The Yellow Flame (Peltophorum pterocarpum) is one of the most planted trees in Singapore’s streetscape. The tree boasts a wide-spreading crown, providing ample shade in the sunny urban environment. The flowers are yellow and crinkly like tissue paper, often covering only the top of the tree. During the unprecedented dry spell in 2014, the Yellow Flame was one of the few drought-tolerant roadside trees that survived well in spite of the heat. The aboriculture of this tree species has greatly reduced roadside irrigation costs and conserved valuable water resource locally.
Not to be confused with the Yellow Flame is the the Golden Shower Tree (Cassia fistula) from the same botanical family. When this tree is in full bloom, the yellow pendulous flowers hang down in beautiful clusters like a curtain. The leaves and flowers are particularly important to the Hindus as they are used in religious offerings during the Vishu festival.
With its unmistakably deep pink and trumpet-shaped inflorescences, the Trumpet Tree (Tabebuia rosea) has been commonly planted in parks and along roadsides in housing estates. Growing up to 30 metres tall, the tree has two flowering seasons, typically occurring first in March and April, and later in the year between August and September. Native to tropical rainforests across South America, the bark of the tree is found have anti-cancer properties while the timber can be used for building and furniture. Due to its prevalence in Singapore, the species has become an iconic tree to photograph in the city’s urban streetscape.
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