Featuring : Alexandra Hospital Butterfly Trail
About Alexandra Hospital
How It all Started
One of his staff, Mrs Rosalind Tan, was assigned to start the butterfly trail at AH. With a little bit of help from some NSS enthusiasts, the landscaping for an open patch of green in the valley between the main blocks of AH and Alexandra Road began. Butterfly host plants as well as nectaring plants were planted in the valley, and paths created around the lush landscaping. With Rosalind's tireless enthusiasm, and her supportive other half, retired architect Tan Wee Lee, and the AH gardeners, the rest, as they say, is history.
After about 2 years, the landscaping with a myriad of butterfly host and nectaring plants worked wonderfully, and Singapore's first free-ranging butterfly trail was born!
Fast forward to 2008. After seven years, the AH Butterfly Trail is still lush, green and full of life. In April 2007, AH recorded its 100th species - a Chestnut Angle. The checklist for AH stands at 101 at the end of 2007. (Links to ButterflyCircle Forums. Please register an account)
Butterfly Photography at the AH Butterfly Trail
The AH Butterfly Trail is an excellent location for fledgling butterfly photographers. On a typical sunny day, there would often be at least 10 species to shoot. Amongst the more common ones are the Blue and Dark Glassy Tigers, as well as the attendant Common Palmfly and Chocolate Pansy. Often seen are the Emigrants - Lemon, Mottled and Orange, the Common Mormon, Lime Butterfly, and Baron. Over the years, the tally of 101 species includes some of the rare Lycaenids and Hesperiids which visit the trail occasionally.
With the host plant Aristolochia acuminata (formerly referred to as tagala), AH Butterfly Trail often features the two butterflies which feed on this plant - the Common Birdwing, and the Common Rose. A unique subspecies, possibly antiphus also flies at this trail. It is always breathtaking to see the large and spectacular black-and-yellow Common Birdwing fly around the trail, and during a good season, up to six individuals can be seen, gliding high above the trail.
In the shadier areas of the trail, one can often encounter Skippers like the Chocolate Demon, Paintbrush Swift and the Grass Demon. The flowers of Pagoda Flower, and many other flowering plants along the trail also attract a variety of butterflies to feed on them.
Other Areas for Photography at AH
What the Future Holds
How to Get There
Map of Alexandra Hospital
Text and Photos by Khew SK