Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dillenia Alata

Scientific name: Dillenia alata [Family: Dilleniaceae]
Common name: Red Beech
Location: Singapore
Same family as Simpoh Air, read more here  

Happy New Year to every one!
My linking to:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Magnolia champaca

Magnolia champaca is a large evergreen topical tree, native to the South Asia, Southeast Asia and some parts of China. The tree is primarily cultivated for its timber, it and also used in urban landscaping, It is popular as a garden or house plant in Singapore. It grows to the size of a large shrub or small tree.

It is best known for its strongly fragrant yellow or white flowers. The flowers are used to make the world's most expensive perfume 'Joy'. The extremely aromatic blooms appear nearly all year round here in Singapore.


Many of you may know tts beautiful yellow flowers are fragrant, but have you ever seen the fruits? It has odd-looking, almost gall-like fruits. Its pinkish red aril-covered seeds are highly attractive to birds.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Water hyacinth

Water hyacinth are a free-floating perennial flowering aquatic plant native to tropical and sub-tropical South America. The ovate leaves are broad, thick, glossy, they are about 10–20 cm across, and float above the water surface. They have long, spongy and bulbous stalks. The feathery, freely hanging roots are purple-black. An erect stalk supports a single spike of 8-15 conspicuously attractive flowers, mostly lavender to pink in color and center blue and yellow with six petals, the flowers looks like iris.
Water hyacinth are fast-growing in fresh water, has special adaptations to allow it to grow and spread rapidly, they can withstand extremes of nutrient supply, pH level, temperature, and even grow in toxic water. The seeds are dispersed by birds and can remain viable for 15-20 years. But the main method of reproduction is vegetatively, through stolons. A single plant under ideal conditions can produce 3,000 others in 50 days, and cover an area of 600 sq meters in a year. As such they can become troublesome weeds in waterways.
In old time of Singapore, it was cultivated as pig food. Now you still can find them in some of the fresh water lake in our garden or park.

My linking to Blue Monday and Macro Monday

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Simpoh Air

If you ever stayed in Singapore before, you would surely be familiar with them. This is Simpoh Air,
Scientific name: Dillenia suffruticosa [Family: Dilleniaceae]. This distinctive shrubby tree grows vigorously on eroded soil, wasteland, forest edges and swampy areas. They are one of the common tropical flowering plants in Singapore. They are large shrubby tree can grow up to 6m tall, the large glossy green leaves, cheery big yellow flowers and pink star-shaped "fruits" make them very unique from others.
In old Singapore village time, the large leaves of the Simpoh Air were used to wrap food such as tempeh (fermented soyabean cakes), or formed into shallow cones to contain traditional "fast food" such as rojak.
The flowers are 8-10cm in width with five large thin petals, several flowers on a long stalk. They open at 3 am and last only a day. The petals drop off by 4pm and the sepals fold back on the young fruit in the evening. They are pollinated by bees which collect its pollen or by small beetles and flies that scramble over it. 
(The photo above shows the empty husk).
Almost every flower sets fruit. The flower stalk rotates slowly from pointing down when the flower blooms to pointing up when it starts to fruit. The unopened fruits are surrounded by thick red sepals. To distinguish them from flower buds, the fruits face upwards while flower buds face down. (You can see both of the flower buds and young fruit in the photo on the left.)

The fruits take exactly five weeks to set and opens at 3am, it splits open into pinkish star-shaped segments that contain 7-8 seeds enveloped by a fleshy red-coloured arils. The thin layer of red flesh surrounding the seeds is very attractive to birds which help to disperse the seeds across the landscape. The empty husk falls off at about 8am the following day.

These two Singapore stamps, the Simpoh Air (Dillenia suffruticosa) and the  Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum) with the value of 1st Local (26¢) and 2nd Local(32¢) respectively are part of the 2007 Flora & Fauna Definitive stamp series.
Linking up to Flowers On Satureday, Macro Flowers Saturday and Pink Saturday.
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

White water lily

White Lotus, also known as the European White Waterlily, or Nenuphar, is an aquatic flowering plant of the family Nymphaeaceae.
...continued from my previous post, water lily. Here I want to share with you again this pretty white flowers.

Linking up to Nature Note

Wishing you all of you have a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

ABC Wednesday-W for water lily

Nymphaea white lotus 
(Photo taken in  Singapore botanical garden)
The phrase "water lily" is used to describe aquatic plants of the following families, which have lily pads:

(The pink lotus photos taken at the small lotus pond in Bishan park )

The beautiful purple lotus, in the rain, at Lorong Halus Wetland

Linking to ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Petai jawa

I remember that my grandma used the young pods Petai jawa to cook Asam soup when I was a kid, I missed the taste so much now. The pods are thin, flat, green and nearly transparent when young,  ripening to brown, rattling with many small, flat seeds.

