Sakura in the city: Trumpet trees bursting into full bloom across Singapore

Dubbed the local version of Japan's cherry blossoms, trumpet trees are bursting into full bloom across S'pore

Trumpet trees are striking a major chord across the island as they burst into full bloom. Enjoy the splendour while you can - it does not last long.

This is the second of two flowering seasons for the tree - the first typically takes place in March and April - which tend to be triggered when heavy showers occur after a long, hot dry spell.

There are about 15,000 of the trees here, which are known as Tabebuia rosea in botanical circles.

"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).

"Other environmental factors include temperature, light and moisture levels. There are also plants that flower all year round, such as the bougainvillea."

Mr Oh added that the public can go to www.trees.sg, an online platform launched earlier this year that allows users to share photos of flowering trees.

The locations of trumpet trees can be found by searching for "trumpet tree" or "Tabebuia rosea" on the site.

Trumpet trees, dubbed the local version of Japan's famed cherry blossoms, can grow to 30m high. They have a broadly conical shape, shady crown and trumpet-shaped flowers that give the tree its name.

The flowers are large and showy, bearing five petals, and create an impressive display when the whole tree is covered in blossoms.

The blooms last only a matter of days, but they retain their colour for a few days after they fall, forming a picturesque pink or white carpet around the trunk.

The bark has anti-cancer properties and the timber is used for construction and furniture.

But some lament the short-lived flowering of the trumpet tree. Said retiree Simon Chua, 65: "The flowering trees along the expressway are beautiful but cannot be compared to East Coast Parkway, which has flowering bougainvilleas all year round."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2019, with the headline 'Sakura in the city'. Print Edition | Subscribe