A few days ago, I saw an interesting Facebook post by NParks, featuring a white flower with a red ‘eye’ in the centre that was named after Singapore, inviting fans to guess its name. How timely, I thought then, with our National Day just around the corner.
Enthusiastic Facebook fans of the NParks page gave answers quickly, but the name “White kopsia” was not entirely enlightening. Curious, I searched the internet to learn more about this plant. Interestingly, from the short paragraph in Wikipedia, I learnt that the plant is called “Kopsia singaporensis“. But, sad to hear, this plant which is found only in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore is threatened by habitat loss. In Singapore, it is restricted to some areas in the Nee Soon Swamp Forest of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (according to NParks document) and as it is critically endangered, all its localities are protected and there seemed to be plans to propagate further from the native Singapore stock.
None of the documents I found mentioned why it was named after Singapore, but it might not be hard to guess that it might be due to its Singapore flag colours (white and red) and the fact that it can only be found in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Something interesting that I learnt in the week of National Day celebrations!
Happy National Day to all Singaporeans!