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Adenia macrophylla var. singaporiana
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Plant of the Month
Ornamental and Edible!
While most Hibiscus plants are grown for their large, showy flowers, one species known as the Cranberry Hibiscus (scientific name: Hibiscus acetosella) is grown mainly for its ornamental foliage. It has deeply dissected, purplish red leaves which resemble Japanese maple leaves. This plant is ideal for Singaporeans who love Japanese maples but cannot grow them because of their need for an annual cold period. Aside from being ornamental, the young leaves are also edible, having a tart flavour and mucilaginous texture which is especially popular in Brazil. The leaves are added sparingly to salads and stir-fries, maintaining their attractive colour even after being cooked. The flowers are also added to tea, lemonade and other drinks for the purplish colour they impart. To learn more, click on the green button below.
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Animal of the Month
Common Palm Civet
The Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), also known as musang or toddy cat, is a nocturnal mammal found in both urban and forested areas of Singapore. This omnivore feeds on small prey and fruit and defecates viable seeds, making it a potential seed disperser. The excreted coffee beans occasionally ingested by this species of wild civet in parts of the Southeast Asian region are used to produce the world's most expensive coffee, kopi luwak. However, the reputation of this industry has been tainted by their reported cruel treatment of poaching and caging the palm civets. In Singapore, civets face the threat of being trapped or becoming roadkill due to the proximity of civet habitats to humans.
Interestingly, the secretions from its anal scent glands have been described as smelling like pandan, so if you ever smell pandan in an area without such plants, keep your eyes peeled for these shy creatures, recognisable by the presence of a black facial mask across their eyes. Find out more about this charismatic animal and celebrate its existence as Singapore’s last wild native urban carnivore!
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Did You Know?
Mangrove Horseshoe Crab
Contrary to popular belief, their tail is not used for defence but to help with locomotion and to upright themselves if they have been turned upside down. Horseshoe crabs are mainly scavengers, feeding on worms, bivalves and animal matter. Two species have been recorded from Singapore, this photo shows the Mangrove Horseshoe Crab, and the other one is the Coastal Horseshoe Crab. Both species are listed in the Singapore Red Data book.
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What's Up?
Fauna News
Flora News
New records and rediscoveries of plants in Singapore!
In the land scarce city-state Singapore, researchers rejoiced as they found many new records and rediscoveries of plant species in its nature reserves, offshore islands and secondary forests. Over five years of hard work, a total of eleven new plant records and eight rediscoveries of species previously presumed nationally extinct were documented. These include new records such as Arcangelisia flava, Albertisia crassa and rediscoveries such as Cocculus orbiculatus, Loeseneriella macrantha, Scolopia macrophylla. Click here to find out more about their exciting findings in the latest edition of Gardens' Bulletin Singapore!
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