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Nature Weekly
Short Notes on Nature Singapore

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13 August 2017 | Hairy Crabweed | Fatoua pilosa |

photo Hairy Crabweed (Fatoua pilosa) is a naturalized weedy plant at my balcony area. I first came across it in June 2015, slightly more than 2 years ago. It continued to spread across the other pots without my intervention aided by the explosion mechanism of seed dispersal method. Though I had been sporadically checking on news on this plant in Singapore over this period, nothing had surfaced except for a picture taken at Clementi area. The plant had now become naturalized in my pots.

photo In my pot, the length of a mature leave could go up to 7 centimetres (cm) excluding the leaf stalk (petiole) which could go up to 4 cm. The Flora of China website indicated that the length of the petiole as 4-5 millimetres (mm). This might be a typo error or else, I might be having an incorrect identity of this plant. The closely resembled Fatoua villosa has a petiole length stated as 7-45 mm according to the Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants website. photo Also, the same website had indicated that Fatoua pilosa is a synonym of Fatoua villosa. From the pictures available in the Internet on the 2 plants, I could not really tell the difference between them.

With my new camera equipment, I managed to capture a few better quality close-up pictures of the flowers. According to what I had read, the numerous hair-like erected filaments are the female flowers while the male flowers. If so, the long protruding female flowers (likely the style) appeared in the very early stage of the formation of the flower head.

In conclusion, the identity of this plant required further confirmation.

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