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Plant of the Month
Spleenwort - Growing Baby Ferns
Asplenium longissimum, also known as Spleenwort is a native of Singapore. It is from the same family as the Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus), this fern has very long fronds that grow up to 2 m long. Its spores are arranged in a long and slightly curved pattern near the main vein. Mainly propagated via spores, this terrestrial fern can also grow vegetatively, by producing plantlets on its fronds. Look out for small bulb-like structures that appear on the upper surface of the tip of leaflets. As these bulbils grow, they will develop a root system and can then be separated into individual ferns! These ferns can be found in some parks in Singapore, like Woodlands Town Park East. Click on 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?
'Hidden' partnerships
What does the Adder’s Tongue Fern (Ophioglossum pendulum) have to do with Staghorn ferns (Platycerium spp.) and the Bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus) ? The Adder’s Tongue fern, which takes its name from the fertile frond that supposedly resembles an Adder’s tongue, is an epiphytic fern with pendent, ribbon like fronds that measure up to about 1.5m in length. This species can only be found growing from the ‘nests’ of the Stag Horn fern, and occasionally from the Bird’s nest fern. This association can be traced to a fungus that forms a ‘hidden’ partnership with the Adder’s Tongue fern - much like orchid seeds, the spores of the Ophioglossum rely upon a mycorrhizal fungus in order to germinate successfully. The fungus is most often found in the ‘nests’ of these two types of epiphytic ferns, hence the association.
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What's Up?
Fauna News
Flora News
First seeds grown on the Moon!
Farming on the Moon may not be a fantasy anymore, as Chinese astronomers have successfully germinated cotton seeds inside a sealed biosphere, on the surface of the moon. In the past, plants were all grown on the International Space Station, but never on the Moon. This marks an important milestone as the ability to grow plants on the Moon can help in long-term space missions.
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