The Traveller’s Palm is iconic for its enormous paddle-shaped leaves aligned in a distinctive fan shape. Its flowers, upon pollination, produce bright blue seeds, a very rare colour for seeds in nature. The sheaths of its stems can hold up to 1.5 litres of rainwater. Thus the name “Traveller’s Palm” is used to indicate an emergency water supply for thirsty travellers.
Trumpet Tree Tabebuia rosea
The Trumpet Tree’s name originates from its white or pink trumpet-shaped flowers. A few of these old trees stand tall and firm beside the High School Canteen, where countless students pass by everyday as they go for lunch. However, this is no ordinary tree, for it is well known for its rare but stunning display of sakura-like flowers that covers the entire tree after a dry spell. Over a few days, the fallen blossoms would accumulate to form a beautiful bright carpet of pink flowers. It is certainly quite an eyeful for students and teachers who walk past the garden!
Red Dracaena Cordyline fruticosa 'Firebrand'
Found in the family of asparagus, the Red Dracaena is given a befitting variety name, ‘Firebrand’ - Dracaena literally means a female dragon. This plant is common all over Singapore and is appreciated for adding an outstanding vibrant dark hue to our predominantly green foliage. Some have attempted to grow this terrestrial plant in terrariums but this often ends disastrously as the plant is not well adapted to moist soil.
Spider Lily Hymenocallis caribaea
Native to South America, its genus name is derived from the hymen, meaning "membrane", and kalos meaning "beautiful". It refers to the curious shape of the flowers, consisting of 6 narrow petals attached to a shallow cup that is formed from the fused stamens. However, its common name is a misnomer as Hymenocallis caribaea is not part of the Lily family but more closely related to daffodils. The flowers open in the evenings and emit a marvelous fragrance that is strong till dawn and this scent gradually decreases during the day.
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.