Monday, 23 April 2012

Filicium decipiens

Filicium decipiens, also known as Fern Tree or Fern-leaf, originated from Sri Lanka. It belongs to the plant family of Sapindaceae.

A small to medium-sized tree that grows up to a maximum 20m in height, it has a dense and rounded crown with distinctive pinnately compound frond-like leaves. Hence the common names, “Fern Tree” or “Fern-leaf”.Leaves are spirally arranged and even-pinnately compound. Leaflets come in 6 to 8 pairs and grow opposite along the stem. The upper surfaces of the leaves are shiny, while the undersides are not.

This tree is dioecious, bearing male and female flowers on the same plant, in separate bunches. Male flowers have 5 stamens with long filaments. Female flowers have a globose superior ovary with a short curved style. Filicium seldom flower or fruit in Singapore. The fruits are small, shiny, and reddish-purple in colour. They are oval shaped and pointed at the tip.

This tree is often selected for its almost perfect natural symmetry and the density of its crown, which provides very good shade. It is also aesthetically pleasing due to its fine, fern-like leaves. Its compact size means it is suitable for small parks and gardens.

Look for Filicium decipiens at the Amenities Centre.


 (Filicium decipiens found at the Reservoir Deck)

 (The trunk of the tree)

 (Leaves are spirally arranged and even-pinnately compound)

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