News Listing Page
A new generic record for the native flora of Singapore
15 May 2023
A specimen collected from Nee Soon Swamp Forest in 2005 was identified as <i>Pycnarrhena fasciculata</i>, a woody, dioecious climber. This genus was previously unrecorded in the Singapore flora. This Nee Soon specimen is important as the voucher for an unrecorded genus in Singapore's native flora, but also as the only available flowering specimen of <i>Pycnarrhena fasciculata</i> as the Type specimen does not have flowers.
The bat-attracting Palaquium obovatum
03 April 2023
Studies in Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia have countered the deduction that most Palaquium species are insect-pollinated when they recorded visitations by various species of birds and bats. A preliminary study conducted in Singapore Botanic Gardens have further supported this assertion with the discovery of another pollinator of Palaquium obovatum, commonly known as lesser dog-faced fruit bat (Cynopterus brachyotis). This bat species has been a well-known seed disperser of Palaquium obovatum and the prospects of an additional role as a pollinator has indicated a double mutualism between partner species. Further studies are required to study its feeding habits, and their role in wild populations of Palaquium species in Singapore.
A New Record for Singapore, Memecylon acuminatissimum
01 February 2023
Singapore saw a new record through research done on herbarium material collected. Using five herbarium specimens collected from one or two trees from the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Chestnut Nature Park, it was determined that Memecylon acuminatissimum is an accepted species and not as previously thought, a synonym of M. oleifolium. This showed that vouchering living specimens is still vital for the recording of biodiversity in Singapore. This new record is also testament to the important conservation value of small patches of primary forests within urban environments, like Singapore.
Species ID of famous ‘Changi Tree’ demystified!
05 January 2023
The species identity of the ‘Changi Tree’ has been shrouded in the mists of time until recently – using herbarium specimens collected from Changi in 1893, researchers from the Singapore Botanic Gardens determined that the famous ‘Changi Tree’ was likely Sindora echinocalyx. At 76 m tall, it stood out in the landscape and was featured in sea navigation maps as a landmark as early as the mid-nineteenth century. As the tree was located within military barracks, it was removed by the British army during World War II to safeguard against artillery attacks.
Newly discovered Hoya species of Borneo
15 December 2022
Botanists from Singapore Botanic Gardens and Bogor Botanic Gardens jointly described nine new species and one subspecies of Hoya occurring in Borneo. This adds to a total of 85 Hoya species in Borneo. Among the newly minted species, five are endemic to Kalimantan, which is the least explored part of Borneo. Though the discoveries were based on limited plant collections, the researchers are confident that these species are not part of any species complexes, therefore, they are less likely to be synonymised in the future.