Posted by: travelrat | June 5, 2016

Travel Theme: Plants

Plants and travel! That’s a good combination. You only need to walk into a municipal park, or even your own garden, if you have one, to see plants from all corners of the globe. For the last 300 years, explorers have been combing the world for ever more exotic species, so that their patrons could ‘out-jones’ their neighbours with even more unusual blooms.

Of course, it didn’t always work like that. Many a time, I’ve witnessed something beautiful, thought ‘I wish I could have it in my garden’ only to find, on further research, that it wouldn’t survive the first frost.

Some stuff, not all of it welcome, has even found its own way here, having either hitched a ride on incoming cargo or by more natural means.

However, I’m going to examine how some plants have been adopted as symbols of their home. Let’s look at flags. Canada and Lebanon both have plants on their flags; a maple leaf for Canada and a cedar tree for Lebanon.

Chirk Castle

Even closer to home, there’s the rose for England, a thistle for Scotland and a daffodil for Wales. A little further out, there’s the shamrock for Ireland and the tulip for the Netherlands. And, surely most of us have watched a performance of ‘The Sound of Music’, and got something in their eye at the catch in the voice of ‘Captain von Trapp’ as he sang ‘Edelweiss’ ?


Many states have adopted an ‘Official State Flower’, such as South Australia’s beautiful Sturt’s Desert Pea. As far as I know, there isn’t an official Australian national flower … but their sports teams play in green and gold, inspired, it is said, by the colours of the wattle tree.

Sturt's Desert Pea

There’s even a few plant-driven destinations on my ‘wish-list’. Japan for the cherry blossoms … and, the biggest plants of all; in the Sequoia National Park!

This week’s contribution to the ‘Travel Theme’, See more at


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