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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
Hoya latifolia

Plant ofthe Month

Hoya latifolia G. Don

Hoya latifolia is an endangered epiphytic climber that is native to Singapore. It has clusters of light pink flowers that bloom like a gorgeous spectacle of fireworks. On closer inspection, individual flowers are star-shaped, and blooms can last for several days. A beautiful ornamental plant that can be grown in semi-shade or indirect light, suitable for anyone looking to brighten their living space to welcome the new year!

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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Corypha umbraculifera

World’s Largest Inflorescence

Did you know the Corypha umbraculifera (Talipot Palm) has the largest branched inflorescence in the world? Its inflorescence has roughly 24 million tiny yellowish-white flowers and can reach up to 9 m long and 12 m wide! This long-lived palm can grow to 80 years old and puts up a magnificent inflorescence just once in its lifetime, before dying. Due to the its durability, manuscripts were made of the leaves of the Talipot Palm in India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

World’s Largest Inflorescence
Stenochlaena palustris

Furled fiddleheads

Did you know that the young fronds of Stenochlaena palustris or Akar Paku, are edible? While most ferns are inedible to humans, the Akar Paku is an exception. In Southeast Asia, the furled fronds also known as fiddleheads can be fried with sambal belacan and eaten as a vegetable. The fern is traditionally consumed as 'ulam', or salad, in Bornean cuisine. Its taste has been compared to that of asparagus and research has shown that it is a promising source of antioxidants.

Furled fiddleheads
Sonneratia caseolaris

Breathing in the mud

Did you know the conical structures sticking out of the soil at the base of some plants help plants breathe? These specialised root structures are known as pneumatophores and are usually seen in mangrove species. Sonneratia caseolaris (Crabapple Mangrove), a mangrove species, develops pneumatophores that protrude out of the soil allowing root respiration in the anaerobic muddy soil. When growing on well-drained soil, the plant may not produce as many pneumatophores as there is little need for assistance in aboveground respiration. In some parts of Southeast Asia, the pneumatophores are harvested and used as corks or fishing-floats when dried.

Sonneratia caseolaris
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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Video

Sunda Slow Loris

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

Flora & Fauna News

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Newfound Species is Possibly World's Ugliest Orchid

Researchers have recently described a leafless orchid with mottled brown flower which resembles a moldy paper bag. The orchid named Gastrodia agnicellus spends most of its life hidden underneath leaf litter on the forest floor in Madagascar and resurfaces only for pollination and seed dispersal. This small orchid relies on fungus for food as it does not have photosynthesis ability. The flower produces musk rose-like scent that becomes stronger under warmer temperatures to attract flies for pollination. Click the title above to read more.

20 Jan, 2021

Interest in gardening surges amid pandemic

Gardening has flourished during COVID-19. In Singapore, especially during circuit breaker period, many people who are stuck at home has picked up this new hobby to occupy their free time. Some of them have transformed a small part of their home into their own unique oasis. Nurturing these plants have helped people to relieve their stress and calm their minds. Click the title above to read more.

01 Dec, 2020

The Sahara Desert has millions of trees!

A recent analysis of a database of satellite images using artificial intelligence revealed that there are over 1.8 billion trees and shrubs with a crown size more than 3 square metres in size across a 1.3 million square kilometre area of West Africa and Sahel. The analysis also allows scientists to determine how much carbon is stored in deserts, a factor that is not currently included when modelling for climate change related research. Click the title above to read more.

05 Nov, 2020
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