Bigger Native Garden at HortPark

A walking path for visitors at the Medicine Zone, which is part of HortPark's expanded Native Garden. The plants in the garden are grouped according to their native landscapes and various uses, such as medicine, food and timber, or to enhance the hab
A walking path for visitors at the Medicine Zone, which is part of HortPark’s expanded Native Garden. The plants in the garden are grouped according to their native landscapes and various uses, such as medicine, food and timber, or to enhance the habitats for birds and butterflies.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A walking path for visitors at the Medicine Zone, which is part of HortPark's expanded Native Garden. The plants in the garden are grouped according to their native landscapes and various uses, such as medicine, food and timber, or to enhance the hab
A butterfly lands on a plant at the Butterfly Zone (above).ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A walking path for visitors at the Medicine Zone, which is part of HortPark's expanded Native Garden. The plants in the garden are grouped according to their native landscapes and various uses, such as medicine, food and timber, or to enhance the hab
The new plants include the critically endangered small-leaved nutmeg (above), which bears fruit that is eaten by the oriental pied hornbill. The plant can be found in the Bird Zone. The Native Garden now has more than 100 plant species native to Singapore, the highest concentration in a single location on the island. PHOTO: ANG WEE FOONG
A walking path for visitors at the Medicine Zone, which is part of HortPark's expanded Native Garden. The plants in the garden are grouped according to their native landscapes and various uses, such as medicine, food and timber, or to enhance the hab
The new plants include the critically endangered small-leaved nutmeg, which bears fruit (above) that is eaten by the oriental pied hornbill. The plant can be found in the Bird Zone. The Native Garden now has more than 100 plant species native to Singapore, the highest concentration in a single location on the island.PHOTO: ANG WEE FOONG

Improvements to the Native Garden at the western end of HortPark have been completed to mark the start of Biodiversity Week.

Launched in 2010, the garden has been expanded by 10 times to some 0.4ha and now has more than 100 plant species native to Singapore, the highest concentration in a single location on the island.

"Native plants play an important role in the conservation of our native animals by providing them with food and shelter," said Mr Ng Cheow Kheng, group director of horticulture and community gardening at the National Parks Board (NParks).

"They are also a part of our cultural heritage and are widely used in our daily lives, such as in our local dishes and traditional medicine."

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Apart from the habitat collection - which groups plants according to their native landscapes, such as coastal vegetation, lowland evergreen rainforest, or mangrove - the plants are also grouped according to their various uses.

The new zones categorise plants based on their use as medicine, food and timber, or to enhance the habitats for birds and butterflies.

Some of these new plants include the critically endangered small- leaved nutmeg, bearing fruit that is eaten by the oriental pied hornbill, which can be found in the Bird Zone, and the kuini tree, a member of the mango family which produces sweet and juicy fruit often added to smoothies, in the Food Zone.

The annual Biodiversity Week celebrations, along the theme of Encountering and Exploring Singapore's Biodiversity this year, will take place from tomorrow to May 28, in conjunction with the International Day of Biological Diversity.


The kuini tree, which is located in the Food Zone, is a member of the mango family. Its sweet and juicy fruit is often added to smoothies. NParks is organising guided tours of the garden and a workshop on identifying herbs. PHOTO: ANG WEE FOONG

Besides guided tours of the Native Garden, NParks is organising a workshop on identifying herbs from their scent and a concert series at the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage at Botanic Gardens.

The week will be capped off with a Festival of Biodiversity at nex shopping mall, with arts and crafts workshops, a speaker series and a nature-inspired art showcase, among others.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 19, 2017, with the headline 'Bigger Native Garden at HortPark'. Print Edition | Subscribe