The National Flower, the Single Chaconia, also called Wild Poinsettia or Pride of Trinidad and Tobago is a flaming red forest flower. Belonging to the family Rubiaceae, this flower owes its botanical name, Warszewiczia Coccinea, to the Polish-Lithuanian plant collector, Joseph Warszewicz. This flower has witnessed our entire history and can be said to represent the imperishability of life and the continuity of our nation.
The Chaconia, easily identifiable by its long sprays of magnificent vermilion, usually blooms around the anniversary of our Independence, August 31. With its colour matching the flaming red of our National Flag and the shield on the Coat of Arms and bearing the same symbolism, the Chaconia harmonizes beautifully with the other National Emblems. History and circumstance led to the Single Chaconia being chosen as our National Flower, however, the Double Chaconia (Warszewiczia cv “David Auyong”) which was discovered on the edge of the forest off the Arima-Blanchisseuse Road, is indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago.
The Single Chaconia flower is used as the official National Flower, and the Double Chaconia is displayed on the 25 cent coin. The Double Chaconia cannot be found anywhere else on earth, making it exclusive to Trinidad and Tobago. However, it is officially the Single Chaconia that is the National Flower of Trinidad and Tobago. The Single Chaconia was picked as the National Flower during Trinidad and Tobago’s Independence in 1962.