Myristica fragrans: Nutmeg

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The nutmeg tree is any of several species of trees in genus Myristica. The most important commercial species is Myristica fragrans, an evergreen tree indigenous to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas [Spice Islands] of Indonesia. The nutmeg tree is important for two spices derived from the fruit: nutmeg and mace.

In Sulawesi the entire ripe fruit is peeled and split into two and fruit halves [after the mace and nutmeg are removed] are spread out, sprinkled with sugar, and left for three or four days in the sun. After this treatment they have become translucent, with a pale brown tinge from the sugar, and are slightly fermented. They can be eaten as they are, as a snack food or at the end of a meal.

Photo: SBWR, SIngapore 20100508

Source: Wikipedia

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Mussaenda philippica: White Mussaenda

Mussaenda philippica also known as White Mussaenda, Tropical Dogwood, Virgin Tree, Buddah’s Lamp, is a shrub or small tree, 3-5 m tall, and more or less hairy, or nearly smooth. Member of family Rubiaceae [Coffee family] cultivated as garden ornament. The leaves are dark green 6-14 cm in length, pointed at both ends, and furnished with stipules about 4 mm long.

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The flowers are borne in small numbers in terminal, hairy cymes. They are yellow, hairy, about 2 cm long and enlarged upward. The sepal cup is about 7 mm long. The 4-8 cm long white bracts are more ’showy‘ than the flowers. White Mussaenda is native to Southeast Asia.

Note:

Cyme: an arrangement of flowers in a plant inflorescence

Photo: HortPark, Singapore 20120526

Ploceus philippinus: Baya Weaver

The Baya Weaver [Ploceus philippinus] is a weaverbird found across South and Southeast Asia. Flocks of these birds are found in grasslands, cultivated areas, scrub and secondary growth and they are best known for their elaborately woven nests. These nest colonies are usually found on thorny trees or palm fronds and the nests are often built near water or hanging over water where predators cannot reach easily.

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These are sparrow-sized, 15 cm/6 inches and in their non-breeding plumage, both males and females resemble female house sparrows. They have a stout conical bill and a short square tail.

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Among the population variations, three subspecies are recognized: subspecies philippinus is found through much of mainland India, subspecies burmanicus is found eastwards into Southeast Asia, subspecies travancoreensis is the population in southwest India.

Photo: JBP, Singapore 20120529

Source: Wikipedia

Heliconia caribaea ‘Purpurea’ : Large Heliconia

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‘Purpurea’, also known as Heliconia caribaea ‘Red’, is the red form of Heliconia caribaea. Bracts are bright red with a thin yellow lip. The plant is vigorous, erect and clumping, from 8-10 feet tall. Heliconia caribaea ‘Purpurea’ can grow in partial shade to full sun.

Heliconia caribaea syn. Heliconia bihai 

Photo: JBP, Singapore 20120529

Source: Wikipedia

Halcyon smyrnensis: White-throated Kingfisher

The White-throated Kingfisher [Halcyon smyrnensis] also known as the White-breasted Kingfisher or Smyrna Kingfisher, is a tree kingfisher, widely distributed in Eurasia from Bulgaria, Turkey, east through Southeast Asia. It can often be found well away from water where it feeds on a wide range of prey that includes small reptiles, amphibians, crabs, small rodents and even birds. During the breeding season they call loudly in the mornings from prominent perches including the tops of buildings in urban areas or on wires.

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This is a large kingfisher, 28 cm in length. The adult has a bright blue back, wings and tail. Its head, shoulders, flanks and lower belly are chestnut, and the throat and breast are white. The large bill and legs are bright red.

Photo: JBP, Singapore 20120529

Source: Wikipedia

Attacus atlas: Atlas Moth

The Atlas moth [Attacus atlas] is a large saturniid moth found in the tropical and subtropical forests of Southeast Asia. Atlas moths are considered the largest moths in the world with wingspan reaching over 25 cm [10 in]. Females are appreciably larger and heavier.

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Atlas moths are said to be named after either the Titan of Greek mythology, or their map-like wing patterns. Atlas moths are predominantly tawny to maroon in color with roughly triangular, diaphanous [transparent] “eyes” on both forewing and hindwing, bordered in black.

Mating couple.

Male [left] Atlas moths are distinguished from females by their smaller size.

Photo: Penang Butterfly Farm, 20010601

Source: Wikipedia