Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cicada tree

I encountered this weird sight near a trailhead in Singapore....
The tree itself was tall and errect so it was quite unusual to have this tangled mess of stilt roots growing from only one side, dangling in the air. I cannot explain its unnusual growth habit but I did manage to find its name from a friend - who coincidentally, volunteered in an organisation called Cicada Tree Eco-place, taking its name from this plant.

The cicada tree, Ploiarium alternifolium is a medium size tree usually found in freshwater swamp forests in SE Asia but I have also seen them populate very dry kerangas as well. The flower has up to 100 stamens and is typically white in Singapore but this specimen in Borneo has attractive intense pink petals. I had initially thought, looking at the flower, that it was a Melastoma but it actually belong to the family Bonnetiaceae.
The fruit capsule :

3 comments:

Titania said...

A very attractive looking flower. I quite like the broom growing on the side of the tree, different and interesting. We have a native Melastoma and it has a very beautiful flower similar to the Tibouchina. It is flowering now.

Hermes said...

Wonderful photographs of a great tree.

Hort Log said...

broom .... haha !

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