The perfume flower tree, a little known relative of the familiar Tembusu tree (Fagraea fragrans) flowered in HortPark recently. I was notified via a short account that was written by Mr Kelvin Heng, a manager from the Horticulture Management section of HortPark that was sent to me via email. Many thanks to the National Parks Board (NParks) for sharing this piece of information with me, as well as, the readers of my blog.
Specimens of the perfume flower tree in bloom in HortPark.
As its common name suggests, the perfume flower tree, similar to the Tembusu, produces flowers that emit an extremely pleasant fragrance. The attractive, five-petalled, trumpet-shaped flowers are borne on a bunch terminally on each growth point. They are white when they first open which turn yellow on the following day before fading away subsequently. Each flower features rather prominent stamens, measures about 5 cm in diameter and has a long throat that can be as long as 10 cm long! After the flowers fade, very pretty fruits that are jade green in colour are produced.
The beautiful and fragrant flowers of the perfume flower tree.
The plant that was flowering in HortPark is planted near lamp-post number 1-3/4/3 along the Floral Walk. Botanically known as Fagraea ceilanica, the perfume flower tree is classified under the Loganiaceae family. This evergreen plant can be pruned back to maintain it as a manageable small shrub but if it is left alone, it can grow into a small tree with a height of about 20 m. When not in flower, the perfume flower tree still makes a very attractive shrub because it has very attractive foliage. Each leaf is rather thick to feel, oval in shape, relatively smooth to touch and shiny in appearance.
The attractive, globe-shaped fruit of the perfume flower tree.
The perfume flower tree is said to be a plant that can be grown in large containers. It has average water needs and hence its roots should be kept moist and not allowed to dry out. Like most other flowering shrubs, to ensure that a perfume flower tree plant grows healthily and blooms, each specimen should be grown in an area with at least filtered sunshine (semi-shade), althought it can tolerate full, direct sunshine outdoors. In a high-rise apartment, one can try growing it in a location with direct sunshine for at least 4 hours daily.