17 April 2011


I saw the opened flowers of the Aristolochia grandiflora (common name: Pelican Flower, Calico Flower) at the outdoor Butterfly Garden but when I went to the site to take the photos the following day, they were closed. When opened, the center looks like a black hole and attracts insects such as flies. When closed, it reminds me of a stomach or an alien creature that I imagine would open and gobble me up when I walk up to it. Nevertheless it has one of the most unusual large flowers. A link is shown below:

Then there was the very common Breynia disticha 'Roseo-picta' (synonym: B. nivosa,Phyllanthus nivosus; common name: Snowbush, Leaf Flower) that is planted in gardens with variegated plants. As opposed to the variegated Pithecellobium dulce that I posted recently, this shrub has slightly bigger leaves and a more upright habit. When grown under lower light conditions or in less fertile soil, the leaves do not develop the pinkish white coloration that is more apparent under full sun and better soil. It was only when I worked in HortPark that I realized that the green or variegated flowers look just like leaves, hence the common name Leaf Flower. It was also here that I learnt that it is a host plant to the Common Grass Yellow butterfly, hence it is a good plant to have in a garden especially since the caterpillars are so inconspicuous and small and any damages to the leaves are not obvious.

This curved trellis used to be grown densely with Aristolochia acuminata and was home to several fruit bats, but now all are gone. There was this uncommon Strophanthus gratus(synonym: Roupellia grata; common name: Rose Allamanda, Climbing Oleander; Family: Apocynaceae) planted on the slope but it is too far for anyone to appreciate its beauty. 2 links on this shrub are attached below:
There was this lizard gazing at me warily from amongst the Antigonon leptopus along the railings. Don't worry my friend, I am not going to harm you.