Plant ofthe Month
Acriopsis liliifolia (Koen.) Ormerod
Acriopsis liliifolia is epiphytic orchid native to Singapore. Its clump forming pseudobulb bears a pair of long narrow leaves and long, branching inflorescences of up to 200 flowers grow from the base. The dainty flowers have white petals bearing a purple spot at its tips and its white lip has a light sprinkling of purple spots. In its natural habitat, it can be found growing on trees, and is best cultivated outdoors under filtered light.
Animal ofthe Month
Draco melanopogon Boulenger, 1887
The Black-Bearded Gliding Lizard is a species of Agamid lizard commonly found in the lowland primary and secondary rainforests in Southeast Asia. In Singapore, it can only be seen in the nature reserves. It glides from tree to tree in search for small invertebrates to feed on. Males can be easily identified by their distinct orange and black gular flag and lappets, when fully extended during courtship or territorial displays. )
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Henry Nicholas Ridley
Did you know that Alangium ridleyi is named after Henry Nicholas Ridley, the First Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens? His monumental contributions to the region’s botany, natural history, and economy in 1880s saw over 50,000 specimens collected from Singapore, Malaya, and the wider South East Asian region. He was also a prolific writer, publishing more than 4,000 new species over the span of his 68-year career; over 100 of which were new species described from Singapore.Alangium ridleyi
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.Learn More
Our Native Spice Tree
Did you know the Syzygium polyanthum or Indonesian Bay-leaf is a spice tree native to Singapore? Found in tropical forests, this tree can grow to heights of over 30 m. Its aromatic young leaves are cooked fresh or dried in meat and vegetable curries and stews, and is commonly sold in Indonesian markets and by street vendors. The sour tasting fruit are edible when ripe. Besides its edible uses, a dye can be extracted from the bark and its timber is suitable for making furniture.Our Native Spice Tree
Fragrant, sweet and everything nice
Did you know that besides the leaves, the seeds of the Basil or Ocimum basilicum are also edible! Basil seeds contain little carbohydrates but are rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. When soaked in water, the seeds exude a gelatinous mass on the outside yet remain crunchy. Basil seeds can be added to beverages, desserts and confectioneries to add texture to refreshments.Fragrant, sweet and everything nice
Did you know that Lucky Bamboo is not a true bamboo? Although the stems resemble bamboo, it belongs to the genus Dracaena and is scientifically known as Dracaena sanderiana. The Lucky Bamboo is popular during the Lunar New Year as gifts and decorations for its association with good fortune and abundance. They are sometimes sold as a long stem with a spiral tip. The spiral growth is achieved by laying a stem on its side and allowing the stem to grow upwards and rotating the stem again and again until properly curled.1965
Sunda Slow Loris
Video of wild Sunda Slow Loris in Singapore, captured on Night Vision Equipment.