Sunday, December 30, 2012

A new Clover-leaf Desmodium in Singapore?

I’m back in Bidadari Cemetery to finish up taking photos of plants before the place is razed to become a HDB estate. Together with another enthusiastic lover of wildflowers, we went searching for macro subjects.


One of the oddities I found was this little herb. The leaves are clearly Desmodium triflorum but the flowers are white instead of purple!


The purple flower Desmodium triflorium grows just beside the white one on the same grass patch. I tried to see if they belong to the same individuals by tracing their creeping horizontal stems but they are apparently not.


This is another similar species, Desmodium heterophyllum but it has larger leaves and the flowers are also starkly different close-up. The white flower Desmodium however is similar to D. triflorium in every aspect. I wonder if it is a variety or an entirely new species yet to be recorded in Singapore? :x

Update: Was just updated that this might indeed be just a variety of Desmodium triflorium. Oh well..

Monday, December 24, 2012

My new website!

This took me 6 full months of hard work, from one who only knows how to read a few lines of html to designing an entire website from scratch. So here, I am proud to announce my new website: Urban Forest: An Identification Guide to the Flora of Singapore and Southeast Asia @


Join its FACEBOOK page to keep yourself updated about the latest species featured in this website!

A gratitude for the Botany Lab in NUS where I worked for the past 3 years. Almost everything in this website is from what I have absorbed and learnt from through the guidance and patience of my colleagues and boss.

Thanks also to Long and Ron for their advice on web design and pushing me to set a higher standard for myself. Some will probably squirm in terror if they see version 1 of my website. Haha~

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bidadari Trees

The now defunct Bidadari Cemetery consists of a big parcel of open space and a forested area. I love the former because the openness of the area with the carpet of greenery gives me an unspeakable sense of awe.


Many of the trees which stand individually have the space to grow to their full size without restriction. It is just amazing to appreciate their size and form, not to mention that they serve as excellent models for me to collect nice photographic memories of them.



An Acacia auriculiformis with a Ficus benjamina growing on it. The stray branch extending on the left reminded me of our iconic heritage tree (Fagraea fragrans) in the botanic gardens which had graced the back of our S$5 note.


Pithecellobium dulce. I have been looking for a nice lone specimen for awhile, and this is probably the best place to take a shot of it. The straggly branches make it a very identifiable species from afar.


The Indian Mango, Mangifera indica. This huge tree was fruiting profusely when I was there. The mangoes are rounded compared to the typical ovate ones. Probably one of the many cultivars of the species. The tree also hosts many species of epiphytes.


Tembusu trees (Fagraea fragrans) typical form is an architecture wonder. Its primary branches will branch into many upright spokes.


This Livistona rotundifolia palm (I think) is so tall that it is more than twice the height of the Angsana trees in the background! Beats me on why there is a need to grow so damn high, since there are zero competitors for sunlight in the surroundings.




I have seen many larger Ficus benjamina trees but this particular one captured my attention more than anyone else, probably because of its extensive drooping leaves.


Another of the same fig species (Ficus benjamina) but this time it comes in two. The two towering figs serves as a majestic gateway for the uncle with his two adorable dogs - Beacon and Dognut, as he lovingly told me earlier. The yellow leaves from the tree on the left is actually a mistletoe, Viscum ovalifolium.

And so, a tribute to the “heritage” trees of Bidadari, before they will be fell for residential development next year. I hope at least some will be conserved!

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