The lilac inflorescence of the Jacaranda tree (Jacaranda obtusifolia) from South America is eye-catching but ephemeral. They bloom briefly and sheds its compound leaves regularly. This could be a reason why the once popular roadside tree is now rarely cultivated in Singapore. That being said, the tree has a local street named after it – Jacaranda Road connects Old Upper Thomson Road to Casuarina Road.
Growing up to 40 metres in height, this native evergreen tree is characterized by its oval-shaped dark green leaves and deeply fissured bark. The cream white flowers of the Tembusu tree (Fagraea fragrans) is said to bloom and emit a sweet fragrance at sunset during the flowering season. The iconic tree is featured on Singapore’s five-dollar note, and that particular Heritage tree still stands at the Botanic Gardens today.
Commonly named “Sorrowless Tree”, this species (Saraca indica) is considered to be sacred by both the Hindus and Buddhists. The Hindus regard the tree as a symbol of love and dedicate it to the deity Lord Rama, while the Buddhists believe that Sakaymuni Buddha was born under this tree. The roadside tree may also be sighted in temple grounds as its orange clusters of flowers are often used in religious offerings and thought to protect children from grief.
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