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Plant of the Month
 
Spleenwort - Growing Baby Ferns
Asplenium longissimum, also known as Spleenwort is a native of Singapore. It is from the same family as the Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus), this fern has very long fronds that grow up to 2 m long. Its spores are arranged in a long and slightly curved pattern near the main vein. Mainly propagated via spores, this terrestrial fern can also grow vegetatively, by producing plantlets on its fronds. Look out for small bulb-like structures that appear on the upper surface of the tip of leaflets. As these bulbils grow, they will develop a root system and can then be separated into individual ferns! These ferns can be found in some parks in Singapore, like Woodlands Town Park East. Click on the button below to learn more.
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Animal of the Month
Green Crested Lizard
The striking Green Crested Lizard (Bronchocela cristatella) is native to Singapore, and was a common sight in the past. However, its recent declines have been attributed to the introduction of the more aggressive Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor), which was first seen in Singapore in the 1980's. The Changeable Lizard is now abundant in managed parks and gardens, while the Green Crested Lizard is seen mostly in primary and secondary forests.
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Did You Know?
 
A sunflower with edible tubers
Commonly known as Jerusalem Artichoke (scientific name: Helianthus tuberosus), you might expect it to be from Jerusalem and have succulent, green leaves. Instead, this sunflower is native to North America and has yellow, daisy-like flowers with edible, narrow tubers. Foodies love the sweet, crunchy flavour of the tuber which may be eaten raw, roasted, boiled or added to soups. The tuber is rich in iron, potassium and inulin (a low calorie, low glycemic source of fiber). This fast-growing plant is low maintenance, forming a thick, golden clump in well-drained soil and under bright sun. It attracts bees and butterflies which help to pollinate neighbouring plants as well.
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What's Up?
Fauna News
Flora News
First seeds grown on the Moon!
Farming on the Moon may not be a fantasy anymore, as Chinese astronomers have successfully germinated cotton seeds inside a sealed biosphere, on the surface of the moon. In the past, plants were all grown on the International Space Station, but never on the Moon. This marks an important milestone as the ability to grow plants on the Moon can help in long-term space missions.
 
 
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