Lion-like Dendrobium (Dendrobium leonis)
Feature date: 1 APR 2020
Rawr! Do you see an animal in this orchid's form? The lion-like dendrobium, Dendrobium leonis, bears a tiny, vanilla-scented lion-headed flower on the ends of each cane or stalk.
Unlike other Dendrobium species immediately recognizable by their fleshy sparse-leaved canes, this Indo-Chinese and West Malesia species has flat canes with pleasingly patterned scale-like alternating leaves.
Find this lion perched on one of the Malay Garden's plumeria trees!
Native to southern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, this succulent groundcover is prized for its drought-tolerance and brightly-coloured flowers in hues of red, orange, yellow and purple. Most common cultivars are usually double-petalled, but some, like 'Samba bicolor', produces large, single-petalled flowers! Being morning-bloomers, pollinating honeybees and other smaller bees are often seen visiting these blossoms.
Find a rainbow of moss-roses throughout the outdoor gardens, including Bayfront Pavilion, Silver Garden, and the Canyon!
Cherry, peach, and many other stone fruit trees including plum, almond, and apricot all belong to the Prunus genus, Native to northern temperate regions, they share many similar characteristics including simple, toothed leaves, five-petaled flowers, and fleshy fruit with single seeds.
Discover the differences between cherry and peach buds and blossoms, and visit Sakura Matsuri at Flower Dome (50% off tickets!) for your very own hanami experience without leaving Singapore!
Native to the Americas, members of the Agave genus are slow-growing, succulent, rosette-forming plants with thick, spiny-edged leaves, mostly found growing in arid regions. They have become popular ornamental landscaping plants, with many species and cultivars grown around the world. Agave titanota is one of the many agaves cultivated in the Flower Dome’s Baobabs area and is known as the Rancho Tambor agave, after the locality in Mexico where this species is native to.
Don't miss the huge plant and its magnificent 4-meter flower spike with hundreds of small, yellow flowers the next time you visit Flower Dome!
Native to the open forest granite cliffs of southeast Australia, this hardy orchid with long racemes of over a hundred fragrant flowers not only loves full sun, but some of its southern forms can also withstand winters as low as 2°C, making it a popular species for widespread cultivation.
We're glad we waited for this orchid to establish itself, so come admire its magnificent blooms with us in Flower Dome's Australian Garden!
Named 'dumbcane' because all its parts contain irritating calcium oxalate crystals which can cause throat swelling and speechlessness if ingested, it's best to keep this common houseplant away from curious toddlers and pets.
Come marvel at our huge, 3m tall, flowering specimen in Secret Life of Trees, and see how big these plants can get!
These purple wheat celosias (Celosia spicata'Spiky Purple') are named for the resemblance of their flowerheads to ears of wheat (Triticum aestivum). In our Year of the Rat display, wheat celosias surround our two lucky golden rat statues, representing an abundance of harvest. In ancient times, some people believed the presence of rats in the household symbolised wealth, as it indicated that there were extra food and grains for the rodents to steal.
Look out for the many different celosias at Gardens by the Bay, from the Flower Dome's Dahlia Dreams display to the outdoor decorations welcoming you into the Golden Garden!
A member of the genus Cleistocactus, Greek for ‘closed cactus’, for its flowers which barely open, this species produces abundant orange-pink tubular flowers during spring and summer, borne directly on trailing stems up to 1.5m long. These stems are filled with water-storing tissue and covered in spines - modified leaves or shoots that are a common evolutionary adaptation in cacti, both as protection from being munched on by thirsty herbivores, and to deflect intense sunlight.
Our golden rat tail cactus only flowers two to three times a year in Flower Dome, so visit it now near the baobabs in celebration of the year of the Golden Rat!
Carefully cultivated in-house by Gardens by the Bay to ensure maximal flower size and show-quality blooms, these dahlia varieties are informally classified as 'dinnerplate dahlias,' with flowers up to 30cm in diameter! That's the size of a dinner plate! Native to Mexico (where Dahlia pinnata is the national flower) through Colombia, the Dahlia genus currently comprises 42 species, all herbaceous tuberous perennials from which hundreds of cultivars have been bred.
In our new Dahlia Dreams - The Heavenly Race display, you'll find over 70 dahlia varieties with different floral forms, such as the pompom, cactus, and waterlily. Come check them out in the Flower Dome, take a selfie for scale with our dinnerplate dahlias, and share it with us!
Like many climbing lianas in the frangipani family (Apocynaceae), they produce follicles: large, dry, woody fruit which split along a single seam, revealing hundreds of seeds, each with a silky, parachute-like, tuft of hairs to catch the breeze and drift far from their parent plant. Our two fruits have been maturing for over a year and one is finally starting to dry and split! We'll save the seeds for propagation, but come find our spectacular planting of herald's trumpet spanning the railings of Meadow Bridge, near the Planet sculpture!
