When I first heard the Chinese name of the flower allamanda-“yellow cicada,” it made me wonder why plants must be named after animals. Why did the botanist who named it give it this name?
I often go walking in Luchu Township, Taoyuan County, and I commonly see that people have planted allamanda in their courtyards. This flower blooms all year round. The bright and pleasing flower can be many shades of yellow. My wife, however, dislikes this flower, and refers to it as the “dead man’s flower.” The reason is that people down around Chiayi plant allamanda on tombs in order to beautify their cemeteries. My wife passed a graveyard on the way to school when she was a child, and it always made her uneasy. As a result, she naturally associates allamanda with misfortune.
But can a flower actually be auspicious or inauspicious? It can only be attractive or unattractive. ＠