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Plant of the Month
 
Tree of the Sea
Mangrove Apple (Sonneratia alba) is one of the native pioneer species in the harsh saline condition of the mangrove habitat. A big tree that grows where the land ends and the sea starts; Mangrove Apple plays an important role in reducing wave action for other mangrove species to thrive. Unlike iconic mangrove trees like Rhizophora sp. which possess large propagules with small plantlet inside, Mangrove Apple has small floating seeds that germinate quickly. Resembling fireworks, the flower has pure white multi-stamens, which opens at night and are pollinated by bats. You can read more about it here.
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Animal of the Month
Scarlet Pygmy
Singapore is home to one of the smallest dragonfly in the world. Its scientific name is Nannophya pygmaea and commonly known as Scalet Pygmy. This little dragonfly, measuring only about 17mm in body length, is also one of the prettiest in Singapore. The adult males are bright red in colour. On the other hand, females and immature males are of light to dark brownish colour with white markings. The Scarlet Pygmy has a wide distribution range in Asia. In Taiwan, it is also suitable named ‘小红蜻蜓’ meaning ‘little red dragonfly’.
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Did You Know?
 
The Tempinis Tree
Do you know that Tampines is named after the Tempinis Tree (Scientific name: Streblus elongatus) from the fig family (Moraceae)? The bustling housing estate in the east was probably named so due to the abundance of this tree in the area in the past. There are two very fine and old specimens of this tree in Singapore listed as “Heritage Trees” under the Heritage Tree Scheme – one in Changi and another at St. John’s Island. This bushy tree bears catkin-like bunch of flowers and is considered ‘Vulnerable’ in Singapore under the Singapore Red List (2009). The tree is also harvested for its heavy, strong and durable timber!
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© 2013 National Parks Board, Singapore.