01 January 2010

Special mangrove plants at Pasir Ris

A surprise at Pasir Ris, as I checked up on the special mangrove trees and plants there.
I've been wondering what this planted tree was. Finally I found out as it was blooming!

It's the Tumu berau(Bruguiera sexangula)! Listed as 'Critically Endangered' in the Singapore Red List, it is globally considered the rarest of the Bruguiera species. In Singapore, there are two trees on Pulau Tekong, and two at Sungei Buloh. But NParks is replanting it at Chek Jawa and other parts of Pulau Ubin. And now I realise, also at Pasir Ris! Hooray!
Unlike the more common Tumu (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza), the Tumu berau has petals without tassels at the tips.
Here's a closer look at the flower. The petals are hairy, but not tassels at the petal tips, see?
Another rare mangrove tree that is widely planted at Pasir Ris is the Berembang (Sonneratia caseolaris). And wow, they are doing very well. The trees are tall and some are flowering and forming fruits!
Here's a closer look at the unopened flower bud with skinny red petals, and the fruit with the star shaped sepals held horizontally at the base of the fruit.
Hanging among the branches of one of the trees, there were lots of large cocoons of the Atlas moth, among the largest moths in the world. In fact, a huge Atlas moth was resting in the tree! It looked like it had just emerged from the cocoon and was waiting for its enormous wings to expand and harden up.
On another branch, this little bird was starting to build a nest.
Is it a sunbird? I'm terrible with bird ID.
Wow, the trees are already providing food and shelter to animals! This tree is listed as 'Critically Endangered' and there are few wild trees left in Singapore. So it's good to see them being planted in our mangroves.

Pasir Ris is also home to some very special wild mangroves. Among them, the ONLY specimen we know of the Pisang-pisang (Kandelia candel)! Needless to say, it is listed as 'Critically Endangered'. The bush doesn't seem to be growing much bigger since the last time I saw it. And it didn't have any fruits or flowers. But then it's still alive. Sigh. We are grateful for small mercies.
Pasir Ris is a great place for a real closeup view of the rare Lenggadai (Bruguiera parviflora)! Listed as 'Endangered', this mangrove tree is not commonly seen. The Lenggadai at Pasir Ris was lush and healthy with some flowering branches. But I couldn't see any propagules.
Another rare mangrove tree is Bakau mata buaya (Bruguiera hainensii). Listed as 'Critically Endangered' it is considered rather uncommon globally, there are only two wild trees in Singapore. The other one is at Pulau Ubin. It seems to be doing well, and I could see one propagule on the tree.
The ground beneath it was strewn with lots of fallen flowers. Alas, I couldn't find any fallen propagules.
I checked out a new area of the mangroves. There were some large common mangrove trees and a huge tangle of pretty Wild jasmine (Clerodendron inermis). This is not a rare plant but it sure was a beautiful sight.
But it was sad to see all the litter that is building up in the mangroves where these special plants are found.
We should treasure the mangroves that we have left.


  1. Hi Ria;
    Happy New year! Hooray!! more species of mangroves conquering the shores! hoorah for the new year!
    That birdie is a female sunbird. I think is a female brown throated sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis)..

  2. Hey Ria;
    After looking closely at the pic... the birdie now looks more like the female olive-backed sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis)... i noticed the slight supercillium.
    female sunbirds are quite confusing..hahhaha..
    sorry to confuse you even more...hahhaha!

  3. Happy New Year to you too Wendy! Thanks for the bird ID help! Haha, yah...now I'm confused. But that's normal for me and birds.



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