Vesak Flower – Sabaragamuwa Provincial Flower
The scientific name of the Udawadiya flower or well known Vesak Flower is “DENROBIUM MACCARTHIAE”. This has been given the name of Mrs. Thomas McCarthy. Sir Thomas McCarthy was the British Governor General of Ceylon at the time of 1864.
This Vesak Flower grows on the trunks of trees in the tropical lowland rainforests. Hence, this can be mostly seen in Adam’s Peak and Sinharaja forest.
There is no tap – root in this plant. This is an epiphyte plant which belongs to the family of “Orchidaceae”. This is comprised of two types of roots i.e. clasping roots and aerial roots which grow on the tree trunk and hang down in a pendulous manner. These are growing as a mass of roots and they are whitish purple in colour. The leaves exhibit thickness as they store an excess amount of water and the length of a leave extent from 4 to 8 cm.
The Vesak Flowers bloom in shade of purple. There are 10-15 flowers in a tiny branch of this plant and they will not be faded for a period of one month. Pollination of this plant is done by insects and seeds are spread by wind. This plant grows through a fungus – based process.
This Udawadiya may have been named “Vesak Flower” as these are mainly bloom during the month of May, in which the birth of Lord Buddha is commemorated. This can be mostly seen around Adam’s Peak is also a significant.
Due to the fact of environmental pollution caused by increasing population and unsustainable practices of the interested people, the “Vesak Flower” is increasingly endangered.
Vesak Flower has been included in to the list of endangered flora and fauna by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and it has been included in the Red Data Book too.
The Vesak Flower has been selected as the provincial flower of the Sabaragamuwa Province by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in declaration of the provincial flower in 2005.