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  • fish tail palm (caryota mitis): info fact sheet, photos
    are fan shaped and jagged at the tip with many veins up to 3m long Flowers Small separate male and female flowers Fruits Round green turning blackish red Status in Singapore Common World distribution Native to India Sri Lanka to Southeast Asia introduced to many other tropical countries Classification Family Arecaceae The flowers appear in threes one female flower in between two male ones Fruits are roundish which turn purplish when they ripen Uses as food In India an edible starch is extracted from the stem and the palm heart eaten Like other palms it is also tapped for sap which is made into palm sugar or fermented to make toddy Other uses The fuzz from the young leaves are used as tinder to start a fire The palm is also used in construction In India the leaves are used for thatching or woven into household items the fibres from the leaf sheath are made into rope and seeds made into beads However the fruit and the whole plant can cause severe itching because they contain minute needle like crystals LINKS Additions to A review of animal mediated seed dispersal of palms by Scott Zona Ph D Fairchild Tropical Garden

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/palm_fishtail.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • nipah palm (nypa fruticans): info fact sheet, photos
    from Wendy Hutton The fruits form into a large ball about the size and shape of a soccer ball rising from the mud on a stick When it ripens the ball breaks away and breaks up into individual fruits These float away and may even germinate as they float Uses as food Before the inflorescence blooms it is tapped to collect a sweet sap Young Nipah Palm shoots can be eaten The petals of the flower can be brewed to make an aromatic tea The immature fruits are white translucent and hard jelly like Called attap chee they are a common ingredient in local desserts In the Indonesian islands of Roti and Savu the sap tapped from the palm is fed to pigs instead allowing the pigs to fatten during the dry season when other fodder is scarce The pigs are also fed the leftovers after sugar preparation In this way the Nipah Palm results in protein for the community Other uses Dried fronds are used as thatching and called attap in Malay and nipa in the Philippines They are also woven into mats baskets and other household items Young leaves are used to roll cigarettes Role in the habitat Its horizontal creeping stem stabilises river banks preventing soil erosion New fronds emerge quickly after damage and so quickly protect the land after storms and also continuously produce useful products for the locals Palms on Tap Only plants 5 years and older are tapped The flowering stalk is cut and inserted into a pot or plastic bag and the end sliced every day to stimulate new flow and prevent bacterial growth The base of the stalk is pounded with a mallet to keep the flow going About half to one litre of sap can be collected per day A flower

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/palm_nipah.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • seven golden candlesticks (cassia alata): info fact sheet, photos
    wings seeds small square and rattle in the pod when ripe Status in Singapore Introduced common weed in wastelands World distribution Native to tropical Americas Classification Family Leguminosae Traditional medicinal uses Leaves or sap are used to treat fungal infections such as ringworm They contain a fungicide chrysophanic acid Because of its anti fungal properties it is a common ingredient in soaps shampoos and lotions in the Philippines The effectiveness of this plant against skin diseases is confirmed by modern scientific studies Other chemicals contained in the plant includes saponin which acts as a laxative and expels intestinal parasites In Africa the boiled leaves are used to treat high blood pressure In South America besides skin diseases it is also used to treat a wide range of ailments from stomach problems fever asthma to snake bite and venereal diseases syphilis gonorrhoea Role in the habitat It is the food plant of some butterflies The plant recruits ant bodyguards against these caterpillars It has extrafloral nectaries near the base of the leaves that produce sweet nectar to attract ants As a short lived plant that grows commonly in wastelands which are damp and on flood plains it helps to colonise these

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/candlesticks.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • straits rhododendron (melastoma malabathricum): info fact sheet, photos
    up to 3m tall Stems reddish covered with small rough scales Leaves Simple narrow with 3 prominent longitudinal veins Bristly underside Flowers Five petals dark purple to pinkish on rare occasions white Fruits Oval with purple pulp contains many tiny seeds Status in Singapore Common World distribution Madagascar India to Australia Very common in Southeast Asia Classification Family Melastomataceae Uses The young leaves are eaten raw or cooked and taste sour The pulp around the seeds can also be eaten Indonesia The seeds are used to produce a black dye the roots a pink dye In some places the leaves are fed to silkworms Traditional medicinal uses Leaves are used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery Malaysia Indonesia wash for ulcers to prevent scarring from smallpox and to treat piles Role in the habitat The fruits are the favourites of birds like the flowerpeckers and doves which also disperse the seeds Squirrels and monkeys are also fond of the fruits The plant is the host for caterpillars of butterflies such as the Common Sailor Neptis hylas and the Grey Count Tanaecia lepidea Being among the first to colonise wasteland the plant helps prevent soil erosion and to allow regeneration of vegetation

