Check out our publications and get to learn more about Singapore’s rich natural heritage! These books are available at the Gardens Shop located in Singapore Botanic Gardens, as well as the Gardens Shop Online, unless stated otherwise.
Flora of Singapore: Checklist and bibliography
This publication is a compilation of information on all species of bryophytes, lycophytes, ferns, cone-bearing plants and flowering plants that are found in the wild (native, naturalised and casual) in Singapore, based on a re-evaluation and synthesis of the relevant publications from the last 200 years, along with new information from recent surveys and original taxonomic research. It complements the Flora of Singapore series by providing bibliographic references and conservation assessments for all species in a concise manner, thereby also acting as a valuable resource for research on plant families that are still pending inclusion in Flora of Singapore.
Flora of Singapore, Volume 1: Introduction
This book is the introduction to the multi-volume Flora of Singapore series, with chapters on the history of collecting and taxonomic research in Singapore, the relationships of the plants of Singapore to the wider region, the vegetation of Singapore and conservation in Singapore.
Individual chapters from the book may also be downloaded from Flora of Singapore.
Flora of Singapore, Volume 7: Poales
This book contains the Poales with floristic accounts of the families Typhaceae, Syridaceae, Eriocaulaceae, Mayacaceae, Cyperaceae, Flagellariaceae and Poaceae.
Individual family accounts from the book may also be downloaded from Flora of Singapore.
Flora of Singapore, Volume 13: Gentianales
This book contains the Gentianales with floristic accounts of the families Rubiaceae, Gentianaceae, Loganiaceae, Gelsemiaceae and Apocynaceae.
Individual family accounts from the book may also be downloaded from Flora of Singapore.
Celebrating Our City in Nature
This book is a compilation of award-winning photographs from the 2017 and 2019 Singapore Garden Photographer of the Year competitions. It features amazing photos taken by citizen photographers of our green and natural spaces, and the biodiversity that lives in them. The book captures what living in a City in Nature means, where nature is integrated into the urban landscape, and people enjoy a highly liveable environment and a strong connection with nature.
A Field Guide to the Native Garden @ HortPark: An Urban Oasis of the Native Flora and Fauna of Singapore
The Native Plant Garden at the HortPark is designed to promote knowledge and use of the thousands of plants indigenous to Singapore. This pictorial guidebook includes scientific data as well as horticultural and usage information on the 107 species found in the Garden.
A Guide to the Bees of Singapore
By Zestin W.W. Soh and John S. Ascher
Our City in Nature would not be complete without the array of beautiful bee species that serve as some of our most important pollinators. A collaboration between the National Parks Board and the National University of Singapore, this guide reveals the remarkable diversity of bees found in various habitats across Singapore, from tiny honey-producing stingless bees to giant wood-excavating carpenter bees.
A Guide to the Sculptures of the Singapore Botanic Gardens
By Grace Lee, Ada Davis, Tan Miao Yuan and Tan Wan Xin
The Singapore Botanic Gardens’ landscapes are a living gallery for nearly 40 sculptures. These are made from diverse materials and created by local sculptors as well as artists from around the world. Many have haven generously donated and mark partnerships with nations, corporations, communities and individuals, making them an important slice of the Gardens’ history. Explore these works of art with this first published guide to the sculptures of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
A Selection of Plants for Greening of Waterways and Waterbodies in the Tropics
By Jean W.H. Yong; Tan Puay Yok, et al.
Written by specialists, the information in the book can be applied to tropical and sub-tropical countries, where the quality of waterways is an important issue. The authors discuss all aspects of plant selection, whether for submerging, floating, freshwater or marine use. Supplemented by photos, the book discusses how the choice of plants can help improve water quality and aid maintenance of water sites and adjacent land, in addition to providing habitat for wildlife or other purposes.
A Guide to the Common Epiphytes and Mistletoes of Singapore
By Jean W.H. Yong, James Wang Wei, Joanne Y.T. Khew, Sheue Chiou Rong and Wong Wei San
This book is the first to profile the unique epiphytic plant communities found in Singapore. The first section of the book provides a concise scientific introduction to the biology of epiphytes and mistletoes, including their taxonomy, life-cycles, adaptive strategies and interactions with their hosts and arboreal fauna. The second section serves as a field guide for identifying all of the common epiphytes and mistletoes found in Singapore.
