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Plant of the Month
 
Beautiful in Blue
Memecylon pauciflorum, also known as Cherry Shrub, is a beautiful native tree with vivid blue flowers. The blue that we see is the colour of numerous blue stamens of its tiny flowers. Small flowers clustered together to form a huge inflorescence, attracting the attention of its pollinators. M. pauciflorum exhibits profuse blooming during flowering seasons, making it an attractive tree of Singapore. You can read more about it here.
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Animal of the Month
Mangrove Pit Viper
The Mangrove Pit Viper is one of two pit vipers in Singapore, and typical of pit vipers, it has a triangular head, and prehensile tail which can wrap around a branch as it strikes. Often coiled motionless on branches of mangrove trees, this snake is not easy to spot. When you do spot one, be careful not to get too close though - known to be aggressive, this snake can strike pretty far, and its hemotoxic venom can be very dangerous.
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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.