SINGAPORE - The Republic's version of Japan's famed cherry blossoms made a surprise return this month after the usual flowering season ended in September.
The trumpet trees, known mainly for their pink blooms, continued flowering in the first two weeks of October due to the recent unusual weather, according to the National Parks Board (NParks).
The board told The Straits Times on Wednesday (Oct 16) that the flowering of trumpet trees, or Tabebuia rosea, is triggered when heavy showers occur after a hot and long dry period, such as that from July to September.
Based on past observations, the flowering of trumpet trees should only be between March and April, as well as between August and September, NParks added.
With the rare out-of-season flowering, the board encouraged the public to look out for the 15,000 trumpet trees currently planted here, noting that blooming flowers have been observed in areas like Punggol Park, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and the Singapore River Promenade.
The National Environment Agency's Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) has said that warm and wet weather is expected in October after the dry weather in the previous three months.
July's total rainfall was 51 per cent below normal, rainfall in August was 81 per cent below normal, while September's rainfall was 44 per cent below usual levels. This resulted in a rainfall deficit situation, which occurs when there are three consecutive months of monthly rainfall more than 40 per cent below what is normal.
For some Singaporeans, the blooming trees have inspired a new appreciation for the flora here.
Dentist Irene Leong said she saw a blossoming trumpet tree in Tampines near where she works on Monday.
"They are very lovely trees when they bloom," she said of the trumpet trees, adding that she used to not pay attention to the trees when they did not flower. "Ever since I knew about them, I appreciate having them around and would love to see more of them planted."
The 33-year-old also noted that blooming trumpet trees make good photo spots for social media users or even newlyweds searching for a romantic spot for their wedding photos.
NParks said it is encouraged by responses such as Ms Leong's to the trumpet trees, and urged more people to use its platforms to learn more about Singapore's trees and how they are cared for.
To find out where to view flowering trees, those interested can log on to trees.sg which allows the public to share photos of flowering trees.
There is also an "Am I flowering?" button for observers to check if a tree is currently in bloom.
NParks added that fans of the blooming trees have also been sending Treemails and giving virtual hugs to their favourite trees.