Weekly Series
Nature Weekly
Short Notes on Nature Singapore

3 May 2020 | Wild Plants in the Pot |

photo A month ago, I decided to grow a pot of Spigelia anthelmia (Pinkroot) again since some seedlings had sprout from a recently ploughed pot. They were from seeds hidden in the soil waiting for the right time to sprout. The seeds originated from descendants of the plants that I grew back in 2015 back in 2015. Though I only grew it from time to time, I could always find its seeds in the soil since I recycle my soil. I like Pinkroot because it is such a unique-looking plant and I also like the way that it dispersed its seeds. It is an uncommon wild plant in Singapore.

photo I transferred 3 seedlings to a new pot. They grew well since there was no competitor around. A week later, competitors started to sprout from the soil. One of them looked new to me. I transferred one to a small pot for observation. Its identity was revealed a few weeks later --- Ludwigia hyssopifolia (Water Primrose). I discovered a seedling of Water Primrose back in April 2018. However, that plant was unlikely to be the contributor of the current batch of seedlings.

In the Pinkroot's pot, competition started to get fiercer as weeks went by. The remaining Water Primrose seedlings were soon overtaken by grasses (family: Poaceae) and sedges (family: Cyperaceae). The 3 Pinkroot plants were doing well despite the keen competition because they started out early. If they were to sprout at the same time with the grasses and sedges, they would have no chance to survive. This might be the reason for its infrequent appearance in the wild.

The mixtures of grasses and sedges consisted of 5 species. In just a few weeks, they started fruiting which helped in their identification except for a short lone grass. I had left them thrive since I planned to take some pictures of them to add and replace some of the poorer quality photos in my website.

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The 2 sedges, Cyperus iria (Ricefield Flatsedge) and Cyperus difformis (Smallflower Umbrella Sedge) were not new in my pot. I had shared separate posts on them in May 2016 and September 2015 respectively. But the 2 grasses, Digitaria bicornis (Asian Crabgrass) and Eleusine indica (Goose Grass) were new residents in my pots. I will be removing them soon to give way to other plants of my choice.

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