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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
Saraca declinata

Plant of the Month

Saraca declinata

Saraca declinata or Red Saraca, is a tree prized for its large clusters of colourful flowers which bloom several times a year. The colours of the flowers vary widely, ranging from yellow to red, and they emit a subtle fragrance. Found naturally in rainforests along streams and rivers, it thrives in cultivation when grown under full sunlight and fertile, well-drained soil.

Copyright belongs to photographer.

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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Rubroshorea parvifolia

Petal tradeoff

Did you know that the critically endangered Rubroshorea parvifolia is pollinated by Leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae spp)? This majestic emergent tree typically flowers once every 5 to 10 years. When in bloom, the tree crown is covered in small yellow flowers. Leaf beetles play a crucial role by simultaneously feeding on the petals and pollinating the flowers. This strategy of sacrificing the petals to increase the chances of pollination is one of many plant-insect interactions in our tropical ecosystem.

Rubroshorea parvifolia
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 - Ravenala madagascariensis

Traveller’s Palm

Did you know that the Traveller’s Palm (Ravenala madagascariensis) is not a true palm? It belongs to the Strelitziaceae family and it is a close relative to the Bird of Paradise plant (Strelitzia reginae). Native to Madagascar, the Traveller’s Palm is popular in tropical landscape because of its enormous leaves which are arranged in a fan shape. It produces big, erect inflorescence like that of Heliconias. However, it seldom blooms in Singapore due to the wet weather. Its fruit are brown capsules, enclosing numerous seeds covered with bright blue arils.

Ravenala madagascariensis
Syzygium polyanthum

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

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

Sunda Slow Loris

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

Flora & Fauna News

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Gesneriaceae Treasures - Vietnam’s Newest Finds

In recent years, several new species of flowering plants have been discovered in Vietnam, particularly in the far north and the Central Highlands region. Notably, four Gesneriaeae species have been uncovered, namely, lithophytic Allocheilos villosus with dense hairs covering on all parts of the plant, Didymocarpus tamdaoensis which is only known from one collection made at Tam Dao National Park, Didymocarpus dalatensis with downy stems and white tubular flowers, and Loxostigma vietnamensis which is endemic to the montane forest of Vietnam. These discoveries deepen our understanding of Vietnam’s rich biodiversity.
01 Apr, 2024

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