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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
Cratoxylum formosum

Plant ofthe Month

Cratoxylum formosum (Jack) Dyer

Cratoxylum formosum (Pink Mempat) can grow up to 45 m tall in the wild but is much shorter in cultivation as an ornamental. This tree is native to Singapore and is preferred by the Archduke butterfly caterpillar as a food plant. You can easily spot this beauty when it is in full bloom, with a crown of light-pink flowers nestled among a flush of reddish foliage.

Sunda Slow Loris

Animal ofthe Month

Nycticebus coucang (Boddaert, 1785)

The critically endangered Sunda Slow Loris is the only venomous primate in Singapore. It produces a yellow secretion from glands on the insides of its elbow, which combines with saliva to form venom. During the day, it sleeps on branches or in tree holes by tucking its head into its belly and rolling into a ball. Globally, the population size of Sunda Slow Loris is decreasing due to habitat loss and illegal pet trade.)

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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.

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.

Melocactus pruinosus

Desert Survival Techniques

Did you know why many cacti are spiny and ribbed? Most people know that the spines are a defense mechanism against thirsty herbivores craving a bite of their juicy stem. Not many know that these spines also shade the stem from intense sun rays and trap moisture from passing fog. In addition, their presence creates a layer of still air around the cactus which slows water loss from the cactus to the surrounding dry air. After a downpour, the ribs allow cacti to expand like an accordion to maximize water absorption, and then gradually return to its original shape as the stored water is depleted. The ribs also create additional shade to protect the stem from sunburn.


In a nutshell - Peanuts

When you snack on roasted peanuts or rich creamy peanut butter, have you ever wondered why the peanut grows underground even though its flowers bloom above ground? The peanut is a dehiscent legume (dry fruit) from the plant, Arachis hypogaea whose flowers and legumes initially form aboveground following pollination. As the fruit develops, the flower stalk elongates due to rapid proliferation of cells under the ovary and curves downward, forcing the young fruit into the ground. The peanut pod matures underground and typically contains two seeds. High in protein and other essential nutrients, the seed leaves (cotyledons) are regularly used in Asian cuisine such as gado-gado and peanut sauce for Satay! The peanut can also be used to make other useful products such as peanut soap and biodiesel fuel.

In a nutshell - Peanuts

Flora and Fauna Tributes to Singapore

A total of 2053 vascular plant species have been recorded to be native to Singapore (Singapore Red Data Book, 2008). Of these at least 20 species have scientific names derived from "Singapore", their scientific names containing "singaporeana", "singaporeanum", "singaporensis", "singaporense", "singapurensis" and "singapureana". There are also others with common names that pay tribute to the country in which they are or were naturally found, such as the Singapore Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum). The animals are not to be missed either, with native fauna named after our island state, such as the Singapore Freshwater Crab (Johora singaporensis) and the Daisy Sponge (Coelocarteria singaporensis). As a novel way of celebrating National Day, read more about some of these Singaporean plants and animals on Flora&FaunaWeb by searching for their names.

Flora and Fauna Tributes to Singapore

Sunda Slow Loris

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

Flora & Fauna News

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Japanese farmers may benefit from rising global temperatures

Rising global temperatures have extended the growing season in Southern Japan, making two rice crops possible through a farming technique known as rice rattooning. In this technique, the first crop is harvested, and the stubble allowed to grow back to form a second crop. Researchers found that after harvesting the first crop and cutting the plants at a high height for regrowth as a second crop resulted in 3-fold higher rice yield compared to traditional farming methods.

07 Sep, 2020

'Bee' thankful for the bumblebees

Climate changes results in the disruption of timing between the plants and their pollinators. Researchers from ETH Zurich discovered that bumblebees may help to overcome these challenges by biting leaves of the plants that have not flowered yet, to stimulate the new flower production when pollen is scarce. Click here to read more.

02 Jun, 2020

Ancient date palm seeds found and grown after 2,000 years

Seven date palms (Phoenix dactylifera) have been grown from among hundreds of seeds found in caves and in the ruins of an ancient palace built in the 1st century BC in the Judean desert near Jerusalem. The seeds were radiocarbon dated to be close to 2,000 years of age, making them the oldest seeds ever germinated. Click the title above to read more. The ancient seeds were prepared by soaking them in water, adding hormones that encourage germination and rooting, then planting them in soil in a quarantined area. Genetic analysis showed that several of them came from female date palms that were pollinated by male palms from different areas. This hints that the ancient Judean people cultivated the palms using sophisticated plant breeding techniques, producing the best tasting dates that are popular in the culture and religions of the Middle East and also symbolic of oasis agriculture.

25 May, 2020