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Flora of Singapore

16 January 2020
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is spearheading an important and botanically meaningful project; Flora of Singapore, a catalogued description of all the plant species that can be found locally. Featuring more than 3000 species, three volumes have been published and the full project will take botanists the next 10 years to complete. Flora of Singapore is the first comprehensive effort, following in the footsteps of the great works of Henry Ridley’s Flora of the Malay Peninsula (1922-1925). With collaboration from experts worldwide, the first three volume were published in 2019, and is a great resource for formulating conservation policy and future reintroductions. Click to read the ongoing efforts on the Flora of Singapore.

World’s First Plant Selfie

06 November 2019
Say hello to Pete – the Maidenhair Fern in London Zoo. Pete has taken a photo of itself – the world’s first for a plant! This groundbreaking work is part of ongoing research by scientists to develop technology to monitor remote rainforests. This is done by harnessing and storing electrical energy produced by soil bacteria associated with the plant’s photosynthesis. Click here to learn more.

A Mimosa that learns

02 October 2019
Researchers from Kew Gardens studying the Mimosa pudica (Touch-Me-Not) have indicated that the species displayed signs of learned behaviour. Every day, hundreds of curious visitors touched the sensitive plant, the constant disturbance has stopped this publicly accessible specimen from responding to touch. This learned behavioural response is fascinating to researchers and encourages all to rethink plant intelligence. Click here to read more.

Plant diversity in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

05 September 2019
Over the years, biodiversity surveys have been done in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (BTNR) to document Singapore’s green treasures. 1250 plant species have since been recorded in BTNR (Ho, B.C. et al. 2019) in Singapore’s first Nature Reserve and researchers continue to find species new to science, species previously unknown in Singapore, and species thought to be extinct. Click here to read more about the latest flora survey results.

Trees Keep Cities Cool

22 July 2019
The cooling effect of a small forest in the city has the profound effect of cooling the environment. Summer daytime temperatures can be lowered by 3.4 degrees Celsius. Hard city surfaces take in heat from the sun in the day and gradually give off the heat in the night. Trees however not only shade those surfaces, they also release water into the air through transpiration, cooling the surroundings. The study showed that for maximum cooling benefit, the tree canopy cover must be greater than 40 percent of an area. This information is useful for city planners to develop more livable neighbourhoods.