Monday, June 22, 2015
Last Cycad Tree of Old Katong Coastline found along Marine Parade Road
Possible! Possible! It's perfectly possible!
This native Cycad Tree (Cycas rumphii) could very well be the last precious remnant of the natural vegetation found along old Katong coastline prior to the development of Marine Parade Estate. At 3.5m tall, it is definitely a very old specimen.
I spotted it growing under a huge Waringin (Ficus benjamina) behind a section of the old Katong seawall along Marine Parade Road.
Although it can be argued that it could have been planted, I believe we should err on the side of caution and recommend its immediate conservation. Towards this end, I will forward this posting to the relevent authorities for due consideration and hope it can be transplanted to a protected location such as Chek Jawa or Fort Canning.
Cycas rumphii - revered as a 'living fossil' by science - is indeed very rare in the wild today. In Singapore, it is considered Critically Endangered. No effort should be spared to conserve it for posterity.
The extent individuals can be counted within 5 fingers:
1 in Pulau Tekong
1 in Western Catchment
1 in Lazarus Island
1 in Chek Jawa (translocated from Changi Point)