Nature-loving S'poreans surprised by abundance of wildflowers on grass verges during CB period

Nature returning.

Ashley Tan | May 17, 2020, 10:41 AM

There have been some rather interesting observations during this circuit breaker period such as canes being sold out in Singapore, and mould growing on leather goods in a shuttered mall in Malaysia.

As many daily activities have been put to a halt as a result of Covid-19, here's another unexpected "side-effect"— a pleasant sight of wildflowers greets those who still venture out for work, purchasing essentials and exercise.

Wildflowers growing

Numerous people in Singapore have observed that plants and wildflowers have been overgrowing on the sidewalks and grass verges, giving the streetscape a more natural look.

This could likely be due to weather conditions as well as reduced frequency of grass-cutting.

Local nature enthusiast Ria Tan spotted large swathes of mimosa and their pink buds covering a patch of grass beside the road.

Tan also observed bees were buzzing about.

A similar sight was spotted by Jacob Tan, a teacher at Commonwealth Secondary School, during a run.

"I was running in my neighbourhood when I realised how beautiful and lively the roadside grass field has become after one month of circuit breaker - WILDFLOWERS that we have been so deprived of!!"

The abundance of plants has even perked some individuals' curiosity about Singapore's biodiversity:

Screenshot from Nature Society (Singapore) public group

Some of these wild plants were identified to be medicinal plants:


Here are more pictures of the lovely scenes:


Photo from Ria Tan / FB

Photo from Ria Tan / FB

Photo from Tan Guan Rui Jacob / FB

Photo by Zhangxin Zheng

Photo by Zhangxin Zheng

Screenshot of Xia Xue/Instagram

Screenshot of Xia Xue/Instagram

Re-think how we manage our greenery

Not only are wildflowers in public areas blooming, but the grass and plants at Commonwealth Secondary School are also flourishing without the maintenance by the landscape contractors, Jacob Tan shared.

Tan even thought of proposing for a patch of grassland in the school "to be protected from grass-cutting".

Tan pondered whether such grass verges could be left untouched, so that there would be more pollinators like butterflies.

"At that moment, I realised I was just minutes away from witnessing the beauty surrounding me being wiped off. Are we missing out something when we have regular grass-cutting? Can we re-think how we have been managing the greenery around us? Can we be less reliant on low-wage workers and channel our tax money and manpower to other services?

Can we afford to have some grass patches to be left untouched so that native wildflowers can return, together with pollinators like butterflies and insects that feed on them too!"

One Julian Lim had similar sentiments as well, and explained how an abundance of such greenery would bode well for insects and the rest of the ecosystem.



Top photo from Zheng Zhangxin and Ria Tan / FB