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Plant of the Month
Balsam - The Healing Beauty
As Mother’s Day is around the corner, it is time to start planning ahead to give our mothers a thoughtful gift to remember. Balsam (Impatiens balsamina) may be an old-fashioned plant, but it is still a favourite as it blooms continuously with colours ranging from purple, pink, red and white. It does well under full sun and loves plenty of moisture. This annual also grows very fast from seed and starts to bloom even when it is only a few inches tall! It has sensitive seed capsules that explode when touched to disperse seeds far from the parent plant. This plant has a lot of medicinal uses such as using leaf juice to heal warts and applying crushed flowers to burns and scalds to promote healing. Click on the button below to learn more.
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Animal of the Month
Tigers in Coney
The colourful Common Tiger is a common species in many urban parks of Singapore. Much like the closely related Monarch Butterfly, this butterfly sequesters chemicals in its host plants, thus defending itself against predators by making it unpalatable. A good place to see this species is the newly opened Coney Island, where these butterflies can be seen fluttering about the Coastal Meadows display in large numbers!
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Did You Know?
The Gelam Tree
Do you know that Kampong Glam derived its name from the gelam tree (Melaleuca cajuputi)? Kampong Glam was named after the gelam trees that were growing or planted in the area. ‘Kampong’ refers to village in Malay and ‘Glam’ (or ‘gelam’) is the common name for the tree Melaleuca cajuputi, a tree from the myrtle family (Myrtaceae). This tree has a distinct papery bark and has many medicinal uses. Kampong Glam used to be just by the sea and the gelam tree had many practical uses for boat building by the Bugis sailors! Although the gelam tree is extinct from the wild in Singapore, it still widely planted and cultivated in the urban areas of Singapore. You can even see some fine specimens planted in Kampong Glam!
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What's Up?
Fauna News
Flora News
Avocado Trees in Florida Facing Threats of a Devastating Pathogen
Avocados are one of the most popular tropical fruits. The fruits are rich in nutrients which have many health benefits. It’s reported that the avocado trees in Florida are facing threats of a deadly fungal disease – laurel wilt. Over 12,000 trees were already destroyed. Tree experts recommended that maintaining the tree health is essential to protect avocados from laurel wilt. Click here to learn more.
© 2013 National Parks Board, Singapore.