The Water Jasmines in our school were donated by alumnus Mr Tan Leong Teck (陈龙德学长). Many neatly trimmed bushes of Water Jasmines can also be found lining the pavements at different locations around the High School section. Some of them have also been turned into bonzai, which are being maintained by our skilful gardeners over the years. You may be astonished to find that the bonsai are of the same species, presented as rows of “typical” bushes. If you do not believe it, lean close and smell their sweet and fragrant white flowers!
Buddhist Pine Podocarpus macrophyllus
This living fossil belongs to a genus of conifers, the Podocarpus, that traces it lineage back to 240 million years ago. Its dark green leaves are lanceolate in shape and arranged spirally. The younger leaves at the center of each cluster are lighter in colour, giving the entire tree a dynamic colour scheme. Their fruits are purple and fleshy when matured, and are often hidden in the pockets between leaf clusters. This single podocarpus is found growing amongst the Mussaendas and Yellow Elders along the road. In fact, it was planted and cared for by the Hwa Chong Outdoor Activities Club!
The Ixora blooms with stunning clusters of red, yellow, pink or orange flowers. The Ixora is a common flower in Singapore. Some of us are aware that one could pluck out its corolla tube, and enjoy a sweet shot of nectar from the other end! When in full bloom, the neatly trimmed bushes line Tan Kah Kee Drive with a thick ribbon of crimson blossoms. What a sight to behold! Kudos to our skillful gardeners who help to maintain these beautiful bushes all year long.
Eugenia Eugenia oleina
Many of the Eugenia have been propagated, cloned and generously donated by our school alumnus Mr Mak Chin On, who is an expert in horticulture and plant propagation. After several years growing multiple generations of them, Mr Mak was able to successfully cultivate Eugenia with deep liver-red leaves that are seen in abundance in our school today. Numerous shrubs of both orange-red and liver-red Eugenia line the side of Tan Kah Kee Drive, acting as ornamental foliage, alongside the lipstick palms and bougainvilleas in the same row. These plants are pruned regularly by our school gardeners into dome-shapes, showcasing a fresh layer of red leaves after every trim. They certainly add on to the rich diversity of the plants and vibrant mixture of colours displayed along the driveway! Its larger companions stand in the SRC, with the shorter pomelo tree in between them. These slow growing trees were, in fact, planted just when the SRC was first built. The trees here may look very different from those along the road, but one can ascertain they are of the same species after observing the red leaves on the surface of its canopy.