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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 of the Month

Ficus variegata

Ficus variegata or Common Red-stem Fig is a deciduous tree native to Singapore. Reaching 40 m tall, it produces egg-shaped, elliptic to elongated leaves. Figs are pink or red, and can be found in clusters on thick, rough stalks along the branches and trunk. This keystone species supports numerous fauna such as their fig wasp pollinator, Ceratosolen appendiculatus. Ripe figs are food for plantain squirrels and long-tailed macaques. The species is also a host plant for the butterfly, Mecodina lanceola.

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Animal of the Month

Megophrys nasuta

The Malayan Horned Frog has a snout that is distinctly pointed and horn-like skin flaps present above the eyes, giving it excellent camouflage on the forest floors of the Central Nature Reserves, where they are confined to in Singapore. It has a loud call that sounds like a metallic honk.

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DYK_Nephroia_orbiculata_Shi_Biying_3

Green Grass Jelly plant

Queen Coralbead (Nephroia orbiculata) is a sprawling, woody vine that is critically endangered in Singapore. It has waxy, light bluish-green leaves that can be blended with water to form a green Grass Jelly, that is eaten as a dessert in Indonesia. The plant produces clusters of round, blue to black fruit, relished by birds like Bulbuls (Pycnonotus spp.), they also help to disperse the seeds.

Queen Coralbead
Citrus medica

Finger-licking Citrus peels

Besides its unusual appearance, did you know the fruit of Citrus medica or Fingered Citron makes excellent zest? The Fingered Citron has extremely thick peels that makes up most of the fruit. Its rind is rough and has a bumpy texture, but is fragrant and lacks the bitterness commonly found in lemon and orange peels. This citrus fruit is a great alternative in recipes calling for lemon or orange zest. The zest can also be diced and cooked in sugar water to make candied fruit, perfect for snacking!

Finger-licking Citrus peels
Cratoxylum formosum

Singapore Sakura

Did you know that the Pink Mempat is the first tree species planted by Founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in 1963? This inaugural tree planting event kickstarted Singapore’s nationwide greening campaign. The Pink Mempat is treasured for its light pink flowers that are triggered by heavy rain after a prolonged dry spell. The tree sheds its leaves and faintly fragrant flowers appear followed by a flush of deep red, young leaves. These blooming events result in crowns covered in pink flowers reminiscent of the spring flowering of Sakuras, earning the tree its common name, Singapore Sakura.

Singapore Sakura
Grammatophyllum speciosum

The largest orchid in the world

The largest orchid plant in the world is the Tiger Orchid (Grammatophyllum speciosum), it can grow in clumps up to 3 m wide and are purported to weigh as much as a small car! Found in Singapore, this orchid can grow in the ground or in the forks of large trees. The flowers have yellow and orange-brown markings, which resemble the colours of a tiger’s coat, hence its name, the Tiger Orchid. When in full bloom, the Tiger Orchid can put on an impressive floral showcase with multiple sprays of inflorescences that is sure to excite everyone. Click on the button below to learn more.

Tiger Orchid
Hibiscus sabdariffa

The ‘Ribena®’ Plant

Did you know you can make your own ‘Ribena®’ from a plant that is easy to grow in Singapore? Ribena® is a fruit drink made from blackcurrants which grow best in temperate climates. However, you can make your own version of Ribena® with Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) calyces. The calyx (plural: calyces) is the outermost layer of the flower and is composed of all the sepals. After a Roselle flower blooms and withers, the calyx swells to form a deep red, fleshy structure that resembles a flower bud. By boiling the calyces in hot water and adding a little sugar, you can make a nutritious drink that tastes like Ribena® and is rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants. Roselle is well-suited to Singapore’s climate, so plants will produce an abundance of calyces—enough to satisfy your thirst! Click on the green button to learn more about Roselle.

Roselle
Video

Sunda Slow Loris

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

Flora & Fauna News

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Identifying Pathogenic Fungi to Protect Mature Trees

A collaboration between NParks and researchers across Singapore has identified pathogenic fungi that attack mature trees in our urban landscape. The DNA sequence of tissue samples from trees with rot, the fungal fruiting bodies and surrounding soil were analysed for unique patterns associated to individual fungal species. By comparing the results with healthy trees, 17 fungal species that cause root and trunk rot in commonly planted tree species were identified. This information leads the way for development of early detection and intervention tools of fungal disease in trees.
03 Mar, 2024

Palm with underground flowers and fruits

Botanists discovered a most unusual palm that flowers and fruits completely underground! Pinanga subterranea is believed to be pollinated by beetles and seed dispersal is aided by wild boars. The palm was first noticed in Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, Sarawak by a Malaysian botanist in the late 1990s. A team of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew later found the palm growing abundantly in the same area in 2018. While this finding has only been recently published, the fruit is a common part of the diet of the indigenous people. This shows the importance of the knowledge of indigenous people in supporting and enriching scientific information.
06 Feb, 2024

Two extant orchid species in Singapore

Herbarium specimens of Dendrobium singaporense and Bulbophyllum gusdorfii collected nearly 30 years ago in 2001 and 1993 respectively, were uncovered in the herbarium of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, National University of Singapore. The local conservation status of these species are currently extinct and these herbarium specimens suggests that it should be reconsidered to extant. However, without any current wild sightings, the species will again cross the threshold to being presumed nationally extinct, as any species not seen in the wild for 30 years is categorized as nationally extinct in Singapore.
02 Jan, 2024
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