New garden open at Hort Park for Biodiversity Week

Today Online 18 May 17;

SINGAPORE — A new public garden has been opened to mark the start of Biodiversity Week, which runs from May 20 to 28, the National Parks Board (NParks) announced on Thursday (May 18).

The enhanced Native Garden @ HortPark will feature 100 species native plants, including edibles, shrubs, and trees — the highest concentration of native plants in a single location in Singapore.

NParks said the garden aims to promote the use of native plants in gardens and will provide visitors with “a wealth of information on their uses for food, medicine and timber, how they support native fauna, how they can be used in landscapes and how to grow them”.

The Native Garden features different landscapes that showcase native plants in their natural habitats, and visitors will also be able to explore the five zones where plants are categorised based on how they are used — as medicine, food, timber or to enhance habitats for birds and butterflies.

Rare or critically endangered species at the Garden include the Purple Simpoh, which has yellow flowers and grows along the freshwater swamps of Singapore; the Seashore Purslane, a plant with purple flowers that can be found on Pulau Ubin; and the Nephelium maingayi, sometimes called the “nude rambutan” which has edible fruits that resemble hairless rambutans and taste like rambutans.

Activities at the Garden have been planned for Biodiversity Week, from May 20, such as a daily, free hour-long guided tour; and Gardeners’ Day Out, a native plant sale where visitors can see and purchase native plants which are otherwise not commercially available, including the Singapore Kopsia.

Other activities planned for Biodiversity Week, not held at the Native Garden, include Festival of Biodiversity on May 27 and 28 at nex shopping mall, where games, crafts, interactive workshops and exhibitions will be featured.