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Short Notes on Nature Singapore

1 May 2016 | Singapore Flora Checklist |

photo The Singapore Flora checklist published in 2009 is my most-used reference. Currently, it is housed under the eBook section of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum website. Though published 7 years back, it is still the most recent and complete listing of plants (by scientific names) found in Singapore. As there is no picture in there, I did not find it useful when I first started out exploring plants. Now, it is a good tool for me to check on the correctness of when assigning scientific name to a plant found here. In the notes that littered in different pages in my website, this is most-linked publication. Needless to say, when the URL to this article changed, all those links were broken and I had to spend time fixing it to the new URL. This happened when Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research changed to become Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum in 2014.

To avoid this recurrence, I had written this page to provide a mid-point link to the actual publication. In case the URL was to change, this will be the only place that I need to correct the link. Though it may take an extra click before reaching the publication, I think it is a worthwhile effort.

When this 277-page eBook was published in 2009, Siyang started a blog called The Total Vascular Flora of Singapore Online using the checklist as the base and started adding pictures to each names. However, he had stopped updating it since 2012 and moved on to pursue his Urban Forest website. This eBook is also an exclusively used reference in PIER website to determine the native-ness of a plant species in Singapore.

One important item that was not explained in the publication is the selection of the scientific names when a plant has several synonyms. Synonyms came about when someone published a scientific name to a new plant thinking that it is a newly discovered species but not knowing someone else in the past had already discovered and named it. In general, I refer to the Plant List website for accepted scientific names.

The eBook listed 4,180 species of plants. So far, my pictorial collection is 1,855 species including variants. Since many species in the checklist were indicated as extinct, I guessed my collection should have crossed the 50% mark of available plant species here. Furthermore, I do have some plant species that have yet to be listed in the eBook such as Acalypha alopecuroidea, Athyrium accedens, Erigeron bellioides, and Fatoua pilosa.

As a note, the full citation of this publication or eBook should be:
Chong, K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & R. T. Corlett, 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 273 pp. Uploaded 12 Nov.2009.

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