Adventure with Plants: Sara at the Evolution Garden
This 20-page activity book brings young readers from ages 5 to 7 on an adventure to the Evolution Garden in Singapore Botanic Gardens. From colouring to interactive activities, this part-colour story book allows them to follow Sara the Botanicosaurus on a fun trip to discover more about plants.
A Review of Garden Bird Watch (2015–2019)
By Low Bing Wen, Joy Wong Shu Yee, Linda Goh and Kenneth Er
This book is a review of the results and trends of birds spotted over the past five years, contributed by NParks’ over 1,100 dedicated citizen scientists who have participated in Garden Bird Watch from 2015 to 2019. These surveys help us to understand if our habitat enhancement and restoration efforts are benefitting our garden birds. This is the first book in Singapore that shows the distribution of specific birds across many of Singapore’s parks, gardens, and other green spaces.
Available in e-book format only.
Download it as a PDF in low resolution (6.6 MB) or high resolution (13.1 MB).
A Selection Of Plants For Green Roofs In Singapore (2nd Edition)
Edited by Tan Puay Yok and Angelia Sia
Rooftops have often been referred to as the “last urban frontier” of cities, in the sense that they represent the last significant remaining space to be exploited. Given the social, economic and environmental contributions of urban greenery to the quality of life in cities and the realisation that cities more often than not lack sufficient greenery, greening of rooftops is therefore a logical, effective, and high impact way to re-inject the much-needed greenery in urban settings. The challenge is to do so in a cost-effective manner without compromising the primary functions of roofs. As we seek to use such technology in the tropics, adaptation of the technology to suit the climatic conditions of the tropics and the appropriate selection of plants are key factors of success. This handbook presents a selection of plants that are suitable for green roofs in Singapore.
A Walk Through History – A Guide to the Singapore Botanic Gardens
By Nigel Taylor and Ada Davis
This is a succinct guide to Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. At 88 pages and A5 sized, it is easily portable for visitors interested in exploring the heritage and modern features of the Gardens. Also included is a pull-out map marked with recommended routes to help visitors plan their visit.
Birds of Our Wetlands – A Journey Through Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
This book takes readers on a photographic journey to discover the myriad of beautiful birds seen at the Reserve and the surrounding areas. With contributions from NParks staff and volunteers, avid birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts, this commemorative coffee table book is a testament to the Reserve’s successful conservation efforts through the years.
Carbon Storage and Sequestration by Urban Trees in Singapore
A publication by the Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology (CUGE), it details research done on the estimated amount of carbon stored by trees in Singapore. Such data may be useful for assessing the role trees planted in urban areas play in reducing greenhouse gases.
Caterpillars of Singapore’s Butterflies
By Horace Tan and Khew Sin Khoon
This book is the first ever effort to focus on the early stages of butterflies in a nature book specifically for Singapore. Featured in the book are 80 caterpillars of butterfly species that are relatively common in Singapore.
Every butterfly species goes through complete metamorphosis, which consists of four distinct stages: egg, caterpillar, pupa, adult. This book provides details on the biology of each of the early stages, including terminology; useful pointers for observing caterpillars in the field; documentation, including photos, of each development stage of the 80 chosen species; as well as landscaping options for parks and gardens to attract butterflies.
Produced annually by the Centre for Urban Greenery & Ecology (CUGE), this award-winning publication covers topics on greening and ecology of the urban environment. Each issue is a compilation of articles written by well-known experts and professionals from greenery-related disciplines like arboriculture, architecture, landscape architects and more.
Price: $15 per issue
Produced in collaboration with multiple industry stakeholders, the CUGE Standards aim to provide guidelines on various topics in the landscape and horticulture industry.
Price: $10 each
Dragonflies of Our Parks and Gardens
By Robin Ngiam
Dragonflies can be found in great densities in Singapore and around the region. This book describes the importance of these fascinating, brilliantly-coloured insects and the roles they play in our parks, gardens and nature areas.
The book offers suggestions where these beautiful creatures can be observed, as well as how you can get involved and how to create your own dragonfly habitat. It also comes with a handy pull-out identification guide of 45 commonly-seen species, for easy reference when you are out in the field.