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/melastoma.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • common derris (derris trifoliata): info fact sheet, photos
    at Sungei Buloh Nature Park Main features Mangrove associate A creeper with woody stems that thicken Leaves Compound leaves of 3 5 dark green shiny Flowers White in racemes Fruits 1 3 seeds in flat oval pods which are green at first turning brown when they ripen Status in Singapore Common in mangroves World distribution Tropics of the Old World from East Africa to Australia Polynesia and even subtropical Asia Classification Family Leguminosae World 1 mangrove associated species Derris is also one of the components of poison arrow The plant is also used to produce cordage Role in the habitat Like other climbers Common Derris provides shelter for the smaller creatures of the mangroves The plants also form an interlocking framework among trees for added strength against coastal storms An aggressive plant Common Derris can form deep choke marks on its host tree see right But eventually the host trees usually prevail breaking the vines Thus Common Derris doesn t strangle its host LINKS Plants of Guam by Philip H Moore and Patrick D McMakin on the University of Guam website brief fact sheet on Derris trifoliata with photo from the Manual on Some Philippine Medicinal Plants 1977 by the

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/derris.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • guinea grass (panicum maximum): info fact sheet, photos
    other tropical countries Classification Family Poaceae It is an ideal forage plant as it grows well on a wide variety of soils and even under light shade of trees and bushes and thus can be grown with other crops It can survive long dry spells and quick moving fires which does not harm the underground roots It also responds quickly to fertiliser and watering It grows from sea level up to 1 200m The seeds are dispersed by birds Role in the habitat Its seeds provide food for birds such as Munias and the long leaves provide nesting material for birds like the Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus They also provide shelter for smaller creatures to hide in On the one hand Guinea Grass is considered as a suitable plant to stop soil erosion on slopes it has dense root mats while providing valuable fodder On the other hand it is considered a dangerous exotic weed that suppresses or displaces local plants Its resistance to drought also means it builds up a dangerous mass of plant material so when fires occur the blaze is fiercer and native plants which have not built up fire tolerance are wiped out As Guinea Grass

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/guinea_grass.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • resam (dicranopteris linearis): info fact sheet, photos
    family of ferns that is considered somewhat primitive Uses In New Guinea the climbers are used to lash posts together when making houses The leaves are used as personal decorations both daily and for special ceremonies or the plant may be woven into decorative arm and waistbands Traditional medicinal uses Crushed leaves are applied as a poultice to control fever Malaysia the plant is used to get rid of intestinal worms Indochina to treat boils ulcers and wounds New Guinea Role in the habitat Being among the few plants that can grow on poor soils and scramble over steep slopes Resam quickly takes over bare soil after a land slide or soil affected by erosion and other wastelands The quick growing fern helps to bind the soil and return nutrients to the soil The slender spreading rhizomes and the mat of old leaves protect the soil from further erosion while the young leaves trap debris As these decay nutrients are returned to the soil However the fern often does this too well and few plants can grow where a Resam thicket dominates But the thick mat of dead leaves are highly flammable and the thicket can be quickly destroyed by fire during the dry season New plants can then grow in the area and as Resam cannot survive under shade there is a chance for other plants to continue the succession LINKS Plants of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park brief fact sheet with lots of photos Plants of Guam by Philip H Moore and Patrick D McMakin on the University of Guam website brief fact sheet on Dicranopteris linearis with photo Ferns as conservation agents by John A Knouse role of the fern in reclaiming wastelands Ferns and Man in New Guinea by Jim Croft on the Centre for Plant Biodiversity

    Original URL path: http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/resam.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • cattail (typha augustifolia): info fact sheet, photos
    baskets to the brim left The ripening fruits are tightly packed together and look like a brown sausage on a stick When the seeds ripen they fluff up and the sausage disintegrates as the seeds are blown away by the wind The seeds can only grow if they land on water and are submerged for some time They will die if they arrive on dry land Cattail seeds have special adaptations to maximise the possibility of their seeds landing on water The seeds only fluff up in dry weather so the seeds won t land and get stuck on wet ground Even when the seed lands on water the umbrella shaped fluff continues to catch the wind so they skate across the surface for a distance before the fluff folds and the seed sinks The seed is adapted to grow in oxygen poor soil Uses The American Indians used cattails extensively As building materials cattails are used in making thatch The dried stalks are used to weave bags mats and other household items They are also used as fuel for fires The fluffy seeds are used to stuff pillows and other insulating clothing As food every part of the cattail can be eaten The core of young flower shoots are tender and eaten raw said to taste like cucumbers The rhizomes can be processed to produce flour as well as the seeds the fluffy parts are burnt off Green flower stems are cooked on the stick and eaten like corn on the cob Other parts that are eaten include young shoots and the pollen Traditional medicinal uses The American Indians used the jelly from young leaves to treat wounds and other skin problems When the brown flower head is burnt it produces a smoke that repels insects Role in the

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