05 November 2010


On the morning of 12 Jan 09, the Butea monosperma (common name: Flame of the Forest, Bastard Teak, Parrot Tree) from the Fabaceae Family, along the street of the hotel where I stayed was the first tree that I saw when I walked out of the hotel for a short stroll.

I remembered it was a cool breezy morning and from the hotel window, I had just watched the red beautiful sun rose from the far horizon. I have never seen this flowering tree before and was immediately drawn to it. It reminded me of the Erythrina with its curved petals. Unfortunately this tree does not grow well or flower in our Singapore climate. A link on this tree is shown below:

I walked along the street to the vacant site directly across the hotel and I searched for any semblance of interesting plants at the site. I found quite a few Castor Oil plants (scientific name: Ricinus communis) from the Euphorbiaceae Family growing all over the wild vegetation. This is the normal green variety. Other than the use of the seeds to extract the castor oil, the seeds of the plant are highly toxic. It seems that a lethal dose of about 4-8 seeds can kill an adult. More information on this plant can be found from this link: