Beautiful Science

They are gracing the island with their delicate beauty, and the vision in soft pink and white - of endless trumpet trees showing off their blooms en masse - has been enthralling the public. When and how Singapore's "cherry blossoms" unveil their petals in future, though, could be affected by climate change, with experts predicting that the country will face more extreme weather conditions, including rising temperatures, prolonged dry spells and more intense rainfall. In general, plants have evolved to respond physiologically to changes in the environment, and flowering patterns will change in line with increased climate variability, said Mr Oh Cheow Sheng, group director of streetscape at the National Parks Board (NParks).

Trumpet trees are named for the trumpet shape of their flowers, and flowering is usually triggered when heavy showers occur after a hot and long dry spell. It is currently the second of two flowering seasons in Singapore for the trumpet tree, and this usually occurs between August and September. The first season typically happens in March and April, Mr Oh said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2018, with the headline 'Beautiful Science'. Print Edition | Subscribe