28 November 2009

Colourful forests of Chek Jawa

Chek Jawa seems to be blooming, fruiting and flushing with new leaves today! A sunny morning in the midst of the monsoon season, with clear waters along the coastal forest.
While Chay Hoon and Ley Kun guided the families, I slacked off to take a closer look at some of the flourishing plants on Chek Jawa.

On the one hand, I worry if there is too much rain as extreme rainfall can affect marine life on Chek Jawa. There was mass death here in 2007 following massive flooding in nearby Johor. More about this on Kok Sheng's blog about his project to study this.

But rain is good for the plants, and some of them looked very lively today on Chek Jawa. The bright orange blossoms of our native wild Ixora (Ixora congesta) brightened up the forest around Chek Jawa. And on one bush there can be new flower buds as well as blossoming flowers and fruits from young red ones to ripened black ones. Wow.
On the way to the boardwalks, some of the fruit trees were fruiting. The kids were most intrigued by the small starfruit on the tree!
And on the large Jambu bol tree (Syzygium malaccensis), little round 'jambus' were forming next to what seems to be the next crop of bright pink flowers!
Along the mangrove boardwalk, the Palas palm (Licuala ferruginea) was sending out long spikes of tiny little flowers. Soon these will turn into bright pink round fruits.
I was too busy looking at mangrove critters in the back mangroves, and only noticed the mangrove trees when we got to the seaward side. It was a great opportunity to share with visitors the rare Lenggadai (Bruguiera parviflora) with long narrow flowers (on the left) compared to the more common Bakau putih (Brugueira cylindrica) with shorter flowers.
The coastal forest had touches of red from fresh new leaves.
While other plants had bronzey new leaves.
High at the top of the coastal hill forest are some tall palms that look like Nibong (Oncosperma tigillarium) and they were flowering. The palms have spiky trunks.
At the end of the coastal boardwalk, the magnificent Penaga laut (Calophyllum inophyllum) tree was fruiting!
And next to it, a little bush was bursting in white blossoms. I have no idea what it is!
But it sure is pretty! The trunk is scattered with little bumps.
Meanwhile, we also saw all kinds of animals!


  1. White-flowered bush is Olea brachiata, Sea Olive : ) The Licuala is ferruginea? Check L. spinosa.

  2. Thanks Joe! Wow, a Sea olive. That was a really nice treelet.

    Ok, will check up on the Licuala.

    There's so much more to learn about our plants!



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