Footprints on an Island – Rediscovering Pulau Ubin
By Chua Ee Kiam, Choo Mui Eng and Wong Tuan Wah
This book documents the natural and cultural heritage of one of Singapore’s best kept secrets, Pulau Ubin. This heritage is captured through the histories of the island’s residents, and illustrated through a collection of beautiful photographs that showcase the lives of its pioneers, culturally significant features found on the island, and its rich biodiversity. Readers will be transported through time to understand not only Pulau Ubin’s past, but the need to conserve this special place for generations of Singaporeans into the future.
Gardens of Perpetual Summer
By Bonnie Tinsley
Produced to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, this beautifully illustrated book not only provides interesting insights into the early beginnings of the Gardens, but also the people who were involved one way or another in turning the Gardens into an internationally-renowned tourist attraction and botanical institution.
Gardens of the Istana
By Dr Tan Wee Kiat, Wong Tuan Wah, Koh Soon Kiong, Aileen Lau
Commissioned by the President as a tribute to Singapore’s greening campaign, this beautifully illustrated book covers the history of the grounds, famous personalities who have played a role in Singapore’s development as well as the variety of plants and animal life that can be seen on the manicured grounds of the presidential residence.
The Istana has remained iconic as the seat of government from the colonial era through independent Singapore. Its setting was first cast in the 19th century when land was acquired to build a Government House, befitting an official residence for the Governor. Today, the Istana, as renamed, is an official residence of the President of the Republic of Singapore.
The book complements two others in the series, Birds Seen at the Istana and Trees of the Istana, all of which offer a look at the biodiversity found at the Istana.
Hidden Havens: Exploring Marine Life in Singapore’s Marinas
By Chou Loke Ming, Lionel Ng, Toh Kok Ben, Cheo Pei Rong, Ng Juat Ying and Karenne Tun
The waters in Singapore’s marinas are rich in biodiversity. This book offers a glimpse of the marine life thriving in one of Singapore’s urban habitats.
Available in e-book format only.
Download it as a PDF in low resolution (3.9 MB) or high resolution (16.8 MB).
Hornbills in the City
By Marc Cremades and Ng Soon Chye
Using never seen before photos, the book documents the return of the magnificent Oriental Pied Hornbills to Singapore after disappearing from our shores more than a century before, and the efforts put in by a group of dedicated researchers from various organisations to ensure the long-term survival of the birds in our country.
Living in a Garden: The Greening of Singapore
By Timothy Auger
Using many lovely photos, including those from the archives, this book shares how Singapore started on its greening journey back in 1963, and how Singapore transformed from a Garden City into a City in a Garden. It also introduces many of the fascinating plants and animals that live there. It shows how everyone can enjoy nature in Singapore, and play a part in sustaining it.
Migratory Birds of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve – a handy guide to 108 species of migratory birds
Migratory Birds of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve features full-colour photographs and identifying information of the migratory birds. The book also contains little known facts and trivia. For instance: did you know that the Bar-tailed Godwit can fly continuously for more than 10,000 km within eight days?
You can find out more about this and other birds by picking up a copy at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and other nature reserves.
My Green Space: Indoor Gardening Made Simple
By Ang Wee Foong and Lily Chen
Everyone can garden. Indoor gardening, in particular, presents exciting opportunities to incorporate greenery into our daily lives. The book provides not just the basics of gardening, but also a list of plants suitable for indoor environments and 21 do-it-yourself gardening projects that come complete with step-by-step instructions.
Native Orchids of Singapore: Diversity, Identification and Conservation
By Yam Tim Wing
Singapore used to have more than 220 species of native orchids. Most of these have disappeared because of development. Fortunately, several species can still be found in Singapore. The book is intended to serve two purposes: as a guide for orchid-enthusiasts when they look for wild orchids and identify them in their natural habitats; and as a practical guide to conserve tropical orchids, especially the epiphytes.
Our Fragile Rainforest
By Dr Leong Tzi Ming and James Gan Wan Ming
Rainforests play a crucial role in regulating the world's climate. As a small city nation, we are fortunate to have preserved and reaped the rewards of her substantial rainforest habitat. Conservation of this habitat is crucial for the creatures that it is home to, and also benefits and enriches our lives in various ways, such as through recreation.
To understand the type of plants and animals present in our rainforests as an indication of the relative health of this habitat, a dedicated team of surveyors, comprising staff from National Parks Board and volunteers from HSBC Singapore, devoted themselves to a three-year ecological study on rainforest biodiversity from 2008 to 2010. The book, sponsored by HSBC, is a compilation of the results of the survey and highlights the rich biodiversity of Singapore's rainforests.
