Friday, March 5, 2010

Some Forest Plants

These are some plant species that caught my attention during the last two weekend outings to our nature reserves.

African Tulip (Spathodea campanulata. Family : Bignoniaceae) is a rather common evergreen growing on wastelands and along some secondary forest edges. A fast-growing tree which has wind-dispersed seeds, African Tulip is very attractive when it is in full bloom as the large and showy orange-red flowers can easily be seen from far. The fruits are long and obliquely large. .
The dried flowers on the ground provide food source for animals as well. Look at this Baron (Euthalia aconthea gurda), it was found "drunk" on a piece of decaying flower.

This spiny rattan palm Daemonorops didymophylla. (Family: Arecaceae) is rather common in the shady parts of our forest. I have seen some very tall ones before. Here is a picture of a cluster of fruits that I took recently.

The fruits are covered with a red encrusting resin which can be use as a traditional medicine as well as a dye according to Ivan Polunin's book on "Plants and Flowers of Singapore". There are quite a few other Daemonorops species that can be used for many purposes (see here). I was quite curious to find out how its flowers look like but was not able to find any.

I saw this Black Lily (Tecca integrifolia Family : Taccaceae) near a stream in our nature reserve. The leaves are large and its flower is grown at the end of a flowering stem which stands out quite prominently.

Here is a close-up shot of its rather unique flower which is surrounded by very interesting-looking bracts. I was rather intrigued by this very special flower.

Without a good diversity of plant species, the survival of many animals will be threaten. We need to be observant to look at the plants around us, try to understand more about their habitats in order to safeguard their survival in our very delicate natural environment.

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