Trees bloom with orange-red flower clusters, attract curious Choa Chu Kang residents

Flowers blooming on the trunk of a Saraca indica tree in Choa Chu Kang.
Flowers blooming on the trunk of a Saraca indica tree in Choa Chu Kang.PHOTO: SHIN MIN READER

SINGAPORE - The sight of trees sprouting clusters of orange-red flowers on their trunks and branches has drawn several curious residents in Choa Chu Kang in recent days.

Chinese-language newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported on Sunday (March 25) that many residents had taken snapshots of the eye-catching Saraca indica, more commonly known as sorrowless tree or asoka tree, near Block 251, Choa Chu Kang Avenue 2.

Two of the six trees in the area had blossomed on Sunday, releasing a sweet fragrance in the air, Shin Min reported.

A 54-year-old resident, who has lived in the estate for close to 20 years, told the newspaper that the trees were around even before he had moved in.

He added that while the flowers bloom around April every year, they had captured the attention of many residents this year, in particular, as they were exceptionally lush.

According to the National Parks Boards' Flora and Fauna website, the tree is native to South-east Asian countries, such as Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

It can grow to a height of up to 10m, and is known for producing big, dense clusters of flowers with no petals.

The flowers bloom yellow, before turning orange and red, and between February and May, the whole tree may be covered with blooms, it said.

According to the website, parts of tree may also be used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine and homeopathic therapies.

Mr Chua King Wah, the managing director of wholesale garden centre Hua Hng Trading Company, told Shin Min that the flowers may bloom three to four times a year, often during dry weather.

"There are sorrowless trees on the roadside in Singapore, but they rarely have that many flowers," he noted. "The sight in Choa Chu Kang is likely due to the recent hot weather, with little rain."