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  • crinum lily (crinum asiaticum): info fact sheet, photos
    leaves form a stout pseudo stem from which the leaves emerge in a rosette The leaves can grow up to 2m long The flowers are delightfully scented The fruit is a globe which turns shiny white when ripe then splits open to reveal irregularly shaped seeds The plant is poisonous Mangrove and wetland wildlife at Sungei Buloh Nature Park Main features Grows up to 1 5m in freshwater or brackish swamps Leaves Long 2m strap like fleshy Flowers Clustered white fragrant Fruits Globose shiny white when ripe seeds irregularly shape Status in Singapore Rare and considered threatened World distribution Native to tropical Indo Pacific Classification Family Amaryllidaceae World species Singapore species Traditional medicinal uses It is used as a poultice for aches sores and chaps Crushed leaves are used to treat piles mixed with honey and applied to wounds and abscesses Status and threats There are only two wild populations left in Singapore to the north and west of the main island But it is grown as an exotic ornamental for its attractive form and flowers It is also grown in the Botanic Gardens REFERENCES To buy these references others visit Nature s Niche Ivan Polunin Plants and Flowers of

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/crinum_lily.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • sea holly (acanthus ilicifolius and ebracteatus): info fact sheet, photos
    light violet flowers while A ebracteatus has white flowers Fruits Shiny green pods in a cluster Status in Singapore Rare Found only in suitable habitats mostly northern parts of the island World distribution India to Polynesia and Australia Classification Family Acanthaceae The plant produces a cluster of flowers that develop into pods When the pods ripen they explode to propel the seeds up to 2m away Sea Holly grows on mud near the hide tide mark often on mud lobster mounds It can grow equally well under trees and in open areas But it grows especially well in areas with more freshwater input The plant can sometimes cover large areas and form thickets particularly in disturbed mangrove They also grow along river banks Uses In Indonesia the entire plant is placed in rice sacks to keep the rice dry i e acts as a desiccant Traditional medicinal uses The leaves of A ilicifolius are used to treat rheumatism neuralgia and poison arrow wounds Malaysia It is widely believed among mangrove dwellers that chewing the leaves will protect against snake bite The pounded seeds of A ebracteatus are used to treat boils the juice of leaves to prevent hair loss and the leaves themselves to ward off evil Malay Both species are also used to treat kidney stones The whole plant is boiled in fresh water and the patient drinks the solution instead of water half a glass at a time until the signs and symptoms disappear Thailand Water extracted from the bark is used to treat colds and skin allergies Ground fresh bark is used as an antiseptic Tea brewed from the leaves relieves pain and purifies the blood widespread in both the Old and New World Role in the habitat Forming the undergrowth in the back mangroves Sea Holly

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/sea_holly.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • mangrove fern (acrostichum aureum and speciosum): info fact sheet, photos
    leaf stalk bases are covered with scales Flowers and fruit Like other ferns do not produce flowers or fruits They reproduce through spores that appear at the tips of the fronds on the undersides Status in Singapore Common in suitable habitats mostly northern parts of the island World distribution Pantropical Classification Family Pteridaceae World 3 mangrove species The young leaves are reddish When older fronds become fertile the underside of the leaflets at the tip becomes covered with red brown sporangia Uses The young shoots can be eaten raw as a salad or cooked Malay India Sri Lanka The leaves are also used as cattle feed Older leaves when dried are parchment like and used as fire resistant roof thatch Vietnam and the Pacific The fibres of old leaves may also be used to make cord Traditional medicinal uses Rhizomes are pounded into a paste and used to treat wounds and boils Malay Leaves are used to stop bleeding Role in the habitat Among the first large low growing plants to grow on the landward side of the mangrove the fern provides shade for other plants and trees to take root But on cleared mangroves it can form impenetrable thickets which prevents other plants from taking root Thus it is often considered a weed For animals these thickets provide safety and shelter Birds such as the Purple Heron Ardea purpurea make their nests in these thickets LINKS Field Guide to the Mangroves of Queensland Fabulous page on Acrostichum speciosum with diagrams location and distribution map flowering times Plants of Guam by Philip H Moore and Patrick D McMakin on the University of Guam website brief fact sheet on Acrostichum aureum with photo Vegetation of Malaysian Lowlands fact sheet of habit and uses with photo Tico Ethnobotanical Dictionary on Dr Duke

