The Breynia plant’s white and pink mottled leaves make it appear as if the plant has been snowed upon. It is an evergreen shrub, with pink and red stems growing in a zigzagged manner. It is native to Pacific islands, but acts as a nurturing host plant for the striking Common Grass Yellow butterfly in our butterfly garden.
Pucok Merah Leea rubra
The Leea rubra is a food source for various butterfly sub-species, as well as some bird and bee species. It stands in a corner of the garden, flowers facing the direction of the sky, filled with passion and hope. Its red, white, or golden flowers cluster attractively together to encourage pollinators. The main variety in Hwa Chong bears predominantly red flowers.
Gaping Dutchman's Pipe Aristolochia ringens
This special plant is filled with unique features. Its leaves are heart-shaped, while its flowers resemble the unique structures of the carnivorous pitcher plant. Being a host plant for the national butterfly, the Common Rose butterfly, it is a favourite in many butterfly gardens. It originated from Tropical America. In its native home, its roots were used to treat snake bites.
String Bush Cordia cylindrostachya
The Cordia cylindrostachya is a rich source of nectar for butterflies. Its white inflorescent flowers have a curious brush-like appearance. It is a resilient plant that is able to survive in relatively infertile soils, but requires much sunlight coverage. It has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and has been used in many communities that practice ethno-medicine. In the butterfly garden, this flower is frequently visited by butterflies, dragonflies, and other insects alike.
Indian Snakeweed Stachytarpheta indica
This interesting nectaring plant originated from Africa, and is regarded as an invasive species in the rice fields of Asia. Its fresh leaves are consumed in bush tea as a “cooling” tonic and blood cleanser, to treat asthma and sometimes ulcerated stomachs. In HCI’s butterfly garden, it proudly claims a small region of land as its own.
The lime plant lives up to its typical name of bearing not just the the sour and sweet fruit, but also the beautiful lime butterfly. It serves as a host plant for the Papilio demoleus, and is a common plant of the Indo-Malayan region. Its leaf margins are lined with tiny rounded teeth.
Sage Rose Turnera ulmifolia
This choosy flower has attractive flowers that open to the sky. However, it only displays its magnificence during sunny days. On rainy days, the flowers hide underneath lustrous leaves. It is the host plant for spiny Tawny Coster caterpillar.
Crown Flower Calotropis gigantea
Its lovely, unique flowers gives an impression of satisfying richness. It is a favorite for various butterflies, and is also a host plant for the majestic Plain Tiger butterfly. It can be found in many other butterfly gardens, including the other butterfly garden at Hwa Chong High School.
Wild Maracuja Passiflora foetida
The Passiflora foetida is a climber, and possess large, hairy leaves. The leaves are tri-lobed, and the flowers are white, but marked with a ring of radially oriented purple streaks. They blossom in the morning, and close by about noon. The unique, minty fragrance of the flowers provides a soothing morning welcome to those who walk past. They are nectaring plants and also host plants for the Tawny Coster.
Golden Dew-drop Duranta erecta
This tiny shrub has a significance that belies its size — it symbolises the collaboration of Hwa Chong Institution, Chung Cheng High School, and Jane Goodall Institution, promoting the spirit of habitat conservation. Singapore in starting the butterfly garden. This particular Duranta erecta was planted by our Principal, Mr Pang, on the opening of the garden. Its flowers are clustered together to form a lovely shade of purple. It grows best in full sun and moist soils.
Singapore Rhododendron Melastoma malabathricum
This climber is a rather pretty plant, with its violet outer petals, inner yellow stigmas, and spiral leaf veins. Its fruits are eaten by birds, squirrels, and monkeys in the wild. Its flowers are irresistible to Pearly-banded bees, Dwarf Carpenter Bees, Large Carpenter Bees, and Blue-banded Digger Bee in search for pollen. In the butterfly garden, it elegantly curls its stems onto the supporting wood, reaching high up to the skies.
Empress Candle Plant Senna alata
A plant that will surprise any observer when it starts to flower. Its unusually huge flowers proudly display their unique and colourful candle-like petals for all to see. The Senna alata’s leaves are wide and large, providing a fun canopy for caterpillars. Being a host plant for the Mottled Emigrant, it is the ideal plant to use for encouraging increased biodiversity.
Curry Leaf Murrayakoenigii
This native Indian plant is a favourite for curry-lovers, as Its aromatic leaves are used in Indian cuisine to make the savoury dishes. It is no wonder the Common Mormon, its host butterfly, find the smell appealing. The curry plant has flowers that are small and white. In the HCI butterfly garden, it lies humbly beside the colourful Cuphea hyssopifolia, adding contrast and a subtle aroma to the garden.
False Heather Cuphea hyssopifolia
This small, bushy plant adds a tinge of colour and excitement to the otherwise dull corner of the college reception. Despite being relatively smaller (its maximum height is 0.6m), its layered foliage gives a level of complexity to the landscape, enhancing the pleasantness of the area. Its beautiful blue to purple flowers are often displayed as ornaments. It is an ideal nectaring plant for butterfly gardens.