26 July 2013 18:15
Singapore orchids named after VIPs

Meet the newest kid on the block, er, garden: Dendrobium Joe and Jill Biden.



Singapore orchids named after VIPs (© PHOTO: AFP)
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The late Princess Diana has one, so does kung-fu star Jackie Chan. And United States Vice President Joe Biden is the latest dignitary to have an orchid hybrid named after him at the National Orchid Garden in the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

An orchid hybrid - "Dendrobium Joe and Jill Biden" - was on Friday named in honour of Mr Biden and his wife, Dr Jill Biden, who are in Singapore for an official visit from 25 to 27 July.

The practice of naming orchids after VIPs has been in place for decades, with the first christened in 1957 after Anne Black, the wife of London's high commissioner to Singapore at the time.

“Orchid naming is a way to welcome important guests to Singapore. These guests are usually people who have made significant contributions in their respective fields. More than 190 orchid hybrids have been named after visiting heads of state and equivalent VIPs - a unique bilateral diplomatic initiative from the Singapore government,” said Singapore Botanic Gardens director Dr Nigel Taylor.

Dr Taylor added that Singapore is the only country that has a regular programme of naming orchids or plants after visiting heads of state or their wives.

Click on to see which other special guests have orchids named after them.

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