Saturday, August 1, 2009

Rare White Bat Lily adds special touch to Bukit Batok park

Rare White Bat Lily adds special touch to Bukit Batok park
A nature park tucked away in the heartlands of Bukit Batok is home to some rare flora species, says STOMPer Arborist, who spotted this rare and beautiful White Bat Lily there while on a visit.

The sender not only saw the flower at the Bukit Batok Nature Park, he also spotted a quarry lake and took many scenic pictures from the 80m cliff.

STOMPer Arborist says:

"These pictures were taken at the Bt Batok Nature Park at Bt Batok East Ave 2.

"This tree looks as if it is suffering from some skin disease as the bark is peeling off from the trunk.

"I saw the white bat lily (Tacca integrifolia), which grows well on mountain slopes in Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore. It is the most unusual flowering plant as its weird flower arrangement is about 1m from top to bottom.

"Its top bracts consist of two spectacular dorsals usually white and purple stripes and each one about 20 cm wide.

"The true flowers are like thick purple buttons and there are huge purple whiskers which hang from the flowers to about 60cm below.

"The view of the quarry lake from a height of about 80m as I took this picture from a rain shelter near the top of the cliff. The lake teems with tortoises and monitor lizards.

"However, it was about 3pm in the afternoon and the street lamps in the park were brightly lit. This was a sheer waste of electricity."

Rare White Bat Lily adds special touch to Bukit Batok park
Rare White Bat Lily adds special touch to Bukit Batok park
Rare White Bat Lily adds special touch to Bukit Batok park

The bat lily (Tacca integrifolia) is adapted to growing in the shady understorey of forests, and can be spotted in our Central Nature Reserves, as well as in Bukit Batok Nature Park. It has a wide distribution throughout much of Southeast Asia.


Bat lily, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve;
(Photo by Ria)


Bat lily, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve;
(Photo by Marcus)

If you have realised that the bat lilies in the above photo look somewhat different from the one posted on STOMP, it's because the one posted on STOMP appears to be the white bat lily, a form that was actually once considered to be a separate species known as Tacca nivea. However, it appears that it is actually a horticultural variety of the bat lily.


White bat lily, Wave Hill;
(Photo by suavemaeve)

A relative of the the bat lily that can also be found in Singapore is the seashore bat lily (Tacca leontopetaloides). This species grows in coastal forests.


Seashore bat lily, Pulau Semakau;
(Photo by Ria)

This plant can be found over a large area, from coastal East Africa to Southeast Asia, Australia, and many islands of the Pacific. However, the seashore bat lily is considered critically endangered in Singapore, and is known to grow in a natural state only on Pulau Semakau and Pulau Pawai. Several plants have also been propagated in Bukit Batok Nature Park.


Seashore bat lily, Pulau Semakau;
(Photo by Ria)

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