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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?
The "Super Fruit" Tree
Super fruit. Enough said. These two words can conjure up images of a pomegranate flying around in its cape and saving the world. But on the contrary, this fruit is a tad more subtle on how it can benefit us in our overall health. With its rich nutritional content and powerful antioxidant properties, the pomegranate helps in reducing the risk of cancer, lowering cholesterol levels and improving both blood circulation and skin condition. To add, it is also low in calories and sugar content. The list of benefits is definitely not exhaustive as researchers are continuously discovering more positive health effects when consuming pomegranates on a regular basis. So, perhaps it’s time that we either start eating or growing them more now?
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What's Up?
Fauna News
Flora News
Blue Leaves in the Shade
Ever wonder why certain plants display blue iridescence on their leaves when grown in shade? A team of scientists from the University of Bristol has discovered that plants, such as Begonia pavonina have evolved a unique arrangement of the spire-like structure (Thylakoid) in the chloroplasts. Often randomly placed in normal plants, the thylakoids are neatly arranged in Begonia pavonina, this slows down light as it travels through the leaf, and increases the absorption of red and green light for photosynthesis. Blue light is reflected away, giving the leaves a blue colouration to the human eye! Learn more by clicking here
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