Nature Walk Series
Upper Seletar Reservoir & Mandai Area
23 June 2012


photoThe weather was really hot for the last few weeks. There was hardly any cloud in the sky when I started my walk from Katib MRT station. I moved along Yishun Avenue 2 toward Lentor Avenue, then followed the path along the canal to the entrance of Mandai Road and eventually arrived at Upper Seletar Reservoir. It took me an hour to walk from the train station to my destination.

photoI did not find anything new along the way to the reservoir but did manage to take a picture of a honey bee in mid-air approaching the flower of the Aquatic Sensitive Plant (Neptunia plena).

Although I did come across many new plants, one surprising find was actually from a fallen tree. Actually, it should be 2-in-1 fallen tree. The first glance at this tree lying flat on the ground indicated that it was a Silverback (Rhodamnia cinerea) based on the features of the leaves and its trunk. But, this was not the exciting part as I had seen Silverback many times. Then I noticed there was Hoya growing around the branches, likely to be Hoya latifolia but was not able to find any flower. Again, this was not the highlight until I walked to the canopy portion of the tree. Strangely, the leaves were obviously not from a Silverback. After close examination, it was a huge strangling fig tree (Ficus consociata) taking hostage of the Silverback. If not because of the fallen trees, it would be quite remote for me to locate this rare strangling fig tree.

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photo photo While exiting the reservoir area, I met my next surprise. Something hanging down from a treelet of the Yellow Trumpet Bush (Tecoma stans) caught my attention. Yes, it was a snake --- another rare moment where I spotted one of these reptiles. The snake was getting down from the treelet and its head was already along the grass. Seeing my approach, it decided to get up back on the treelet. As I walked up to it slowly, it freeze and was probably deciding on what to do next. I quickly snapped a couple of pictures knowing that it would make a quick exit anytime. Sure enough, it decided to get down from the side of the treelet and disappeared into the crevices among the rocks. This should be a Paradise Tree Snake (Chrysopelea paradisi).

Besides Ficus consociata and Hoya latifolia mentioned above, the other new plants seen and identified were (from left to right): Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia floribunda), Bhesa paniculata, Glochidion rubrum, Xanthophyllum affine and Canthium glabrum.

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There were a number of unknown plants sighted. The one that excite me most was this herbaceous plant growing near the edge of the reservoir that looked like an Impatiens species (Family: Balsaminaceae). However, its fruits and stem did not resemble that from an Impatiens species. Its flowers look like those from an orchid. I would be eager to know the identity of this plant. [Update: Marsh Henna (Hydrocera triflora)]

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The area appeared to be populated with very interesting plants. I always had quite a few interesting finds when I come by this area.

Photo Gallery:

Below are selected photos from this trip arranged according to the sequence that they were taken. There is a text link under the photo that will direct you to more photos of the same species if they are available in my website.

Footpath along the canal
Unknown fruits on the road
Unknown flower buds on the road
Prodasineura collaris
(Collared Threadtail)
Nomia sp.
Click Beetle
(Family: Elateridae)
Hairy caterpillars


First shot: 7:24 am
Last shot: 12:26 pm
Total number of shots: 534

To use any of the image(s), please read the conditions carefully. To correct any error, please contact me.