Honolulu creeper or bougainvillea?

I had gone down to the Science Centre Ecogarden to check out the pigeon orchid plant again one day in May but realised that all the flowers were gone. Well, I told myself that I would have a chance again to smell the fragrance of the flowers, as Mrs Chee, one of our ex-colleagues have suggested.

But I also made another discovery on that occasion, as I noticed an arch with lots of vines. From afar, I saw tiny pink flowers and I had thought that they were bougainvillea, although I asked myself why I had not seen bougainvillea in such beautiful shades and tiny sizes before. Upon my check with Mrs Chee then, I was told that those were Honolulu creepers and the scientific name is Antigonon leptopus. In Mandarin, the name is珊瑚藤 or 朝日藤.

It served to beautify the garden and also attract insects such as wasps and carpenter bees to pollinate the flowers.

Arch beautifully decorated with the vines of the Honolulu creeper
Arch beautifully decorated with the vines of the Honolulu creeper
Close-up shot of the Honolulu creeper
Close-up shot of the Honolulu creeper

If it were you, will you be able to tell it apart from bougainvillea, the plant which could be found easily in Singapore’s garden landscape?

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Deborah Lim says:

    Beautiful shot of the flowers!
    I used to admire them on my way home from primary school, made my walk more enjoyable those days.
    What a pleasant surprise – to know the name of these flowers after several decades.
    Thanks very much 🙂

    1. Kiat Teng says:

      Hi Deborah, I’m glad to know that my discovery is also useful for you!

      For me, this is the first time I have seen these flowers and they are lovely indeed. 🙂

  2. Pauline dawn Loh says:

    Honolulu creepers used to be very common all over Singapore, but they seem to have disappeared gradually together with the vacant lots and large gardens. I hope we can bring them back. They attract bees and are really pretty when they flower. Thank you for this reminder of a more gentle age. I wonder where we can get seeds or cuttings?

    1. Goh Kiat Teng says:

      Hi Pauline. Thanks for sharing! Didn’t know they used to be a common sight in Singapore. I always thought Bougainvillea is the common sight.

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