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Nature Weekly
Short Notes on Nature Singapore

3 August 2014 | Staurogyne kingiana | Blue Pussyleaf (Nelsonia canescens) |

photoWhile I first saw this herbaceous plant in November 2010, it took me around 4 years till last month before I finally found its identity (assuming I was correct) by coincidence when I was searching for another plant in the Internet. The name of this plant was mentioned in an article written by James Sinclair published in the 1953 edition of the Gardens' Bulletin. A search of this name did not yield any picture of this plant but led me to a picture of another Staurogyne species with a flower that looked similar to that in my pictures. When I looked up the Singapore Flora checklist published in 2009, there were 3 Staurogyne species listed. One of them was indicated as extinct. From the 2 remaining names, I found some pictures of Staurogyne setigera that looked different from my pictures. With the remaining name left, I then deduced that the unknown plant that I found in the Upper Seletar area should be Staurogyne kingiana. Moreover, James Sinclair did indicate in his article that the plant was found at the Seletar swamp forest.

As my existing set of pictures taken back in 2010 were of moderate quality, I decided to go back to the same location last Saturday to look for the plant with the aim of taking some better pictures. At first, I encountered a similar-looking herb that I thought was my target. Fortunately, I did found the right plant later. I then recall that the similar-looking herb was Blue Pussyleaf (Nelsonia canescens). The confusion arise because all the Blue Pussyleaf in that small area did not show any mature flower heads. After closer examination of the pictures of the 2 plants, there are indeed some differences as illustrated in the pictures below.

Staurogyne kingiana:
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Nelsonia canescens:
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