Specimen Spotlight - Kopsia singapurensis

June 22, 2022
Specimen Spotlight - Kopsia singapurensis

During the opening ceremony of the Singapore Herbarium (SING) in 1964, Chan Chee Seng cut a branch of Kopsia singapurensis (family Apocynaceae) to mark the occassion. Curatorial Assistant Madeline Schill recently came across a cutting of the branch in our A collection. There is a note from Humphrey Morrison Burkill, Director of the Singapore Botanical Gardens at the time, included with the specimen that explains the significance of the branch:

The ceremony of opening the new Singapore Herbarium on 24th October 1964 was completed by the cutting of a tree branch across the main doorway. We do not like tape (red), and therefore had no use of the symbolism of 'cutting the tape'. We are not affluent enough to afford a gold key. This specimen is taken from the branch cut by Mr. Chan Chee Seng, Parliamentary Secretary for Social Affairs, who officiated at the opening ceremony. The plant has been in cultivation in Singapore Botanic Gardens for many years. It is not true to type and may be a novelty. Whether this is a new variety or not, the specimen serves to mark this auspicious occasion. - H.M. Burkill, Director

It's always fun to find a specimen with a story!

Get a closer look at this specimen in our database: https://kiki.huh.harvard.edu/databases/specimen_search.php?barcode=02378306

Kopsia singapurensis, barcode 02378306