Types of Flowers in Malaysia

Malaysia supports more than 20,000 species of flowers, with many growing in Sarawak and Sabah on the island previously known as Borneo. Malaysia has two major land areas. The land area people think of is at the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula. However, this part only accounts for around 50 percent of Malaysia's land area. The other half is on the Indonesian island of Kalimantan, known previously as Borneo. The two parts of Malaysia, which lie just north of the Equator, are squarely in the tropics.


Rafflesia is a genus with 16 known species. In Malaysia, this flower grows primarily in Sarawak and Sabah. The rafflesia is a parasitic flower that produces no leaves, stems, or roots and contains no chlorophyll. This flower grows on the Tetrastigma vine roots. It is only visible when it is ready to reproduce. At that point, the rafflesia will form a cabbage-like growth on the vine that will burst open after around nine months to form a large flower with five petals. The flowers smell like rotting flesh and are called "corpse flower" by indigenous people. The smell attracts flies, which help pollinate the flowers. The largest known rafflesia grows to over 3 feet wide and weighs as much as 15 lbs. Rafflesia grows in shady parts of the Malaysian forest floor.


Malaysia supports many varieties of hibiscus. Hibiscus ranges in size from a few feet tall to around 16 feet tall, depending on the variety. Hibiscus flowers have many colors, including white, red, pink, wine and yellow. Hibiscus flowers, when fertilized, produce edible fruit. Roselle, or Hibiscus sabdariffa L., is commonly grown both as an ornamental flower and as a source of fiber and as an herb. Hibiscus grows well in almost any type of soil but does best in acidic soils. Hibiscus grows best in partial or full sun but can also do fine in partial shade.


Ixora grows in acidic soils similar to hibiscus. Ixora grows on a bush with clusters of hibiscus-like flowers that can range be pinkish-red, yellow or white. Ixora grows to between 10 and 15 feet tall with a spread of between 4 and 10 feet. This plant flowers throughout the year. When fertilized, the flowers turn into an inconspicuous round, purple fruit. Ixora, like hibiscus, grows best in either full or partial sun.

Keywords: Malaysian flowers, Malaysian horticulture, flowers in Malaysia

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for National Public Radio, the Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.