top of page

Santan

acrylic and ink on paper

2" x 2.5"

Santan, or ixora, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Rubiaceae. These flowering shrubs are very common in public landscapes as they can easily be turn into a topiary and bloom all year round. The santan flower, aside from being a constant fixture in a Filipino garden, holds a unique place in the hearts of many Filipino children like myself.

 

Santan flowers' style is this needle-like structure inside the flower's stem that can be pulled out. We would often pick up those little flowers and meticulously pull the style out. A tiny drop of sweet nectar would come out the bottom of the stem and we all would lick it. I can still remember the excitement I felt tasting the subtle sweetness of the nectar. We were like little bees harvesting the flower's nectar.

Once the style is successfully removed, there is a hole in middle of the petals where you can easily connect the petals to each other and create a chain of flowers. We would carefully make a flower crown and bracelets and dance around pretending we were fairies.

bottom of page