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Ecogarden

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Location:

Entrance to Ecogarden is through Hall D

Typical time required:

30 - 60 minutes

The Ecogarden, short for ecology garden, is a living outdoor laboratory with a diverse variety of plants to observe and many types of animals to find. The plants here receive no special care. No attempt is made to control pests except for occasional pruning, mowing and necessary replanting. Thus there are many habitats where animals can find suitable niches for themselves, providing a suitable setting for ecological studies.

The Ecogarden is divided into many different areas showcasing a variety of plants. From our local king of fruits, the durian, to the common vegetables that you get in the market, take a walk around nature and discover more about the plants that you commonly see.

 

Highlights

 

 

Rubber Centenery Monument

From the humble beginning with just eleven young trees that were shipped from Britain, trace the history of the rubber industry in Singapore at this pavilion.

Mini-Rubber Plantation

The Para Rubber Tree (Hevea brasiliensis) originates from the Amazon Valley of Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. In the tropical rain forests, the trees can reach a height of 20 to 30 metres, but plantation trees grown from grafts are usually smaller.

A special tapping knife is used to shear off a thin layer of the rubber tree’s bark. The cut must be done carefully and not too deep as this would injure the tree. See the mark on the rubber trees in this plantation.

 

 

Fernarium 

Ferns are non-flowering plants that bear no fruits and no seeds. Instead, they reproduce by generating numerous minute spores. These spores are usually found on the underside of the leaves. Because they are small and light, spores can be blown away by the wind to faraway places to colonise new habitats.

Ferns are generally attractive plants and are often cultivated for decorative or ornamental purposes. Try and spot the different types of ferns here.

Mini-Orchard

Fruits are often the most nutritious part of the plant, and their high water content allows most fruits to be eaten without cooking, unlike vegetables. The fruits' often bright colours and sweet taste attract many animals. After eating the fruits, these animals then pass out the seeds with their droppings, thus helping to spread the seeds.

Take a walk amidst a whole range of fruit trees.  But no plucking please (unless you have wings and feathers) as the fruits here are strictly reserved for birds!

 

 

Lime Tree Corner

Limes are good for making juice and are often used in cooking to enhance the taste of local dishes. Browse through the different varieties of lime trees. Look out for the yellowish-white lime butterflies and caterpillars which are very partial to the lime plants.

Medicinal Garden 

For centuries, plants have played a major role in pain-relieving and healing. Folk healers have experimented with and used the plant world as their medicine cabinet. Today, nearly one-third of all medications sold in pharmacies have an active ingredient derived from a plant.

The Medicinal Garden has a collection of over sixty plants. Find the plant that is used to cure pimples!

 

 

The Ponds

Many plants and animals live in different parts of the pond. Some plants float on the water surface, some are partially submerged, while others live completely underwater. Tiny free-floating bacteria and fungi can also be found in the pond and help break down dead plants and animals into simpler substances which can be used as nutrients by green plants. In addition, plants also provide shelter to many aquatic animals.

Discover the different plants and animals in the Ecogarden's five ponds.

Common Wayside Trees

You see them when you drive or walk along the roads in Singapore. Come and find out more about these plants that provide shelter for you on the roadside.

 

 

Culinary Garden

Be it curry chicken, mutton soup or Sichuan braised duck - all these Asian gourmet delights would not taste the same without spices.

See the spice plants as they grow, before they are dried, ground and packed into the bottles that we find in the supermarket.

Economic Crop Mini-Plantation

Agriculture may not play an important role in our local economy anymore but it once did. Take a walk amidst a variety of economically important plants such as cashew, coffee, oil palm, eucalyptus, coconut and cocoa. Do watch out for falling coconuts!

 

 

Leaf Litter Corner

If you are not careful, you may walk right past it, mistaking it for a pile of dead leaves that our gardeners forgot to remove. But take a closer look at it. In this area, dead leaves, twigs, broken branches and sometimes entire plants are heaped together to allow us to study how little animals and microbes break down all the rubbish in this heap and return nutrients to the soil.

 

Vegetable Beds

The term ‘vegetable’ refers to plants that can be partially or wholly eaten. The parts that we can eat include the leaves, stems, roots, tubers, seeds and flowers. Vegetables generally contain more starch and less sugar than fruits. Therefore they tend to be savoury and not sweet. Also unlike fruits, vegetables are most often eaten cooked, not raw.

Walk along the vegetable beds and see how they are grown.

 

 

 

Tree house

Tree houses have been with us for hundreds of years, dating as far back as when basic survival was top of the list and there was no safer place to shelter than high up in the treetops. Today, a tree house is a special place that captures the imagination of the child in all of us. Offering many elements of play and discovery like refuge, height, and physical challenge, it provides a gateway back to nature.

Feeling tired after you walk around the Ecogarden? Come and rest your feet at the tree house.

 

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