Friday, July 31, 2015

An Impatiens from Borneo

We had just climbed down from a limestone hill when we saw this herbaceous species at a clearing. Pretty sure it was not a garden escape but no idea which species it belonged to. 

Suggestions of ID much appreciated.




Sunday, July 19, 2015

Hoya micrantha - a second look

Small and insignificant, often overlooked. ...but its bloom is the finest piece of jewellery.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Hoya of many names

A very common Hoya in Singapore sometimes seen smothering the trunks of trees in open areas. Also very widespread too - from S. India all through IndoChina, Malaysia and Borneo.  It has been given numerous names some by scholars and some by nursery men Hoya parasitica, acuta, ridleyii, rigida. But most seem to convene on Hoya verticiliata nowadays.


Flowers may have a green tinge to pink and the leaves may be plain or spotted. The bloom is waxy and attractive and extremely fragrant at certain times of the day. It is an easy plant for most growers, the only problem being its excessively messy growth habit which I still do not know how to tame.

This plant root easily from cuttings and need bright light to bring to bloom, even full sun as long as the root balls are protected. It can tolerate some degree of dryness which is why it is rather common at roadsides of Singapore.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The little weaver


 
Curious lanterns have been hanging on a few trees in this waste land for more than a year. Every time I go past, I would stop in silence for a while and watch for signs of activity, but would always fail to detect any. Most of these nests are facing the east, in accordance to known literature. I have assumed the residents had long abandoned the site due to human disturbance..... until one morning .....
... a flurry of activities  alerted me to the arrival of new nestling season. The Baya weaver (Ploceus philippinus) is back building a new township .....

The one in the centre with an inverted long funnel entrance, is almost completed while the one on the left is still at initial stage. The long funnel is supposed to deter predators, notably snakes, from raiding the nest. The birds flutter in exuberance carrying strands of grass and inspecting their work of art and some even seemed to tilt their heads, glancing sideways to spy on their neighbours. How I wish I have a bazooka lens that can zoom in on the action but until then, I will have to make do with these images.

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