Rainforest in the City
By Chua Ee Kiam
This book highlights the natural heritage found in the nature reserves of Bukit Timah and the Central Catchment. It includes more than 400 images taken over the three-year span of the project. Readers will be taken into the deep recesses of these forests, to observe their inhabitants at various stages of their life cycles – both in the day and in the night.
Sara Goes Carbon Footprinting
Tag along with Sara the Botanicosaurus to learn what a carbon footprint is, as well as how to participate in efforts to save the earth! With 20 pages of full colour, this story book hopes to teach the young ones to decrease the size of their carbon footprints for the benefit of future generations.
Secrets of the Swamp
By Neil Humphreys with illustrations by Cheng Puay Koon
Three brothers are supposed to go to a mangrove swamp to take pictures of horseshoe crabs for a school project, but they really just want to have some fun. They end up having more than just fun – they have the adventure of a lifetime.
In this humorous tale full of twists and turns, Alfie, Pacey and Luke discover many mysterious secrets of the swamp: up-close encounters with wildlife big and small, a spooky bungalow and an underground staircase, plastic birds in a future world, and a strange little man with an ingenious plan…
Singapore Garden Photographer of the Year
Award winning photography celebrating Singapore's City in a Garden
Specially produced to commemorate Singapore's Golden Jubilee, the 'Singapore Garden Photographer of the Year' coffee table book brings together prize-winning photo entries from three photography competitions organised by NParks to-date: The 'Singapore Garden Photography of the Year' photo competition (2015), the 'City in a Garden' photo competition (2012), and the 'BiodiverCity' photo competition (2010). All pictures included in the book are photographed in Singapore, and showcase the beauty of our greenery, parks, streetscapes and rich biodiversity in our City in a Garden through the lens of the community.
The Birthday Party: Sara at the Children’s Garden
It is the birthday of Sara’s brother, Jamie, and you can follow her on her quest to find a birthday present for him in the Children’s Garden! From word games to colouring activities, this book will help children from ages 5 to 7 learn about the plants and animals in the garden together with Sara the Botanicosaurus. Find out what presents Sara gave to Jamie at the end!
The Gardens' Bulletin
Editors: Dr D.J. Middleton, L. Chen, F. Tay, A. Davis, Dr Chen J.
Editorial Board: Prof. Sir P. Crane, Dr Tan P.Y., Dr W.J. Kress, Dr I.M. Turner, Dr M. Hughes, Prof. P. Van Welzen, Dr J. Leong-Škorničková, Dr Wen J., Dr K.W. Tan, Prof. Xia N.
The Gardens' Bulletin Singapore publishes papers on plant taxonomy (including revisions), horticulture, phytogeography, floristics, morphology, anatomy and related fields with emphasis on plants in the West Malesian region.
The Gardens' Bulletin is published twice yearly by the National Parks Board, Singapore.
Price: The annual subscription for the Gardens' Bulletin is S$100 including postage. Overseas subscribers are required to make payment in the form of bank drafts or international money orders in Singapore currency payable to National Parks Board.
The Hunt for the Green Boomerang
By Neil Humphreys with illustrations by Cheng Puay Koon
Broters Alfie, Luke and Pacey are on an outing to Pulau Ubin. Things take an unexpected turn when Luke meets a mysterious and beautiful girl who presents him with a map and asks him to find all of Pulau Ubin’s hidden treasures – before it is too late!
A sequel to the award-winning Secrets of the Swamp, The Hunt for the Green Boomerang highlights the fascinating flora, fauna and heritage sites one can find on Pulau Ubin, and offers readers a glimpse of village life. Targeted at children from 10-14 years old, this riveting adventure aims to instil in them an appreciation of our natural environment and biodiversity, and remind them to do their part in shaping our City in a Garden.
The Nature of Poetry
Edited by Edwin Thumboo and Eric Tinsay Valles
The Nature of Poetry features poems and photographs celebrating nature in Singapore. In this collection, the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore’s various gardens and landscapes, our biodiversity and the interactions between nature and people are explored and narrated through unique literary and visual perspectives, which have been contributed by leading poets and many award-winning photographers. As greenery grows to become an integral part of Singapore’s cultural fabric, this publication is an ode to our City in Nature.
