Siam Tulip (Dok Kra Jiao)

The Siam Tulip or Summer Tulip (Curcuma alismatifolia) (Thai: ปทุมา, pathuma, or ดอกกระเจียว, dok krajiao) is a tropical plant native to northern Thailand and Cambodia. Despite its name, it is not related to the tulip, but to the various ginger species such as turmeric. It can grow as an indoor plant, and is also sold as cut flowers.

One of the most famous wild fields of Siam Tulips is in the Pah Hin Ngam National Park in the Chaiyaphum province of Thailand. Kra Jiao or Siam Tulip is local annual plant, which found normally from Lan Hin Ngam to Sud Paen Din Viewpoint. The viola pink Siam Tulip will bloom at the beginning of rainy-from June to August.

The unique geographical landscape of Chaiyaphum Province in the northeast of Thailand gives rise to a range of natural attractions of exceptional beauty. Of these, the fields of pinkish-purple Siam Tulip, or “Dok Kra Jiao” (Thai: ดอกกระเจียว), come in to full bloom in the early part of the rainy season. Held over two months each year, the Blooming Kra Jiao Flower Festival celebrates the “Dok Kra Jiao” flower which blooms at this time of the year. The flowers grow in abundance in Pah Hin Ngam (Forests of Beautiful Rock) National Park which hosts this annual festival. Known as the “Siam tulip”, the sight of these pinkish-purple flowers in bloom is a wonderful spectacle.

Also commonly called ‘pathuma’, ‘bua sawan’ (heaven lotus), or ‘bua bok’ (the land lotus), the Siam Tulip is a member of the ginger genera – Curcuma or Zingiberaceae. The unusual form, bright colour and long-lasting quality of the Siam Tulip has made it an increasingly popular choice for floral decorations. It is in high demand and is currently being cultivated in the form of cuttings or ornamental plants for local consumption as well as for export overseas, predominantly to Japan and the Netherlands.

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