Look at the photo! There is a large soursop fruit growing here! While the soursop is native to the Caribbean and Central America, it was brought into Southeast Asia during the colonial era. The white flesh inside can be eaten directly, though it is common to see it processed into canned drinks or candies. The raw fruits taste like a combination of strawberry and pineapple, with sour citrus flavour and creamy texture. It has also been a target of recent research efforts - its leaves are found to have anti-inflammation and anticancer properties.
Purple Simpoh Dillenia excelsa
The Dillenia excelsa is a critically endangered species native to Singapore. Luckily, two of them still stand strong beside each other on the far end of the Butterfly Garden. These trees bear vibrant, yellow flowers that are particularly eye catching to the students walking along the pavement. Given their conservation status in Singapore, it is important that we learn to cherish these rare and precious trees. Their close relative, the Dillenia suffruticosa (Simpoh Air), usually appears as a shrub with large leaves. These leaves were often used to wrap food, especially the fermented soyabean cakes (tempeh), or the traditional rojak.
Orange Champaca Michelia champaca
A phylogenetically ancient plant, Michelia champaca is part of the family Magnoliaceae, which appeared before plants differentiated into monocots and dicots. If you look closely at its orange flowers, you’ll notice that all its petals are similar (rather than having 2 types of petals as with many modern plants), and its reproductive organs are less apparent than many modern plants. One can determine the age of the plant by observing the colour of its flowers: younger plants produce bright yellow flowers while older ones give deep orange flowers.
Guava Psidium guajava
Do not be misled for the young fruits look uncannily similar to lime. Guavas are a common fruit in Singapore, often enjoyed with plum sugar on the side, which enhances its sweet flavor. The guavas on the trees in the school are often found wrapped in plastic, perhaps to keep potential pests and ants from damaging the fruit. Seems like somebody is preparing to grab some to eat.