Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bidadari Cemetery

My weekend trip today was to Bidadari Cemetery, recommended by L, who accompanied me this morning.

The aim was actually to bird-watch, but we did not see any interesting ones besides some orioles, bulbuls, koels, etc.

To say that it is a cemetery is actually incorrect, since most, if not all of the graves were already exhumed. It is now a place as we observed, for people to jog and walk their dogs.

However, quite a lot of nice trees like this Tembusu, Fagraea fragrans still stands. Its branching seems like upward point fingers, rather appropriate for a cemetery tree I suppose?

There were many other common trees along the area which I won’t blog about. One plant which I was particularly curious about is this tree.


The fruits resembles the Noni, Morinda citrifolia, but all of these leaves look much lighter green in colour. Could this be a different Morinda? A check in Kwek’s vascular flora list however shows that M. citrifolia is the only tree, while the rest are climbers… Update: Morinda elliptica. Thanks VB for the ID. Update: Seems like this plant is STILL Morinda citrifolia, according to Kew, even though it looks very different from the the Morinda citrifolia. Update: Apparently, M. elliptica is still valid, according to Razafimandimbison (2009). Thanks Kwek for the research.

It took me a moment to recall this rather common wayside tree, Gliricidia sepium. This was my first time seeing its flower.

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This cemetery is one of the few places to see this variable squirrel. Though exotic, we can’t help exclaiming about its cuteness!

I managed to take two close ups of the squirrel. This one above crossing its arms while hanging outside down…

And another picture of it biting a branch. I also saw it nibbling on the leaves of this Gliricidia. Part of its diet?


A Clerodendrum sp. It looks like the hydrid C. x speciosum.

After finishing our walk, we realised that we were very close to SPCA, so we went in to have a look. This cat with beautiful blue eyes was my favourite!


Two adorable kittens here…

Another kitten which L was particularly attached to.

Our next point is to investigate a forest fragment near Hougang Ave 3. Just at the forest edge, we were rudely interrupted by these four dogs.

It was always nice to see streams in the forest. Gives me the delusion that it is a freshwater swamp forest.


However, I was rather disappointed that the vegetation in the forest were all common plants. Sea almond, fish-tail palm, Banyan and starfruits trees; money plant climbers; Pandan and Alocasia near the stream, and the ground sprawling with Piper sarmentosum.


Remains of a village? Or is this some valuable antique?

I decided to leave soon after staying no more than 20 minutes since there was nothing new to discover and the undergrowth was very also thick (scared of snakes).

I was pretty upset that my Anta track pants which has served me well was torn. What’s worse was that that the attached compass and rubber tip of my two weeks old hiking stick came out and was no where to be found. Damn… =.=”

Not sure whether I will keep up my weekly fieldtrips since my goody field trip kaki L will be going on SEP for a year soon. All the best!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Unknown Syzygium

In a forest fragment in Bukit Batok, we found a cool seemingly Syzygium plant fruiting. The cluster was hanging down with an attractive purple.

Below are the leaves, dark green opposite arranged, but the crushed leaves doesn’t smell distinctly ‘Syzygium’ though. The bark is light brown in colour and petiole about an inch long.

Help anyone? Update: Hmm, perhaps it is Syzygium jambos? Update: Syzygium pycnanthum, a critically endangered plant. Thanks to the SING herbarium guys for the help in ID.


Update: Here is a close-up of the fruits~

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Getting down and dirty

My weekly weekend exploration today brings us to the Northern side of Singapore, the location can’t be disclosed owing to some reason.

Destination, at the end of this canal. It shouldn’t be hard to guess where is the place for those who are familiar.

Looks tasty. The fruits of the climber, Cissus hastata.

Peacock Pansy butterfly.

The fruits of Claoxylon indicum. Also known as Nappy Plant as the soft leaves are used as diapers.

Was quite delighted to see this Hoya diversifolia climbing all over the tree.


Sea Holly, Acanthus sp. Still not very good in ID-ing the three species to its species level. Update: Acanthus ebracteatus.

Nice Rhizophora sp. prop roots.

A Perak Lascar, resting on the mudflat.

Man, I have no wonder what this scrambling shrub or climber is… help… Update: Acanthus volubilis. Guess this is my first time noticing that the leaves appear in this obovate form.

My first time taking a picture of the fruits of the Chengam, Scyphiphora hydrophylacea.
An unknown plant…
We walked past an abandoned farm with fruits trees, herbal plants etc. This is the Black face general, Strobilanthes crispus. At the back left is me, totally covered like a terrorist to prevent the mosquito bites.

We were thinking of how to cross the river when this low hanging stem allowed us to use it as a bridge to reach the other side.

Two cute little Xylocarpus granatum fruits.

At the end of the trip, totally muddy and got a few cuts. I have to go to the toilet to wash my pants so that I can take the MRT home.

Thanks RY and WF for the IDs.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mutant Asystasia

PX found this Asystasia gangetica micrantha when we were in Punggol.

The flower looked abit different from the normal one which have two purple lips instead of one. Mutant?


Here are the normal flowers.

Fruity Sengkang

I remembered quite clearly the mangroves in Sungei Punggol whenever I pasted by TPE to reach Yishun for my guitar lessons years back. Now it was cleared to make way for Sengkang sports complex and Sengkang Riverside park.

I was in the park recently with PX and M. Most of the plants were still young. It was obvious that the theme of the park was about edible trees, apparent from all the edible fruit trees planted throughout the park.

Here is logan, Dimocarpus logan. Tastes nice too (oops).


Morus alba, also known as:


M pointed out some YOG people were flying kites here.


This was my first time seeing nutmeg’s (Myristica fragrans) flowers.

Anacardium occidentale, the fruits famously known as cashew nuts. The sap of this plant is said to be very caustic.

We found a changeable lizard hunting in action, and it caught a grasshopper. You can see the legs still sticking out from the lizard’s mouth.


My first time seeing the female flowers of the oil palm, Elaeis guineensis too.

Here are its fruits, riped (left) and unriped (right).

This is a new plant for me. Flacourtia sp.

Here is a plant which looks like a Dillenia sp, from the corrugated cardboard like leaves. It has flaking bark. Wonder what this is. I wish they put ID boards for all the plants there so that it is easier for people (like me) to learn. Update: Dillenia indica.

Lots of fruits, but little shade. But guess it is NParks intention as seen in their website to let this park to have extensive lawns for people to play in. Guess when some of the trees grow taller, this will be a nice little fruity park.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Know 10 Street Trees stamp

I just returned home and saw my prudential letter on my table (I wonder why they have to send so many). Besides that, I noticed that on the envelope, there were some stamps depicting common street trees which I found interesting.


A check at SingPost website showed that it had collaborated with NParks to let the public know more about our 10 most common street trees in Singapore. More information in the pdf here. For those who want the whole collection, it costs only S$2.60!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Spotted wood owl

Got alerted by SD that DL and friends have seen a pair of spotted wood owl (Strix seloputo) nearby just after work. This species is supposed to be a rare resident, which according to the annotated checklist of the birds of Singapore, only have a population of 6-10.

I tagged along to have a look and they are really very cute! I was pretty amused to see one with the belly facing me but the head totally twisted 180 degree backwards. Soon, it turned back to face us and its eye-balls are damn huge~ :s

Interesting sighting~

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