Because of its resilient nature, this fast-growing and attractive epiphyte is often cultivated as a ground cover plant. This has also given it the reputation of being a weed, but we can’t deny that it can steal the limelight in our garden with its striking violet trumpet blossoms.
Giant Milkweed Calotropis gigantea
The Giant Milkweed in the butterfly garden is often seen completely bare without a single leaf. They must have been eaten by the caterpillars! Look closely, and you will find many caterpillars crawling on its stems and munching away on the juicy leaves. It is surprisingly resilient; new leaves on the bare plant will appear only after a few weeks, and sometimes even with budding flowers.
Caricature Plant Graptophyllum pictum
This ornamental plant is extremely unique, featuring a wide margin of green around a white leaf, and stunning magenta flowers. The plant is not native to Singapore, but is well regarded amongst decorators. Its common name is derived from the fact that people sometimes can see caricatures of human faces in the leaves! It has been studied for its anti-inflammation and analgesic properties.
Dutchman's Pipe Aristolochia tagala
Aristolochia tagala found in our school is a host plant of many butterflies. While it does not bear conspicuous or gorgeous flowers, its luxuriant leaves provide nutrients for our voracious caterpillars to metamorphosise into magnificent butterflies! Notice that the shapes of the leaves show graduated variation: Its lower leaves are shaped like a lance-head, while the upper leaves are heart-shaped.
Mexican Creeper Antigonon leptopus
The Mexican Creeper is a typical butterfly food plant. It originates from Mexico, where the the natives cook and eat its underground tubers for their nutty flavour. The cascading recemes of bright pink flowers are fragrant and attractive to bees and butterflies. The flowers will turn dull pink and eventually brown as they age, while the fruits are usually hidden inside.