Weekly Series
Nature Weekly
Short Notes on Nature Singapore

16 March 2014 | Field Trip | Upper Seletar Reservoir |

The much needed rain finally arrives today. Taking advantage of the extremely dry weather over the last few weeks, I venture out for a field trip at the swamp forest around Upper Seletar Reservoir yesterday. Indeed, the usually muddy forest floor was relatively dry in some spots. Fortunately, there was still plenty of water flowing in the small streams.

photo photo photo The most significant find during the trip was the climber, Stephania capitata, that belongs to the family Menispermaceae. It was fruiting with 3 bundles of fresh greenish grape-like fruits. One other similar forest climber that I came across in the past with similar-looking leaves was Cyclea laxiflora. One of the difference between the two climbers was that Cyclea laxiflora has many fine hairs along the entire plant including the leaves but none visible on Stephania capitata. Identification of these climbers is rather difficult without the presence of the fruits.

photoI did not expect to have many new discoveries as I thought most plants would not thrive well in the long dry spell that has been going on for quite a while now. This proved to be otherwise --- Nature is always full of surprises. The picture on the left was a long-shot of an egg-shaped fruit hanging high up on a tree. It was from a climber, Trichosanthes elmeri. photo photo This was the best shot that I can get with my humble camera plus the obstruction by the thick vegetation. For clearer pictures, you can check out the pictures taken by Wee Foong in his Flickr site.

As for the flowers and leaves on the right, they were from an unknown shrub under the forest canopy. It might be a Xanthophyllum species.

This trip was one of the very fruitful trips. So far, I had added 4 new plants to my website from the trip. Besides the Stephania capitata, the rest of the new additions were Pternandra caerulescens, Teratophyllum aculeatum, Iodes ovalis. I have started to draft the field trip report to share more of the findings and it should be ready by next week.

Update: 18 March 2014

Here is the full write up of this trip.

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