner House in the Botanic Gardens.PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF LEE HSIEN LOONG

A tall orchid hybrid in the Singapore Botanic Gardens now bears the names of China's President and First Lady.

President Xi Jinping and Madam Peng Liyuan yesterday visited the Gardens for a ceremony to name the Papilionanda Xi Jinping-Peng Liyuan, accompanied by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching.

The National Parks Board, in a Facebook post, described the orchid as "a vigorous and free-flowering hybrid" that produces strong and upright flower sprays, which are capable of reaching about 40cm long and bear about seven flowers each.

The petals are light pink with fine red spots, and each bloom is complemented by a prominent lip that is orangey red with dark red markings and an orangey yellow centre.

PM Lee and Ms Ho later hosted Mr Xi and Madam Peng to a four-course lunch at Corner House in the Gardens. The menu was chosen from chef Jason Tan's signature dishes.

Corner House was built in 1910 and named after renowned botanist E. J. H. Corner, who lived there and was assistant director of the Gardens from 1929 to 1945.

PM Lee later said in a Facebook post that he had a fruitful meeting with Mr Xi.

"Singapore enjoys warm and substantial ties with China, and President Xi's visit has further deepened the relationship," he wrote.

Rachel Au-Yong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 08, 2015, with the headline 'Orchid hybrid named after Chinese President and wife'. Print Edition | Subscribe