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/acrostichum.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • cherry tree (muntingia calabura): info fact sheet, photos
    true mangrove associate Mangrove and wetland wildlife at Sungei Buloh Nature Park Main features Small fast growing tree with drooping branches that give an umbrella shaped crown Grows up to 7 12m Leaves Simple covered with sticky hairs Flowers Small white Last only one day petals falling in the afternoon Fruits Small round juicy green turning red when ripe Very sweet musky somewhat fig like flavour filled with tiny yellowish seeds too fine to be noticed when the fruit is eaten Status in Singapore Introduced common in wastelands World distribution Native to southern Mexico Central America tropical South America the Greater Antilles St Vincent and Trinidad Widely introduced to almost all tropical regions Classification Family Elaeocarpaceae Uses as food The fruits are eaten in Mexico and sold in markets there Fruits are also made into jams and used in tarts The leaf is made into a tea In Brazil they are planted on river banks so their fallen fruit attracts fish which are then caught Other uses The reddish brown timber is compact fine grained moderately strong light in weight durable and easily worked It is used to make small boxes casks and general carpentry The dried timber is valued as firewood for cooking as it lights quickly and produces intense heat with little smoke In Brazil it is being considered as pulp for paper making The bark is stripped to produce strong soft cord made into ropes Because of its ability to grow quickly on poor soils and rapid dispersal by birds and bats the Cherry Tree is being considered as a candidate for reforestation projects Traditional medicinal uses The flowers are used as an antiseptic and to treat spasms It is also taken to relieve headaches and colds Role in the habitat As a pioneer species on poor

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/cherry_tree.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • acacia (acacia auriculiformis): info fact sheet, photo
    open The black seeds hang from short curled orange stalks when the pod splits open Birds find these seeds highly attractive and eat them Thus the plant is very quickly dispersed Uses for food Aborigines of Australia have traditionally harvested the seeds of some acacia species as food These are ground into flour and eaten as a paste or baked into a cake The seeds can contain 25 more protein than common cereals like rice or wheat and their hard seed coats mean acacia seeds also store well for long periods Other uses Acacias were purposely introduced and planted in Southeast Asia and Oceania as a source of firewood and good quality charcoal does not smoke as well as timber for furniture and pulp for making paper acacia produces high yields of pulp and produces strong paper The tannin produced from the tree is of a good quality but tends to redden with exposure to sunlight The tree was also introduced as an ornamental shade tree but in Singapore it is no longer grown as a wayside tree due to the large amount of litter of leaves flowers and fruits that the tree produces In India the tree was cultivated to feed the lac insect which produces a resinous secretion that is harvested to produce lacquer Acacia has the potential to protect poor soils from erosion and revive their mineral content Acacia can grow on poor soils including clay limestone and unstable sand dunes even soil tainted with uranium wastes It is also able to survive fire dry spells and seasonally waterlogged soil In fact the seeds germinate better when placed in hot ashes The tree also contains nitrogen fixing bacteria which can help rejuvenate these poor soils The tree prevents soil erosion because of their extensive and dense roots and heavy leaf litter But the seedlings don t grow well in the shade and in competition with weeds so for deliberate planting the seedlings have to raised elsewhere first Traditional medicinal uses A decoction of the root is used to treat aches and pains and sore eyes an infusion of the bark treated rheumatism aborigines of Australia Role in the habitat Acacias recover wastelands returning nutrients to poor soils and providing shade for other plants to take hold They do not produce a lot of pollen or nectar as food but their plentiful seed supply is a valuable food source for animals mainly birds and also small mammals particularly in dry places Various insects eat their leaves and wood and sugar gliders and squirrels may eat their sap The trees also provide shelter for animals as well as epiphytic plants LINKS Purdue University Centre for New Crops and Plants Products detailed fact sheet on its uses features chemical composition habitat New Forest Project which aims to initiate reforestation by distributing a wide range of fast growing nitrogen fixing tree seeds that are primarily for use in the tropics detailed fact sheet on its habit habitat potential uses to prevent

