The national flower of Malaysia is the hibiscus, or bunga raya. The flower is found in abundance throughout the country, and for this very reason, was chosen to be the national flower (in 1960) by Malaysia's first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman. There are many varieties of the hibiscus, but the five-petaled Hibiscus rosa sinensis was chosen above the others, as the most symbolically relevant. The five petals of the bunga raya symbolise the Rukunegara (the Five Principles of Nationhood), while the colour red represents courage. It is believed that the flower first arrived in Malaysia via trade from its original home in the Far East sometime before the 12th century.
Did you know?? : The national flower, bunga raya, is known for its medicinal properties. The roots of the plant are used as a cure for fever and other ailments, while the juice obtained from the leaves and roots is said to be effective in relieving skin eruptions and glandular troubles. Also, the petals were commonly used as cosmetics to darken and highlight women's eyebrows.