Trees Of Our Garden City (2nd Edition)
Edited by Tee Swee Ping
This new edition of the book features a wealth of information about our local trees, with photographs of the trees and their identifying characteristics - leaves, bark, fruits and flowers. It also includes useful information and diagrams on how to care for trees.
Besides the addition of 70 species of trees and palms to the 80 from the previous edition, the second edition of Trees of Our Garden City includes new chapters that provide a broad perspective on the function of trees in Singapore.
Trees of the Istana
By Wong Tuan Wah, Koh Soon Kiong, Dr Duncan Sutherland and Aileen Lau
The Istana is home to over 150 varieties of trees, of which more than 70 varieties are featured in this book. In addition, using photos, botanical drawings and watercolours, the book provides a glimpse into the beginnings of the Istana grounds, from nutmeg plantation to official residence of the President.
Tropical Gardeners’ Guide to Healthy Plants (2nd Edition)
By Pim Sanderson, Fong Yok King, and Daniel Burcham
This pictorial guide is aimed at providing home gardeners with an insight into all aspects of plant health care. Through this full-colour book, you will not only learn about the diseases which affect plants, you will also learn more about how to care for them and about plants that are naturally tolerant to pests and diseases.
Tropical Plants in Focus, Botanical Illustration at the Singapore Botanic Gardens
By Michele Rodda
In Singapore, the first botanical illustrations were made in the early 19th century, commissioned by Sir Stamford Raffles and Nathaniel Wallich. It was Henry Nicholas Ridley, however, who in 1890 employed the first artist and started the botanical art collections at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Numerous artists followed, engaged to illustrate rare native species, edible and useful plants, and ornamental garden hybrids, each reflecting the changing priorities over the Gardens' history. The collections today include more than 2,000 botanical paintings and hundreds of sketches, line drawings and photographs.
This book outlines the development of botanical illustration in Singapore, and in particular at the Gardens. It showcases a selection of illustrations which can be viewed in person at the Singapore Botanic Gardens' Botanical Art Gallery.
Vertical Greenery for the Tropics
Edited by Kelly Chiang and Alex Tan
Contributed by Tan Puay Yok, Kelly Chiang, Derek Chan, Wong Nyuk Hien, Chen Yu, Alex Tan, and Wong Ngian Chung
This joint publication by NParks and BCA presents the results of the various vertical greenery systems introduced in Singapore by NParks, NUS and BCA. It aims to promote vertical greenery within the city, through advancing the understanding of this new nature-architecture hybrid.
Introducing vertical greenery developments and trends in Singapore and around the world, this publication will be a useful resource for policy makers, city planners, developers, students and professionals in the architecture, landscape and horticulture industries, who will be able to glean a greater understanding of current trends, technical and design considerations as well as the advantages of vertical greenery.
Wetlands in a City: The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
By Chua Ee Kiam
The book is filled with beautiful photos of the wide diversity of mangrove wildlife and plants, as well as migratory birds from as far away as Russia, found in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. It also gives a fascinating insight into the history of Sungei Buloh, from its designation as “Forest Reserve” during colonial times to its development for farming, and how it was saved from redevelopment and turned into a nature park.
In 2002, Sungei Buloh was gazetted as a nature reserve and the next year, it became Singapore’s first ASEAN Heritage Park. This book shows it is possible to experience nature in a city, and that in turn, it is possible for wildlife and fauna to thrive in the city.
1001 Garden Plants in Singapore: A New Compendium
By Soh Weijing, Tamako Kobayashi, Dr Jennie Tang, Jessica Teo, Pauline Tay and Low Wei Teng
This compendium is the latest edition of one of the most popular gardening resources in Singapore. An essential guide for those in the landscape and horticulture sectors and hobbyist gardeners alike, the compendium consists of three books and features over 2,700 plants found in our city-state. Sold as a complete set, the three volumes cover Succulents, Aquatic Plants and Orchids; Climbers, Shrubs and Groundcovers; and Trees, Palms and Cycads. Each volume consists of plant entries with full-colour photographs and basic plant information, as well as pictorial symbols to indicate plant care requirements, characteristics, uses and forms.
National Parks Board publishes the following print and electronic magazines and e-newsletters:
Gardenwise is the biannual magazine of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. It reports on new features at the Gardens, visitors, scientific information, research findings and more. It is available in both print and electronic form.
A monthly online newsletter, NParks Buzz updates readers on information such as the latest enhancements to our City in Nature and outreach events. Read our latest issue here