26 July 2013


When I saw this interesting tree at the base of the Malay Garden slope, from the bridge between the Colonial Garden and Malay Garden, that started to flower recently, I made a mental note to share this with everyone.

In fact, there was a recent post just days ago and I have been taking photos of this particular seemingly nondescript looking Sterculia macrophylla (Common Name: Broad-Leafed Sterculia; Family: Malvaceae), which is critically endangered and found in fresh water swamp forests or along streams, for the last 10 days or so because I was tracking the development of the new leaf flushes and red flowers following the shedding of its large hairy leaves before that. What really struck me was how amazing the new leaves and inflorescences developed over the days. From small leaf and flower buds grew clusters of coloured leaves and creamy inflorescences that I somehow imagined as jellyfish floating in the sky. Day after day, I stood at the bridge and observed how the jellyfish took on a different look as the leaves grew larger and flowers began to mature.

This morning, I was prepared to take the final series of photos of this tree to post about it, when I was suddenly attracted by a familiar call that caught my attention, which was later confirmed to be from that of a beautiful woodpecker species.

As I made a quick glance at this Sterculia tree and the adjacent Pandanus tectorius, I was excited by the sight of a pair of Sunda Pygmy Woodpeckers, a pair of Peaceful Doves and three Common Goldenback Woodpeckers (1 male with red crest and 2 females). The pair of Sunda Pygmy Woodpeckers appeared to be feeding on the insects from the discoloured trunk of the Sterculia tree while the other pair of Peaceful Doves was busy snuggling up with each other on the same tree. It was just so cool to watch this pair of doves displaying such affection. The trio of Common Goldenback Woodpeckers, on the other hand, were pecking up and down the trunk of the Pandanus and uttering the unique call.