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Plant of the Month
 
Extraordinary Staghorn Fern
Platycerium ridleyi, also known as Ridley’s Staghorn Fern, was named after the first director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Sir Henry Nicholas Ridley, who made exceptional contributions to the region’s botany, natural history and economy in the 1880s. Unlike other Platycerium species, Ridley’s Staghorn Fern produces unique upright forked leaves, which resemble a deer’s antlers! Although it is presumably extinct in the wild, local horticulturists are actively growing the Ridley’s Staghorn Fern from horticultural origin as it is a beloved collector’s staghorn fern and for planting in local gardens and parks. Click here to read 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?
 
A new name for our national flower
Did you know that Singapore’s national flower has changed name? Formerly known as Vanda Miss Joaquim, taxonomists have reclassified it from the genus Vanda to Papilionanthe. Our national flower is now known as Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim, a hybrid formed by crossing the orchids Papilionanthe teres and Papilionanthe hookeriana together. This hybrid was named after Agnes Joaquim (1854-1899), the first person to successfully cross these 2 orchid species. Miss Joaquim was part of the Armenian community in Singapore, and she created the hybrid in her home garden in Tanjong Pagar in 1893. Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim was chosen as the national flower because of its bright colours, free flowering nature and ability to withstand difficult growing conditions. It is the only hybrid to be selected as a national flower.
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