Friday, June 05, 2009

Rare Mangrove Trees of Singapore

Today is World Environment Day, so thought I will consolidate some of the photos I have taken of rare mangrove plants in Singapore, just to highlight these precious natural heritage we have here.

Pisang-pisang Laut or Sea Banana (Kandelia candel)
The rarest mangrove plant in Singapore is probably the Pisang-pisang Laut or Sea Banana (Kandelia candel). Currently, there is only one tree here at Pasir Ris Park. When I visited it about a month ago, the main tree trunk was broken, and it was in a really sorry state. Fortunately, it appeared to be recovering and the above photo was taken about half a month ago, when it was flowering.

Berus Mata Buaya (Bruguiera hainesii)
Second in line is the Berus Mata Buaya (Bruguiera hainesii). There are only 2 known wild trees - in Paris Ris Park and Pulau Ubin. The above flower was shot at Pasir Ris Park about a month ago. Personally, I think this plant has the prettiest flower among the various species of Bruguiera we have in Singapore.

Berus Mata Buaya (Bruguiera hainesii)
This is how the propagule of the Berus Mata Buaya looks like, the photo taken last year at Pulau Ubin. Found this tree by accident actually. I was searching for the Lenggadai, but ended up finding this even rarer tree instead.

Tumu Putih (Bruguiera sexangula)
The Tumu Putih (Bruguiera sexangula) is another rare one. Previously thought to be extinct in Singapore, it was spotted at Pulau Tekong in recent years. The above photo was taken at Pulau Ubin though. It was planted at Chek Jawa from the propagules of the Pulau Tekong trees.

Tumu Putih (Bruguiera sexangula)
And just recently about 1 week ago, I was told that another wild tree was found at Sungei Buloh! Earlier this week, I received another email saying that a total of 2 wild Tumu Putih trees were found! The above photo was shot at Sungei Buloh just earlier today. Thanks to Ed and John for the information!

Lenggadai (Bruguiera parviflora)
The Lenggadai (Bruguiera parviflora) is another member of the genus that is rather rare in Singapore. I have seen this tree at Pasir Ris Park and Pulau Ubin, though I understand there is one tree at Sungei Buloh and probably more at other places.

Lenggadai (Bruguiera parviflora)
This photo of the propagule was taken about half a month ago at Pasir Ris Park.

Api-api Jambu (Avicennia marina)
The Api-api Jambu (Avicennia marina) can only be found at Pandan, St John's Island and Pulau Semakau, with the largest population on Pulau Semakau. The flowers in the photo above was taken at St John's Island.

Api-api Jambu (Avicennia marina)
Our previous survey at Pulau Semakau revealed a good population of at least 3 mature trees and more than 10 younger trees.

Berembang (Sonneratia caseolaris)
Wild Berembang (Sonneratia caseolaris) is now very rare in Singapore. I have only seen wild ones at Woodlands, though I understand they can be found at Seletar, Sungei Buloh and a few other places. The above photo of the flower belongs to a planted tree at Sungei Buloh.

Berembang (Sonneratia caseolaris)
And this is the fruit of the Berembang.

Gedabu (Sonneratia ovata)
Not as rare, but still very uncommon is the Gedabu (Sonneratia ovata). I could still remember how excited I was when I found this tree along sensory trail at Pulau Ubin last year. Just earlier this year, I found yet another patch with several trees.

Gedabu (Sonneratia ovata)
The Gebabu can also be found at Sungei Buloh, where the above photo was taken just earlier today.

Kachang-kachang (Aegiceras corniculatum)
While there are a few sites in Singapore that you can find the rare Kacang-kacang (Aegiceras corniculatum), this tree on Pulau Ubin is probably the most accessible. Unfortunately when I went to find it last weekend, there was some development work, and the tree has fallen down. Half the tree has dried up and is dead, while the other half looks like it's still surviving. However, since they are still bulldozing the area, I somehow doubt if it could survive for long...

Kachang-kachang (Aegiceras corniculatum)
Here are the fruits of the tree that I photographed last year.

Nyireh Batu (Xylocarpus moluccensis)
The Nyireh Batu (Xylocarpus moluccensis) can still be easily found at Pasir Ris Park, Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong, though it's very rare at other parts of Singapore. The flowers above were shot at Pasir Ris Park.

Nyireh Batu (Xylocarpus moluccensis)
This fruit was photographed just last month at Pulau Ubin.

Xylocarpus rumphii
Xylocarpus rumphii is even rarer, and only a few trees can be found on Sentosa, St John's Island and Sungei Buloh.

Barat Laut (Cassine viburnifolia)
The Barat Laut (Cassine viburnifolia) is another rare mangrove plant. The tree shown above is right next to the mangrove boardwalk at Sungei Buloh.

Pemphis acidula
Last but not least, the Pemphis (Pemphis acidula). The above photo was taken in Bali. In Singapore, it can be found on some of our southern islands, but I haven't had the opportunity to visit these restricted islands.

All in all, while Singapore may have less than 5 percent of its original mangroves left, we still have a good variety of mangrove species. Hopefully the authorities can look into better protecting these few rare ones :)

3 comments:

Brandon said...

There are two sonneratia caseolaris at woodlands :)

tHE tiDE cHAsER said...

I thought I saw 3 the last time I was there? Hmm... Guess I better go and check again one of these days... :P

tHE tiDE cHAsER said...

Just went back to Woodlands recently. Indeed there were only 2 Sonneratia caseolaris. Guess I must have counted wrongly the last time. Pai seh :P