Sunday, January 9, 2011

Singapore Botanic Gardens

This is my first time to SBG since I started to learn plants (more seriously). All my previous visits had been just for mere picnic, strolling and doing other leisure activities like any other visitors here.

SBG definitely seems like a nice place to learn plants, with comfortable walking trails, and especially, with identification tags. While it is rather far from my house, in a two years time, when the SBG MRT station is up, I will certainly come here more often.

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The fruit of Artocarpus altilis, or Breadfruit is edible. I wonder if these thin, elongated fruits above are an abnormity or just the immature fruits.

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Just a distance away, beneath the prop roots of the coastal pandan, Pandanus odorifer, are its bright orange fruits.

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After listening to other people’s description about this plant, I finally get to see by myself the fruits and flowers of the Cynometra cauliflora, which were formed on the trunk and branches of this tree.

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After noticing me looking at this Uncle who was harvesting some fruits of the Thevetia peruviana, he came to me and commented that they looked like testicles of a person. I can only reply him with a blank stare =.=”

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This flower of the Torch Ginger, Etlingera elatior, is used for flavouring curry and laska. Just behind the ginger is Corner House, named after the famous botanist EJH Corner, who used to be an assistant director of SBG. Now, this building is used as a restaurant.

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At the entrance to SBG is an impressive row of Oil Palms, Elaeis guineensis. Native in Africa, it is now commonly cultivated throughout the tropics. Apparently, almost all of the Oil Palms in this region actually derived from 4 seedling trees planted in Bogor Botanic Gardens during the mid 1800s.

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These shiny blue fruits caught my eye. They belonged to an exotic Elaeocarpus species, E. angustifolius, also aptly named as the Blue Marble Tree.

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The Nibong palm, Oncosperma tiligarium really makes a nice ornamental plant with its clustering and tall habit!

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I thought that this is quite a nice shot. ^^ A man who is dwarfed by nature. The palm is a commonly cultivated palm here, Livistona roundifolia.

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A huge heritage tree, Terminalia subspathulata stood guard at the entrance of the Botanic Gardens Jungle.

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Another impressively huge tree was this Cotton Tree, Ceiba pentandra.

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And lastly, my walk ended at the Botanic Gardens library where there is a display of some uses of plants, like for eg., Abrus precatorius being used for rosaries (above).

5 comments:

Pat said...

<< The fruit of Artocarpus altilis, or Breadfruit is edible. I wonder if these thin, elongated fruits above are an abnormity or just the immature fruits. >>

The elongated structures are male inflorescence spikes. As Artocarpus altilis is a monoecious species, one can also spot female inflorescences on the same tree. The latter assume the form of spherical or ellipsoidal heads that are erect (more obviously so in the human imagination, if ellipsoidal in shape) & pointing skywards. In contrast, the male inflorescence is cylindrical, slimmer, drooping/ flaccid & always pointing towards the ground.

The immature fruits can be eaten pickled or with a marinate. In some places, the male inflorescences are also eaten pickled or candied.

Some info/ photos/ drawings:-
(1) Cook Islands Biodiversity
(2) National Tropical Botanical Garden
(3) Plant Systematics - showing the ellipsoidal form of female inflorescence
(4) Close-up of male inflorescence lying against immature aggregate fruit (ie. the fertilized female inflorescence) -- incidentally also SBG tree

Another species with very similar inflorescences would be Artocarpus camansi (Seeded Breadfruit). However, the leaves of this species are less incised.

<< After noticing me looking at this Uncle who was harvesting some fruits of the Thevetia peruviana, he came to me and commented that they looked like testicles of a person. I can only reply him with a blank stare =.=” >>

You should have shown the Uncle the male inflorescence of Breadfruit, along with an appropriate visual or verbal rebuttal. I hope he was harvesting the "testicles" for pesticidal use, rather than for self-medication. Although the seeds reportedly can treat cardiac problems in humans, the effective dose is very close to the toxic dose.

Btw the latest accepted name is Cascabela thevetia -- eg. see the latest research references at Kew's database.

USDA GRIN still calls it Thevetia peruviana (as based on Jun 2000 taxonomic scrutiny), but based on experience, the latter database is less regularly updated than Kew's.

Pat said...

Seems like Blogger might have eaten up the comments submitted 30mins ago. Reposting the info ... just in case.

<< The fruit of Artocarpus altilis, or Breadfruit is edible. I wonder if these thin, elongated fruits above are an abnormity or just the immature fruits. >>

The elongated structures are male inflorescence spikes. As Artocarpus altilis is a monoecious species, one can also spot female inflorescences on the same tree. The latter assume the form of spherical or ellipsoidal heads that are erect (more obviously so in the human imagination, if ellipsoidal in shape) & pointing skywards. In contrast, the male inflorescence is cylindrical, slimmer, drooping/
flaccid & always pointing towards the ground.

The immature fruits can be eaten pickled or with a marinate. In some places, the male inflorescences are also eaten pickled or candied.

Some info/ photos/ drawings:-
(1) Cook Islands Biodiversity
(2) National Tropical Botanical Garden
(3) Plant Systematics - showing the ellipsoidal form of female inflorescence
(4) Close-up of male inflorescence lying against immature aggregate fruit (ie. the fertilized female inflorescence) -- incidentally also SBG tree

Another species with very similar inflorescences would be Artocarpus camansi (Seeded Breadfruit). However, the leaves of this species are less incised.

<< After noticing me looking at this Uncle who was harvesting some fruits of the Thevetia peruviana, he came to me and commented that they looked like testicles of a person. I can only reply him with a blank stare =.=” >>

You should have shown the Uncle the male inflorescence of Breadfruit, along with an appropriate visual or verbal rebuttal. I hope he was harvesting the "testicles" for pesticidal use, rather than for self-medication. Although the seeds reportedly can treat cardiac problems in humans, the effective dose is very close to the toxic dose.

Btw the latest accepted name is Cascabela thevetia -- eg. see the latest research references at Kew's database.

USDA GRIN still calls it Thevetia peruviana (as based on Jun 2000 taxonomic scrutiny), but based on experience, the latter database is less regularly updated than Kew's.

Sy said...

Hi Pat,

I have no idea why blogger doesn't show it.

In any case, I have received your earlier comment from my email notification.

Thanks for your very detailed input!

Pat said...

Hey there, I'm wondering why Blogger ate up the comments too ... TWICE (assuming this post gets through).

Is it because I quoted the Uncle's descriptive testi*** term ? Or did "flac**cid" do the trick ? :)

No such issue when I posted at other Blogger sites, eg. just <5 mins ago. The post was published immediately, but then I was talking about conservation shophouses & Dick Lee. Hmm, so Dick is ok. Testing if this post gets through ... LOL.

Sy said...

Hahaha, yea, dick seems fine~ lol

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