Sunday, March 7, 2010

Trekking through CCNR

Thanks to A for organising this trip to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, together with KY, CK and L. Nice to have a bunch of plant experts around in a forest at this timing where there were hardly any animals so that it is not boring and also a great way to learn about more forest plants.

This is Syngonium podophyllum, an exotic climber that has established in Singapore from horticultural trade. KY has written an NIS article on it recently.

This looks more like a landscaped garden than a nature reserve, with overhanging arches of Leea indica,

and Simpoh Air, Dillenia suffuticosa.

I learnt another exotic acacia today, Acacia mangium, which has wider phyllodes wider than the more common Acacia auriculiformis.

One of the more interesting animals we saw is this well camouflaged flying dragon (a lizard), Draco sp. It has a flap of skin between their limbs that can spread out like wings to glide from tree to tree.

We passed by what seems to be a nursery of some sort, with lots of horticultural exotic plants and abandoned pots around the area. The plant in the background is Dracaena fragrans.

There was also this lorry that had disintegrated to this state.

These leaf litter plants indicate that we have entered a primary rainforest.

There were several Ixora species which we saw in the forest and this, Ixora pendula had the prettiest flower of all.

KY pointed out to this liana or woody liana, Tetrastigma sp. In Borneo, the largest single flower in the world, Rafflesia sp., parasitised on another species of Tetrastigma.

There was a huge tree fall that provided a convenient bridge across a swampy area.

And at the end of the bridge, some wild orchids, Bulbophyllum sp. growing on the dead tree.

This is probably my second time seeing this herb, Hanguana malayana. It is so abundant along the place we tracked and a lot of them were fruiting.

The narrow lid pitcher plant, Nepenthes ampullaria are also very common in the forest.


There is also this gigantic tree at one of the tributaries leading to Upper Peirce Reservoir which CK said was probably an Alstonia based on the leaf character. Update, this tree is Alstonia spatulata. Correction: Thanks to Tony, this tree is more likely to be Alstonia pneumatophora, which has a taller buttress.

At the coast of the reservoir, we found this water snowflake, Nymphoides indica which was supposed to be an aquatic plant, but probably because of the month old drought and heat, the water level has reduced drastically, was now on dry land.

I did not take any pictures for the later half of the trip as I was already dead tired and dehydrated. At our final run, CK led us on a heroic bashing through a thick clutter of resam fern, Dicranopteris linearis up a hill labelled as Bukit Panjang in Google Earth, following which is an manicured trail to civilisation.

Definitely a memorable trip and learnt many new things! But must definitely bring more water than a 600 ml next time!

Thanks Louise for the 3rd last and last photos~


Anonymous said...

You're welcome :)

Anonymous said...

Hi SY, You have met F.fistulosa and Glochidion sp in CCNR. Good blog. Thanks.

SY said...

Thanks :)

Hmm, which plant is Glochidion sp. may i ask?

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