Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Aegiceras corniculatum at Kranji Mangrove

Last weekend when I visited the mangrove forest along Kranji Nature Trail, I found 2 young Kacang-kacang (Aegiceras corniculatum). As the main objective for the day was to hit the back mangrove, I did not spend time to look around for the mature plants.

However, since this plant has not been recorded recently at Kranji, I decided to go back again today to show HP from NParks the location of the plants. And of course, at the same time, we will be looking for mature plants!

I spotted a young kacang-kacang soon after we entered the mangrove, and commented to HP that there should be a mature plant some where, since there were quite a few young plants. And indeed, just a while later, HP's keen eyes spotted a mature Kacang-kacang!

Kacang-kacang (Aegiceras corniculatum)
And it was flowering!

Kacang-kacang (Aegiceras corniculatum)
The were a few fruits too!

Kacang-kacang (Aegiceras corniculatum)
The plant was rather short though, probably about a metre tall. HP commented that this plant didn't quite look very big, and she suspected that there should be a bigger plant.

Kacang-kacang (Aegiceras corniculatum)
True enough, as we searched on, I finally found a much taller kacang-kacang (probably more than 2m tall) just as we were about to leave the mangrove forest! It was flowering too. Today, we saw a total of 2 mature plants and 4 young plants. Really glad that now I do not have to go offshore to see this rare mangrove plant! :)

Other interesting stuff I saw over the two trips include:

Bruguiera hainesii
The very tall Berus Mata Buaya (Bruguiera hainesii) that's internationally critically endangered.

Merope angulata
There were lots of Mangrove Lime (Merope angulata) here, and I saw a patch with at least 10 of them. This plant is critically endangered in Singapore.

Cassine viburnifolia
I also spotted a Barat-barat (Cassine viburnifolia) - yet another critically endangered plant in Singapore.

Elysia bangtawaensis
I also found this tide pool with several Mangrove Leaf Slugs (Elysia bangtawaensis). They looked just like pieces of fallen leaves until you took a closer look :)

Kranji Mangrove is actually a rather pristine mangrove, since it was not cleared for prawn farming like Sungei Buloh. Hopefully the NParks contractors would minimise the damage done to this beautiful mangrove forest when they build the boardwalk and other amenities under the Sungei Buloh Master Plan.

And guess I will be back soon to check out the kacang-kacang again! :)

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