The “Yellow Star” trees, which can be seen blossoming with aromatic, yellow flowers from July to October, have been chosen to symbolise the reign of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, not only because yellow represents the Chakri Dynasty, but also because it is the colour of Monday – the day the King was born.
Though the trees can grow up to 15 metres high and spread a fair bit, the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department (DNP) says they will not pose any harm to motorists if they are grown along roads. Besides, their roots systems are not complicated, while the trees do not shed their leaves too much. Hence, the DNP has called on all provincial authorities to plant these trees near the city halls and other important sites.
The trees were once thought to be peculiar to Thailand, as they were only found on Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai province. The species was discovered by English botanist WG Craib, who named them Schoutenia peregrina, cited as a sub-species of S glomerata King found growing in the Malay Peninsula and Borneo.
“Yellow Stars” can now be found not just in Thailand, but also in neighbouring Cambodia. They naturally grow along rivers and lower plains above sea level not less than 200 metres, both in the lower North, Northeast and the Central plains.
Apart from being called “Yellow Stars”, these trees are called Nam Phueng (honey) or Ruang Phueng (honeycomb) in the North and Central plains and Kasin from Nakhon Phanom to Sakon Nakhon provinces in the Northeast.
On April 25, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha led provincial governors to receive the trees from His Majesty King, so they could be planted under the One Province, One Road in Honour of His Majesty project, which is part of several projects organised to mark the coronation.
Forestry agencies, including the Royal Forestry Department, have also distributed saplings to the public.