04 February 2011

Special mangroves at St. John's Island

St. John's Island has some tiny patches of mangroves, including some rare mangrove trees. It is probably the only place where I can take a photo of mangrove trees with the Singapore business district in the background!
I haven't looked at the mangroves here since Aug 09 and another trip also in the same month.

I finally got to see the Critically Endangered Api-api jambu (Avicennia marina) at St. John's. The last time we were here, the tree wasn't 'fruiting', but this time it was! And Jun has labelled it for the nature walks she coordinates here.
Alas, the area where the tree is growing continues to be used as a dumping ground for fallen leaves cleared from the rest of the island. I didn't get have a look to see whether burning of trash was still going on at the other side of this tiny mangrove patch.
There are also several of the Vulnerable Bakau pasir (Rhizophora stylosa) on this shore. Some of the propagules had their brown parts chewed up. And some of the trees were full of red ants. There are also some very nice old Tumu (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza) here.
After this brief look, we head quickly for the natural cliffs of St. John's Island. These are cloaked in a wonderful coastal forest.
Among the special trees there are the Critically Endangered Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia).
Here and there in the coastal forest, these bushy plants were in full bloom!
The lovely white puffy flowers dusted the cliffs like snow. I don't know what plant this is and shall be lame and await some kind soul to leave a comment with its ID.
Another key objective of mine, have a look at the Critically Endangered Nyireh (Xylocarpus rumphii). I have only seen them here and at Sentosa. On St. John's there is this big old gnarled mother tree and two other younger trees. They all seem to be doing well, although many of the leaves were curled up and deformed.
But the mother tree was fruiting!! There were lots of large green fruits resembling apples. How nice!
I didn't focus totally on mangroves and coastal plants today, so here's more about the different flora I saw on my previous trip.

I also had a quick look at the rocky shores at St. John's.


  1. The trees with puffy flowers looked like Syzygium zeylanicum~ :)

  2. Hi Ria,

    The bushy plant with white puffy blooms looks like Syzygium zeylanicum from the Myrtaceae family.

  3. Thanks SY and friend for the ID of the 'snowy' trees! They were quite pretty!



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