I found a lot of these large bush growing in our parks, on our sea shore... I am not sure if they are the one can be eaten as a vegetable.
Puff-ball shaped flowers made up of pale green petals and lots of creamy white stamens, it looks like a giant mimosa.
...feathery compound leaves are very beautiful

Linking to Our World Tuesday

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sea Hibiscus

Its botanical name is "Hibiscus tiliaceus", a species of flowering tree in the mallow family, Malvaceae, that is native to the Old World tropics. It is a common coastal plant in Eastern and Northern Australia, Oceania and Southeast Asia. The common names include Sea Hibiscus, Beach Hibiscus, Coastal Hibiscus etc.
This is a very common tree, often seen on many of our wild shores or planted in our seaside parks in Singapore. The tree can grow up to 15m height, the big leaves is about 10-15cm in heart-shaped, dark green and shiny above, white and finely furry beneath. The leaves have tiny slits on the main veins on the underside of the leaf. Secretions from these slits often attracts ants. I believe it attracts many other insects too, often seen the leaves are 'broken heart".

The flower is just like common hibiscus flower, yellow with maroon eye fading to dull pink after falling. It looms in the morning after the sunrise and close in the afternoon. The petals usually fall off the same evening or the next morning. Usually, every flower sets fruit. Fruit ripens to a tiny dry capsules (2-3cm) surrounded by the calyx. It splits open to reveal the seeds which float and can withstand extended periods of immersion in sea water.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lantana flowers

According info from wikipedia:
"Lantana is a genus of about 150 species of perennial flowering plants in the verbena family, Verbenaceae. They are native to tropical regions of the Americas and Africa but exist as an introduced species in numerous areas, especially in the Australian-Pacific region. The genus includes both herbaceous plants and shrubs growing to 0.5–2 m (1.6–6.6 ft) tall. Their common names are shrub verbenas or lantanas. The generic name originated in Late Latin, where it refers to the unrelated Viburnum lantana."

"Lantana's aromatic flower clusters (called umbels) are a mix of red, orange, yellow, or blue and white florets. Other colors exist as new varieties are being selected. The flowers typically change color as they mature, resulting in inflorescences that are two- or three-colored. A common name for Lantana camara is "Ham 'n Eggs" due to the adjacent pink and yellow inflorescences. "

There are many colors of Lantana you can find in the nursery, such as white, yellow, purple, pink and orange and even red. Some varieties are spreading such as the yellow and some are small bushes like the purple and white and then some are very large like the orange and pink can grow up to 6’ high.

Lantana loves full sun and bloom whole year round, is seldom bothered by pests or disease, likes most soil types and is happy in humid or dry heat. It require less water and fertilizer compare to other flowering palnts. For those of you looking for a flowering plant that easy to take care, this Lantana plant is a best choice. Especially for those who have a garden, this cheerful flowering plants will be covered all day long with butterflies, bees, and even hummingbirds.

Hope you like my post and picture, sharing with Pink Saturday.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mirabilis jalapa pink

I called this morning glory like flowers "The four o'clock flower" when I was young, because it usually bloom around afternoon 4 o'clock with a strong, sweet-smelling fragrance, the flowers last only 1-2 days, The single-seeded fruits are spherical, wrinkled and black upon maturity which children like to play with them.

The botanic name is Mirabilis jalapa . Mirabilis in Latin means wonderful and Jalapa is a town in Mexico. The flowers are available in many colors, a curious aspect of this plant is that flowers of different colors can be found simultaneously on the same plant. Different color variation can be found in the same flower.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Abroma augusta

Botanical Name : Abroma augusta
English Name : Devill's cotton, Indian hemp

I found this tree in Singapore Botanical Garden, I have not seen it in other places. The tree is about 2 meters height. The leaves are repand, narrow and entire, have an oblong shap. Both leaves and stems are covered with soft, bristly hairs that are extremely irritating to the touch. The flowers are about 5 cm in diameter in dark maroon color, the flowers have 5 petals, are formed in terminal panicles. The seeds are contained in a cotton-like envelope.

According the given information, this unusual plant is one kind of herbal plant. In Ayurveda the juice of fresh leaves is very useful in female diseases of uterus and menstruation. It regulates the menstrual flow and acts as an uterine tonic.