Gardens By The Bay - Plants in The Flower Dome

This is a monthly post on 'Educational Places'. Every 4th week of the month I will post on local educational places we have brought AJ to.

The Flower Dome is differentiated into 9 sections - the Californian Garden, the Olive Grove, the Mediterranean Garden, the South American Garden, the South African Garden, the Australian Garden, the Succulent Garden, the Baobabs & the Flower Field.

When touring around the Flower Dome, ideally, one should tour 1 Garden at a time to observe the similarities & common characteristics of plants in each area. 

The Succulent Garden
Succulents are water-retaining plants adapted to avid climates & soil conditions.  They store water in their leaves, stems & roots.  The storage of water often gives the plans a swollen or fleshy appearance. 

Some succulents like Cacti have spines to defend themselves against predators which may be interested in sampling their juicy tissues.

Succulents' green  tissues absorb light to produce food (photosynthesis). 

Barrel Cactus

It is also called the Mother-In-Law's seat.  Yes, it is not a very kind labelling.  Who would like his/her mother-in-law to sit on it?

Wooly Cactus

The Wooly Cactus looks like cats' tail.  When the flowers bloom, it produces a rotting cabbage smell that attracts bats.  Its soft hair serves to protect the bats from scratching themselves while they aid in pollination. 

Tree Grapes

They are members of the Grape Vine family, which have thickened trunks to store water. 

During drought, they will lose their leaves & the stems will take over the function of photosynthesis.  Their delicate bark is translucent, allowing light to get into their green stems.  Their fruits are poisonous.

The Baobabs
The bulbous trunks of Baobabs give these trees an unusual form.  Also known as Bottle Trees,  Baobabs store water inside their swollen trunks to endure the harsh drought conditions of their environment.  Some species are bottle-shape.

The Baobabs can grow from 5-30 metres tall & their trunks can be between 7-11 metres in diameter.  They only flower at night, so they attract the nocturnal.  The fruits can help fight fever & settle the stomach.

Ghost Tree 

Ghost tree can up to 15 metres tall.  It is called Ghost Tree because it is often found in the graveyard.

The Australian Garden
Fire is a frequent occurrence in Australia.  Thus, plants in Australia have to adapt to survive in harsh climate like this with fire-resistant bark & lignotubers that develop into shoots after the fire . 

Grass Tree

Make a guess. Is this a tree or grass?

A grass tree is not a tree.  It is a special type of grass.  Its trunk is actually grass, the leaves of the grass stick together forming that.  It grows very slowly, at about 1-2cm per year but it can live up to 60 years old. It bears white & pink flowers.

Kangaroo Paws

Many spring wild flowers in Australia can lie dormant during Summer drought because they have bulbs or other underground storage organs.  The Kangaroo's Paw is 1 of them.  It has thick roots to store water.

There are a total of 11 species of Kangaroo's Paws.  As it is very eye-catching, it makes wonderful house plant.

South African Garden

Bird of Paradise

It is also known as Crane Flower.  Though there is no trunk, this shrub can grow as high as 2 metres.  It is especially popular with floral arrangement.

Forest Gardenia

It is of the Coffee family.  It has about 140 species.  The shrub can grow to 2-5 metres tall. It was used as a traditional medicine for skin including leprosy.

King Sugar Bush

This is the African National Flower.  It is fire resistance as it has dormant bud underground allowing it to survive bush fire.

South American Garden

Trithrinax is an ancient Greek name.  It is a type of palm that grows well in rocky soil & high latitude.  It is resistant to drought.  The leaves can be used to make shoes, hats, fans, etc.  The yellow or green fruits can be fermented to make alcoholic & honey beverage.

Chilean Wine Palm

Those in the conservatory are about 200 years old & are called the Incredible Hulk of the Palm World.  Both male & female flower on the same plant so it can produce its own seed, which is edible.

Their dried leaves can be used to make basket. The palm sap (about 300 litres per palm tree) produces palm wine or honey.

Monkey Puzzle Tree

It is the National Tree of Chile.  It can grow up to 40 metres tall & its trunk 2.5 metres in diameter.  The seeds are edible, the timber hard & excellent in quality.  It has prickly leaves growing on its branches. 

Mediterranean Garden

Canary Island Palm

It is also called Pineapple Palm because it looks like when trimmed.  It is a slow growing plant but it can grow up to 15-20 metres tall.

Cork Oak Tree

It has many species.  It will grow up to 250 years but it will take half a century for this tree to be profitable.  The bark is fire resistance.

Date Palm

This is a very useful plant that grow up to 15 metres tall.  The fruits is the date, & can be eaten by Muslims with yoghurt, milk & honey on the 1st day of Ramadan.  The sap can be made into jam, the timber can be used for construction & the oil can be used in cosmetics.

Promegranate Tree

The name in Latin means many seeded apple, & is commonly found in parks & landscape.  There are about 200 seeds in every fruit & the seed, which is high in anti-oxidant, can be eaten.  It can grow up to 5-8 metres tall.  It is also used to treat diarrhoea & intestinal parasites.

Olive Tree

Olive is a key crop species across Mediterranean Basin.  Olive oil is amongst the best oils for human consumption because it is monosaturated.  Olive oil is not only used as food but in the cosmetic & medical industries, to manufacture skincare products.

Photo Credit

Missed Tulipmania in 2013? It's back, bigger & better than before! Find yourself transported to a Dutch landscape as your discover not just a diversity of tulips but other bulbs, at the Flower Field. Learn more about the world of bulbs in this very special Garden Trail!  It is available from 14 Apr to 4 May.

Do consider guided tour or audio tour to gain more knowledge on the characteristics of the plants in both Flower Dome & Cloud Forest.  If you have missed my write-up on Cloud Forest, please click here.

In my post next month, I will write about the energy saving features of the 2 domes & the Supertree Grove.


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