Just like picking candy at a sweets shop, if you had a secret garden brimming with flowers from all the lands, which would you choose in your bouquet of natural beauty? From Roses to Lilies and Hydrangeas, many wouldn’t hesitate to cross the line and go far beyond Singapore’s borders for the best-looking and most exotic flowers. But what if you stopped a little closer to home? Perhaps you’d notice flora that surprises you, growing in your own backyard.
As the saying goes, Singapore is a Garden City. While it’s strange to think a concrete jungle could offer much in horticultural biodiversity, let’s not underestimate our Little Red Dot because we didn’t earn this title for nought. In fact, we have a diverse range of local wildflowers native to this urban earth, just waiting to be discovered.
From Singapore's first flowering tree, the African Tulip, to the nostalgic, childhood Honeysuckle; even the Butterfly Pea flowers you can find or buy in Singapore that colours your Nasi Lemak and favourite Peranakan Kuehs. These are the beautiful native plants of Singapore, and as you read on, you’ll find that there are much more in our Garden state that meets the eye!
A curious plant with tube-shaped red flowers, its floral clusters distinctively remind you of the uncovered crimson lipstick sitting on your mum’s dresser. If you’re looking for a local plant that makes a statement, this is it.
Keep your eyes peeled because this proudly native shrub can be found in the wild on any tree branch or rock. Because of its creeping vines, you might also have seen it as an attractive indoor hanging plant.
Did you know that local blueberries exist in Singapore’s wild? Unlike the blueberries we’re used to in our fruit bowls or salad, these might look even more delicious but beware, they aren’t as edible.
The Common Dianella appears as an unsuspecting tuft of grass or may look to some like a fern with long leaves in the rainforest. But when in full bloom, dainty white star-shaped flowers spring from this plant. Dotted with specks of white, the Common Dianella also grows bright blue cobalt berries as fruits to attract insects and birds of all kinds to assist with pollination. Although these berries aren’t suitable for eating, they are used as ingredients in medicinal herbs to heal and treat ailments.
At first glance, this plant doesn’t look real. But as you trace its waxy flower and leaves to its roots, you’d be surprised to discover that this plant is very much alive. It’s hard to believe a spectacle like this is a plant native to Singapore’s swamps. The Wax Flower boasts ball-like clusters of tiny pink star-shaped flowers. These petite blooms have a shiny glean and feel almost plastic or furry to the touch. It’s a peculiar plant that’s hard to miss. Even its comically large, waxy leaves make a unique statement.
Like a perfectly round balloon of flower clusters, the Wax Flower can be the perfect addition and statement piece to your flower bouquet. But, this is also a plant with an endangered status, so perhaps it’ll be a better finish to your home in a flower vase or hanging basket. This rare wild oriental bloom actually survives well indoors as a climber and can sure make a great conversation starter to guests of your abode.
While we cannot do without the classic hand flower bouquets in Singapore, it’s still nice to have a fresh perspective and appreciate the natural beauty of flora around you, even if it’s in our own backyard.