Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Blooming after Prolonged Drought

The prolonged drought that was experienced in the last month; ended on 19th March 2014, and then it rained everyday for the next 6 days caused many plants to bloom.
The mechanics of flowering in plants are only beginning to be understood by researchers, and most attribute to

  • length of day
  • temperature change
  • change in the 4 seasons
  • moisture
  • etc

For most of us, it is usually a case of dry weather follows by rain that will bring the plants to flower.
And that was what I have observed in the last few days of trekking in Bukit Timah areas that demonstrate this phenomenon, alas the continuous rain also brought down the many flowers that were in bloom; in a sense "sabotaging" the reproductive reason of the plants to bloom.
Taking advantage of the change in weather condition, many plants bloom at the same time, perhaps there is reason for quantity blooming which can attract the pollinators, and thus its survival.

The unprecedented dry season that Singapore faced caused much of the greenery to turn brown for lack of water.  Even the hardy epiphytes, the Bird Nest fern (Asplenium nidus) withered and the fronds collapsed.  Too late to some that fell from the anchorage from the host trees.

(Not a botanist, and thus many plants remain unidentified.  If per chance you know them, please let me know)
Taken at ZhengHua Park

And even in the nursery (Wallace Centre), these plants turned brown for wants of water. A rather peculiar sad event, for they should have been watered.

After the prolonged drought, it rained, nope it poured.  And did so for the next 6 days.  Many blooms but also got dislodged and carpet the paths with flowers and petals, and there were some undeveloped fruits as well.

"Dismantled" Flower parts - with pistils and petals strewn on the ground.

 And those flowers that turned into fruits, unfortunately were not spared when the rain came.

Unripened Fruits from the Fig Tree

This unique plant flowers on the trunk, just like some jackfruit species, or the cannonball tree.

But alas the rain stopped, and now it is back to the dry season, and the flowers withered and turned brown.
Flowers have withered on its trunk
(Similar species but found in a different location from the above specimen)
Along this track, these beautiful flowers from the Dipterocarpus caudatus covered the ground that we tracked, we may feel like a royalty walking on flowers covered aisle, but sad that so much energy of the plants have been wasted with the torrential downpour.
Most predominant was this plant (Dipterocarpus caudatus), literally the path was carpeted by its flowers.

Though it dropped from the trees, momentarily they were still a beauty to behold.  Till they turned into nourishment for the various plants.
 And another unknown plant, with its flower petals strewn on the ground!

Along Rifle Range Link, this tree with its bulbous florets dropped like mini lollipods on the ground.

But hardier plants taking advantage of the rain and shine, continuously blossom, and in this case, long tendrils of flowers.