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Spot the endangered “lychees” & “mangosteens” in CCK

What’s up, CCK? – Check out what’s ‘growing’ in Chua Chu Kang in this series that uncovers little known facts about your neighborhood.

188 trees from 4 tree species, which can grow locally, were planted in Choa Chu Kang Grove as part of a reforestation exercise on 22 November 2020.

Start keeping your eyes peeled to be the first to discover the fresh biodiversity that these reintroduced tree species, all native to Singapore, will attract to your neighbourhood.

You will also have something rare growing in your hood as all the 4 species planted are not commonly found elsewhere in Singapore and are at risk of becoming extinct here without help.

Find the trees here.

We will have our first-ever street tree planting exercise along Choa Chu Kang Central on 20 March 2021! Sign up here.

Watch this space to sign up for other upcoming tree planting exercises in CCK.


A quick lowdown on these endangered trees:

Pometia pinnata

  • Nicknamed island lychee, the fruit of this tree looks like a longan but tastes like a lychee. Its seeds can also be eaten too. Roasted or boiled, take your pick.
  • Its bark, according to the Malays and Indonesians, can be used to treat sores and wound infections.
  • It can grow up to about 20 storeys tall and has white to green-yellow flowers.

Memecylon caeruleum  

  • Known also as nipis kulik, you can recognise this shrub through its deep blue or dark purple flowers.
  • There are less than 250 of this specie left in the wild.
  • Its leaves can be eaten like a vegetable but its fruits, though edible, are generally tasteless.

Sandoricum koetjape 

  • This tree, also called the sentul, is another one which can grow up to 20 storeys high.
  • Its pinkish-yellow, yellowish-green or white-yellow flowers are fragrant and bear ball-shaped yellow or brownish fruits which resemble the langsat on the outside but look like the mangosteen on the inside. You can eat the fruit raw or use it to make marmalade, candy or fermented beverages.
  • Various parts of the tree are also used in folk medicine recipes to treat various ailments such as diarrhoea and fever.

Tristaniopsis whiteana  

  • If you see trees with trunks that are orange, grey or white, chances are, you’ve spotted the river tristania. Check if it has tiny white flowers.
  • This tree can grow up to about 12 storeys tall.
  • But don’t try to eat anything from this tree as its fruits are not edible.