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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
Passiflora edulis (purple fruit)

Plant ofthe Month

Passiflora edulis (purple fruit)

Passiflora edulis (purple fruit), also known as the Passion Fruit, is a climbing vine that thrives in containers grown under full sun. Its Chinese name (百香果) roughly translates to "Fruit of a Hundred Fragrance" relating to its tart and sweet taste with hints of mango, oranges, and kiwi. This complex aroma makes it a popular flavour in desserts, yoghurts and beverages.

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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Cucurbita moschata

Record Breaking Pumpkin

Did you know the heaviest pumpkin grown in Singapore weighs 5.9 kilograms. Khoo Teck Puat Hospital set this record during the Community Garden Edibles Competition held in 2019. It is easy to cultivate pumpkins in Singapore under full sun with regular watering and fertilising. Who knows? You might be the next record holder!

Pumpkin
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.

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Tamarindus indica

Tasty Tamarind

Did you know the Tamarind tree is the source of Asam commonly used in Southeast Asian cooking? Part of the legume family (Fabaceae), the tree can be found along the streets of Singapore. The mildly fragrant flowers are pollinated by insects and develop into bean pods. Within the fruit is the tasty pulp, prized for its complex and sour flavour, giving dishes their characteristic Asam taste. Outside of Asia it is a component in the renowned Worcestershire sauce. The Tamarind tree is hardy and long lived, making it an ideal urban tree. There are currently three individuals in Singapore that have been registered as Heritage Trees!

Tasty Tamarind
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.

Link
DYK - Russelia equisetiformis

Fireworks!

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.

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Video

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
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