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Flora & Fauna Web

Browse the database for plants and animals found in Singapore online

Total no. of Flora Species & Cultivars
Total no. of Fauna Species
Plant ofthe Month

Tabernaemontana aurantiaca Gaudich.

Tabernaemontana aurantiaca (Orange Milkwood) is a tree that can grow up to 15 m tall and is sometimes grown as a shrub. Its night-flowering, white, star-shaped flowers release a sweet fragrance and the plant is free flowering throughout the year. The long, ornamental orange-red fruit look like chillies, but are not edible. Native from the Moluccas (E. Indonesia) to West Pacific, it thrives in Singapore’s tropical climate.

Animal ofthe Month

Iomys horsfieldii (Waterhouse, 1838)

The endangered Horsfield’s Flying Squirrel is one of three species of flying squirrel recorded from Singapore. A nocturnal animal, it emerges from its tree hole to forage mainly on fruits during the night, returning to its tree hole to sleep in during the day. The squirrel glides amongst trees on its gliding membrane which stretches across its four limbs, and its tail which is flattened.)

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Phlegmariurus phlegmaria

A Fern or not a Fern?

Did you know the Common Tassel Fern (Phlegmariurus phlegmaria) grouped under Fern allies are not ferns at all? Fern allies or Lycophytes are the earliest group of seedless vascular plants with a wide range of growth forms. Fern allies are versatile plants, some even have the ability to survive desert conditions! Fern allies are identified by their small leaves or microphylls that come with a single unbranched vein whereas true ferns have megaphylls with complex, branched veinlets. Similar to most Lycophytes, the Common Tassel Fern produces cone-like structures at the tips of their stems known as strobili – these contain and release spores upon maturity.

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Corypha umbraculifera

World’s Largest Inflorescence

Did you know the Corypha umbraculifera (Talipot Palm) has the largest branched inflorescence in the world? Its inflorescence has roughly 24 million tiny yellowish-white flowers and can reach up to 9 m long and 12 m wide! This long-lived palm can grow to 80 years old and puts up a magnificent inflorescence just once in its lifetime, before dying. Due to the its durability, manuscripts were made of the leaves of the Talipot Palm in India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

World’s Largest Inflorescence
DYK - Russelia equisetiformis


Russelia equisetiformis, also known as Firecracker Plant, is a bushy shrub which as branches that start out erect, and bend over as they grew longer bearing tubular, firecracker-like flowers. This plant blooms frequently throughout the year, and best grown in full sun and well-drained moist soil. The flowers attracts biodiversity, especially sunbirds, and are available in a variety of colours - ranging from red, yellow to salmon. Firecracker Plant adds texture to a garden as it drapes over walls and rocks, creating a fountain effect.

Amorphophallus paeoniifolius

Superfood Elephant Foot Yam

Did you know the Elephant Foot Yam is a superfood? Its starchy tuber is rich in minerals such as calcium and phosphorous. While the tubers of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius are commonly used in curries of Asian cuisines, the leafy parts are cooked as vegetables. The plant produces only one large leaf each time, and the unique inflorescence emits an odour that attracts pollinators like flies and beetles.

Aristolochia acuminata

A Pipe’s Trap

Did you know the Aristolochia acuminata (Dutchman’s Pipe) can trap pollinating insects in its flower? This woody climber produces small pipe-like flowers, specially modified to attract and trap unsuspecting pollinating insects like fruit flies. The trap works when the insect slides down the slippery and hairy tube of a fresh flower that opens in an upright position. As the insect feeds on the nectar or attempts to escape, it is dusted in pollen, and its movements pollinate the flower. After fertilisation, the flower starts to wilt and tilt downwards, providing an escape route for the trapped insects.

Dutchman’s Pipe

Sunda Pangolin

Video of wild Sunda Pangolin in Singapore, captured on Night Vision Equipment.

Flora & Fauna News

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Nurturing a new generation of plant scientists

NParks has teamed up with local universities to develop new courses on plant science and diversity in Southeast Asia. Students will learn taxonomic and molecular biology techniques which are essential skills to the modern day botanist. Understanding plant systematics and evolution is crucial for plant conservation and the sustainable management of the region’s natural resources. This collaboration aims to nurture a new generation of plant scientists to safeguard the future of our tropical biodiversity.

14 Nov, 2022

Flora of Singapore – A revised checklist and bibliography

For the first time in more than a decade, a comprehensive catalogue of the wild-growing plants in Singapore was published as part of the Flora of Singapore project. This publication was produced by a collective of researchers from around the world co-ordinated by NParks. The work highlighted the number of native, naturalised and casual plant species in Singapore and helped to clarify and opened discussions on taxonomic and nomenclatural issues, thereby shaping the future of local conservation efforts.

19 Sep, 2022

Rediscovery of Mucuna gigantea subsp. gigantea in Singapore

Recent floristic surveys around Singapore have yielded interesting finds for the genus, Mucuna, including rediscoveries of previously thought to be extinct species like the Mucuna gigantea subsp. gigantea – A small population of this critically endangered vine, was rediscovered near the coast of the remote island, Pulau Brani, Singapore. This genus from the legume family is predominantly made up of lianas and known for the irritant hairs present on the surface of fruit pods. Mucuna gigantea subsp. gigantea was first described in the late 1900s and thought to be extinct due to habitat disturbances by land reclamation, until its rediscovery in 2018 . This has given researchers opportunity to thoroughly describe the species’ detailed characteristics, and allow collection of plant materials for propagation, with the aim of one day reintroducing the species into Singapore’s landscape.

01 Aug, 2022