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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1240: International Symposium on Wild Flowers and Native Ornamental Plants

Ornamental plants for Thai gardening based on Thai beliefs

Authors:   K. Krisanapook, S. Siriphanich, T. Havananda
Keywords:   auspicious plants, indigenous plant, superstitious, Thai culture
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1240.5
Abstract:
According to Thai beliefs, the function of ornamental plants in Thai gardens is not only to provide beauty, but also to bring auspiciousness. Good fortune, well-being, fame, and prosperity are things for which believers hope by growing certain species. This kind of belief originates either in Thailand, which could vary between regions of the country, or from other countries. Thus, auspicious plants in Thai belief are either indigenous or introduced plants. The auspiciousness of most ornamental plants often comes from favorable meanings of their names. In addition, some plants are considered auspicious because of their characters. For example, pomegranate is commonly grown as an ornamental plant for its Thai name “Tubtim”, which means the precious gemstone ruby, referring to its seeds, which are surrounded by deep-red pulp. Its large number of seeds is interpreted as bearing many offspring. Many Thai people still believe in auspicious plants and try to use them in their gardens, while avoiding inauspicious plants as much as possible.

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