The monsoon climate in Thailand has three seasons (dry/cool, dry/hot, wet/warm) so using words like ‘spring’ is not accurate. Still, right now, it feels like spring! The hot/dry season, also known as the flowering season, begins in mid February. Loads of blossom and young leaves currently emerge at Dokmai Garden outside Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.
The salad fig (Ficus lacor aka Ficus infectoria, Moraceae) has beautiful red young leaves which you may see for sale in the local Chiang Mai food markets (named ‘phak hueat’ or ‘liap’). It is sometimes misnamed F. virens, but young leaves of that species are green, not red. Right now you can see it in its full glory at the Dokmai Garden parking.
Text & Photo: Eric Danell