Native to the Mediterranean region of southern Europe and northwestern Africa, it can grow up to 1.5m in height, with a flower spike (inflorescence) over 40 cm tall and bearing up to 120 individual creamy white flowers. Its puzzling common name of 'bear's breeches' can be attributed to an English misrepresentation of the Latin term 'branca ursina,' or 'bear claw,' referencing its spiny floral bracts! The spiny-edged, lobed Acanthus leaves are also a little-known, if familiar design motif, crowning the tops of Corinthian columns--a key feature of Greco-Roman architecture.
Find the creamy white flowers of this varigated-leaf variety, Acanthus mollis ‘Whitewater’ blooming at the Mediterranean Garden in Flower Dome!
Can you guess the name of the perfume? Come to the last 'Of Seeds and Senses' walking tour this Saturday, featuring the sense of smell, and find out! Sniff the Ylang ylang in the Discovery garden and many other fragrant plants for yourself!
Two poinsettia relatives, the Jamaican poinsettia (Euphorbia punicea) and the painted spurge (Euphorbia heterophylla var. cyathophora), also produce red bracts - modified leaves that resemble petals to attract pollinators. While the Jamaican poinsettia has bracts that are completely red, the painted spurge have crimson blotches on their fiddle-shaped leaves that appear to be "painted" on. Like poinsettia, these species are native to the tropical Americas, although the Jamaican poinsettia is only found naturally in Jamaica. Both species can be found throughout the tropics and subtropics of the world, with the Jamaican poinsettia introduced as a succulent, dry-garden ornamental and the painted spurge now naturalised in wastelands and open fields.
Find these poinsettia cousins at the recently relandscaped Floral Clock lookout in Secret Life of Trees at World of Plants!
A shrub or small tree up to 7m tall, this distant relative of coffee and ixora is also a member of the economically important Rubiaceae family. Resembling a pincushion, the flower head is packed with tiny, cream-coloured tubular flowers each featuring a pin-like, pure white style. ‘Pallida’ means "pale," referring to the flower colour, and like many other white-flowered plants, this species is moth-pollinated.
Native to Southern Thailand through Peninsular Malaysia, this plant is considered locally extirpated in Singapore, but you can find it in Fruits and Flowers at Gardens by the Bay, as well as along the pathway between Marina Gardens Drive and Dragonfly Lake.
Native to Central America and the Caribbean, this spreading shrub is a widely-planted ornamental in Singapore, where it is also known as 'bunga tahi ayam' - literally 'chicken poo flower' in Malay, for the musky smell of its crushed leaves. Their attractive flowers, however, emit a tutti-frutti scent with a hint of pepper and change colours as they age. This cultivar, in particular, darkens from yellow to orange. Others bear a rainbow of colours with a palette of whites, pinks, purples and reds. Birds love the dark purple berries produced by the wilder, fertile plants, and the species has thus become naturalised and even been regarded as invasive in many parts of the tropics and subtropics.
Spot this 'Spreading Sunset' spilling over the planting beds outside of Cloud Forest, to the far right of the Friends of the Gardens Centre!
Named Theobroma, or 'food of the gods', for the cacao seeds, which are fermented, dried, roasted, and processed into chocolate, another overlooked part of the plant is the fruit pulp. Reminiscent of mangosteen, the tangy, sweet, cottony, white pulp clings tightly to the maroon-coloured seeds and can be pressed to extract a fresh fruit juice. Want to learn more about our exotic edible plants? Visit our cacao trees in Colonial Garden! What’s more, sign up for our next 'Of Seeds and Senses' walking tour this Saturday, 9 November!
Native to the humid forests of East Asia, this partly-deciduous medium-sized tree has several creepy features. The leaf stalks (petioles) have bulbous ends that detach from both branches and leaf blades, leaving woody segments that look alarmingly like bones! Its smelly, purple night,-blooming flowers are pollinated by bats, developing sword-like seed capsules up to 1.5m long, alluding to another common name 'Tree of Damocles.' Visit the gardens this Halloween, and find this tree in Fruits and Flowers or Secret Life of Trees by its narrow trunk and bone-like stems beneath!
Despite its common name, this tree is native to the rocky, sandy coasts of the Caribbean and Central America. Widely cultivated in the tropics, the fragrant white flowers bear several uses where, in Hawai'i, they are strung into flower garlands called lei, and in Cambodia, they are used as temple offerings. However, in much of Southeast Asia, the Singapore Frangipani is associated with death, as the hardy, low-maintenance trees are often planted at cemeteries for their white blossoms to fall on graves. The nocturnal fragrance of the flowers is also believed to be linked to spirits and may attract these supernatural beings at night. With all these superstitions, it's no wonder that many people in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia avoid having these trees planted near or in their homes!
The tall, stout, leathery-leafed varieties and species with larger flowers and 10 or more stamens are commonly known as rhododendrons, whereas azaleas refer to the shorter, thin-stemmed and leafed species or hybrids with 5-6 stamens. Spot the differences in our Rhododendron Radiance display in Flower Dome, then cross to the Cloud Forest to find their tropical Indo-Pacific cousins, the Vireya rhododendrons!
Catch over 80 varieties of these beauties at Rhododendron Radiance, from now till 28 Oct.