Saturday, January 30, 2010

Epiphytes

The bird's nest, ferns and various orchid species are the most common of the epiphytes seen in the city of singapore. I did not get pictures of any of them, but did manage to get one of this amazing epiphyte high up in the canopy in the nature reserve.
Unlike vines and lianas, epiphytes can be parasitic. They are not rooted to the ground when they start growth, but some eventually reach the ground and send their roots down.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Vines and Lianas


Twining stems


Woody vines - lianas

Some lianas develop spring like coils to survive even when the two trees they are dependent on sway away from each other.

Lianas provide an important transport system for arboreal creatures like lemurs. Sadly we did not see any of the flying lemurs that inhabit the nature reserve. Too high up in the canopy probably!

To know more about these amazing rainforest lianas, read through this link.

Giants of the rainforests - The stately serayas




Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bukit Timah nature reserve

If you've been to the Guindy national park in Chennai, and thought it small (2.82 sqkm), then you ought to visit the Bukit Timah nature reserve in Singapore. At 1.64 sqkm / 400 acres, it is really small for a protected reserve; but it truely lives up to the adage 'good things come in small packages'! A sanctuary for primary rainforests in a city where much of it has been replaced by artificial gardens, the nature reserve is a really nice place to get away, get some exercise and 'see the trees'.


The bukit timah reserve is part of a larger protected area - along with the central catchment reserve of singapore it covers some 3000 odd sqkm and is protected by the Parks and Trees act of 2005. It is bound by four reservoirs - the McRitchie, Upper Pierce, Lower Pierce and Seletar reservoirs. The nature reserve acts as a catchment area for the water in the reservoirs and maintains the quality of the water.


At 163m, the summit at the reserve is the highest point in singapore. It once served as a granite quarry, but quarry activities have long been abandoned.

Watch this space, there's a lot more to come on the BT nature reserve.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Heliconias galore

Never have i seen so many varieties of heliconias as i did in Singapore.. They aren't native to the area, but have been planted extensively in the city. The heliconia rostratas - lobster claws were a plenty, as were the heliconia stricta or the erect lobster claws



and the heliconia psittacorum - parakeet flower?, that I, like many others mistook for the bird-of-paradise.



I havent identified this one yet, but it does look like a heliconia, doesnt it?


Saturday, January 2, 2010

How many reasons do you need to celebrate ?

The holiday season and now it is a whole new year again.
And with the new year comes a brand new edition of the Festival of the Trees. Check it out.

On my part, i have been getting acquainted with many new trees. A recent move to Bangalore has brought me in contact with the leafy beauties of this region and i am in flora haven! Rightly called the 'garden city', this south indian city boasts many beautiful gardens and huge old trees. I am particularily delighted to see how most everybody here has a little 'flower-pot garden', regardless of the size of their home. Pictures to come soon...