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Plant of the Month
Fuss-free Flowers
For flower lovers without much space or light to grow plants, Heliconia longiflora could be an ideal choice. It usually grows up to 1 m tall and can be grown in a container. While many flowering plants need at least 4-6 hours of full sun daily to bloom well, Heliconia longiflora regularly flowers under semi-shade. Nestled among orange-yellow bracts, the creamy white tubular flowers attract nectar-feeding birds that help pollinate them. When the flowers fade, metallic blue, oval fruits emerge which are also relished by birds. This species grows best in well-drained soil that is kept consistently moist, and the large leaves should be protected from the wind. Click 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?
Colour-changing magic
Commonly known as Butterfly Pea plant, the flowers of Clitoria ternatea is one of the key ingredient for the colour changing drink which is taking over the world by storm. Dried flowers are boiled to produce a blue solution, and it changes to purple when lemon juice is added! In traditional Peranakan culture, the blue pigment is also used for popular dessert like Kueh Salat. Butterfly Pea plant is widely cultivated in home gardens and the roots can improve soil quality by fixing nitrogen. Click on the button to learn more.
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What's Up?
Fauna News
Flora News
Trees Keep Cities Cool
The cooling effect of a small forest in the city has the profound effect of cooling the environment. Summer daytime temperatures can be lowered by 3.4 degrees Celsius. Hard city surfaces take in heat from the sun in the day and gradually give off the heat in the night. Trees however not only shade those surfaces, they also release water into the air through transpiration, cooling the surroundings. The study showed that for maximum cooling benefit, the tree canopy cover must be greater than 40 percent of an area. This information is useful for city planners to develop more livable neighbourhoods.
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