Photo credit: YU-MEI WEI

Nine new plants, fungi and algae discovered in Singapore in 2021

A total of 124 plant discoveries and rediscoveries have been recorded in the last five years.

Alicia Ang

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Published: 11 January 2022, 11:40 AM

Nine new flora were discovered in Singapore in 2021. Seven of the nine are plants, one is an alga and one is a fungus. 

One notable discovery is Gaolejeunea hoi, from the Lejeuneaceae liverwort family. It was first found in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in 2015, but was labelled as a new species in 2021 after scientists were unable to determine if it existed elsewhere. Gaolejeunea hoi currently only grows in Singapore. 

Another is Visia cylindrocellularis, which was formally thought to only grow in Pahang, Malaysia. It is currently the only known freshwater red algae species in Singapore. 

One more noteworthy plant is the Dodonaea viscosa, which was rediscovered in 2019. Formally thought to be nationally extinct, the plant was found on reclaimed soil in Tuas and has since been labelled critically endangered. 


A close-up of Dodonaea viscosa, which so far only grows in Tuas. PHOTO CREDIT: NPARKS/XIN YI NG


Five of the nine flora were found in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, which hosts 50 per cent of the species found in Singapore. Despite this impressive ecosystem, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is only 1.64 sq km large, or 0.23 per cent of Singapore’s land area.

With these discoveries, a total of 124 new flora have been discovered in Singapore since 2017.

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