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/acacia.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • saga tree (adenanthera pavonina): info fact sheet, photos
    crops The seeds were eaten in Melanesia and Polynesia and the people there called it the food tree The seeds were roasted before eating Elsewhere they are boiled In Java they are roasted shelled then eaten with rice They are said to taste like soy bean The raw seeds are toxic and may cause intoxication Studies show the cooked seed to be rich in oil and proteins and easily digested by both humans and livestock Other uses These attractive seeds have been used as beads in jewellery leis and rosaries They were also used in ancient India for weighing gold The seeds are curiously similar in weight Four seeds make up about one gramme In fact the name saga is traced to the Arabic term for goldsmith In India it is believed that a person may have as many wishes as elephants found in a saga seed The ground seeds can produce an oil which was used as an industrial lubricant The hard reddish wood is used to make cabinets often in place of true sandalwood With exposure to light the wood it slowly turns purplish red It is also valued as firewood as it burns well The tree resprouts new branches easily and so is not damaged by harvesting for firewood A red dye is obtained from the wood and used by the Brahmins to make religious markings on their foreheads In Malaysia and Indonesia the trees also provided shade and were planted as nurse trees in coffee clove and rubber plantations Traditional medicinal uses A red powder made from the wood is also used as an antiseptic paste In Ancient Indian medicine the ground seeds are used to treat boils and inflammations A decoction of the leaves is used to treat gout and rheumatism The bark was used

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/saga_tree.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • simpoh air (dillenia suffruticosa): info fact sheet, photos
    segments seeds covered with red flesh Status in Singapore Common particularly on wasteland World distribution Throughout West Malesia Classification Family Dilleniaceae The unopened fruits are surrounded by thick red sepals To distinguish them from flower buds the fruits face upwards while flower buds face down The ripe fruit splits open also at 3 am into pinkish star shaped segments to reveal seeds covered in red arils The plant blooms from age 3 4 and can live for 50 100 years Plants in the Simpoh family Dilleniaceae hiss when the trunk or a branch is cut you have to put your ear to the cut to hear it The sound comes from the air that is sucked into the cut vessels Uses The large leaves of the Simpoh Air were used to wrap food such as tempeh fermented soyabean cakes or formed into shallow cones to contain traditional fast food such as rojak The Simpoh Air sends out very deep tap roots to reach underground water sources So much so that their presence suggests an underground water source and some people use the plant as a guide to decide where to dig a well The timber is not useful because it is twisted and very hard Traditional medicinal uses Simpoh Air is used to staunch bleeding wounds and the fruit pulp may be used to wash the hair Brunei Role in the habitat The Simpoh Air provides food and shelter for other plants and creatures It is among the few plants that can germinate and grow on white sands As a pioneer species it provides shade for other less hardy plants to establish themselves The tiny bit red flesh arils surrounding the seeds are irresistible to birds which quickly disperse the seeds Tailorbirds often make their nests out of the large

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/simpoh_air.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • african tulip tree (spathodea campanulata): info fact sheet, photos
    the opened pods in a fast flowing drain Mangrove and wetland wildlife at Sungei Buloh Nature Park Main features Grows up to 10 15 m Leaves Simple pinnate compound 30 40 cm long about 7 pairs of leaflets Leaves are slightly hairy shiny above Flowers Large showy red Fruits Long 20 cm green pods when ripe turn brown and is filled with lots of small seeds with transparent wings Status in Singapore Introduced Common in wastelands World distribution Native to tropical West Africa Classification Family Bignoniaceae Uses The seeds are edible The soft white timber used in making paper In West Africa their homeland the wood is used to make drums and blacksmith s bellows It has shallow roots and a tendency for branches to break off in a storm Thus it considered unsuitable as a roadside tree Traditional medicinal uses The bark flowers and leaves are used in traditional medicine in Western Africa Role in the habitat The flowers provide nectar for birds which may pollinate the tree The seedlings germinate rapidly and the tree grows quickly So it is among the first large trees to colonise wastelands LINKS Alien Plants in Hawaii by the University of Hawaii Botany

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/african_tulip.htm (2016-02-16)
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