Javan Myna taking nectar from African tulip flowers

on 23rd April 2011

“The African tulip (Spathodea campanulata) was introduced to Singapore in the 1910’s from Africa. It produces terminal clusters of beautiful blooms held above the foliage appearing in upturned whorls at the branch tips. A few at a time, the buds of the lowest tier bend outward and open into large bell-shaped orange-red flowers with a yellow border on the petals and four brown-anthered stamens in the center. Buds have the appearance of bananas. The pods point upwards and outwards above the foliage. Ripe pods slit open revealing the woody, boat-shaped containers. The winged seeds are dispersed by wind. I enjoy seeing them swirling slowly and drifting down to the ground below.

“The plant grows wildly nowadays. A few can be found at the fringe of my condo. …a cluster of the blooms and buds was on a low hanging branch that was only about six feet high. It was so attractive and irresistible to someone that a few days after I took the photo, the cluster disappeared.

“Many birds, such as sunbird, Asian Glossy Starling, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Rose-ringed Parakeet, etc are attracted to this tree because of feeding opportunities.

“A video, recorded on 20th March showing a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) taking the nectar, can be viewed above.”

Sun Chong Hong
7th April 2011

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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