Changi Airport’s gardens offer so much more than a peaceful green escape while you are travelling. They are actually a treasure trove of unique flora and fauna. So the next time you’re at the airport, take time to explore these gardens and discover some of nature’s best-kept secrets here.
Did you know? Many cacti at Changi are edible and have medicinal benefits
If you think that all cacti are the same – prickly on the outside with a juicy interior – it’s time to expand your horizons. These useful plants can be harvested for food and used in medicine.
At the Cactus Garden, you’ll get to see some of these multi-purpose cacti. For instance, some species of Opuntia, such as the Prickly Pear Cactus, have delicious edible stems and fruit that can be eaten raw or cooked. They can even be used to make candy, jam or even – hic! – vodka. The juice from the plant is also used as medicine to treat diabetes and heal internal wounds.
While you are there, see if you can pick out a few varieties of Agave, century plants that are grown commercially to be made into tequila, a popular cocktail spirit. If this is making you thirsty, head to the Traveller’s Cactus Pub located at this roof garden to enjoy a freshly mixed cocktail while catching some rays.
While you are there, see if you can pick out a few varieties of Agave, century plants that are grown commercially to be made into tequila, a popular cocktail spirit
Did you know? The 2,000 sunflowers at Changi are grown in the airport nursery
Those large, vibrant blooms you see at the Sunflower Garden might look like they were flown in from some faraway destination, but in actual fact, all 2,000 of the sunflowers are grown from seeds in Changi Airport’s very own nursery. Each plant takes between 60 and 90 days to mature and flower, before being replanted as part of the mass displays in the garden.
If you have travel buddies, why not also impress them with this fact: Sunflowers are not single flowers, but a composite of more than 3,000 mini flowers called a capitulum!
Did you know? Singapore has a national butterfly and you can see it at Changi
We all know that Singapore has a national flower, but did you know we have our very own national butterfly too? At the Butterfly Garden, try to spot the Common Rose Butterfly, or Pachliopta aristolochiae asteris, when the season is right. You’ll have to look carefully though, as the garden features more than 1,000 butterflies from 30 to 40 species.
If you’ve been to the garden, you might have noticed ripe pineapples and red gerbera flowers drenched in honey solution. The former is a food source for forest-floor butterflies, which tend to have a duller colour, while the latter is food for nectar-feeding butterflies, which are generally more colourful and often seen flitting gracefully among flowers. So, stake out a strategic spot close to the pineapples and gerberas, and wait for the butterflies to approach.
Did you know? At Changi, nature and technology merge to inspire
Nature is undoubtedly amazing, but sometimes technology can help to create even more awe-inspiring experiences. At the indoor Enchanted Garden, four giant glass bouquet sculptures form the centrepiece. Nestled within are thousands of fresh flowers arranged individually in over 2,000 glass test tubes of water. For an immersive, interactive atmosphere, motion sensors detect movement to produce sounds of nature and a carpet of sparkling lights strikes a path through the garden.
At the same time, don’t forget to appreciate the wonderful flora and fauna in the garden, such as the giant Tasmanian Tree Ferns and the archerfish in the garden pond – they actually shoot water at flying insects and eat them when they fall into the water!
Did you know? Changi has its very own orchid – the Dendrobium Changi Airport
Visiting dignitaries and VIPs are usually the ones who have an orchid named after them, which is why it is such an honour that Changi Airport has its very own orchid hybrid! The royal purple and warm yellow Dendrobium Changi Airport was launched in May 1997 to commemorate the opening of the Orchid Garden, and continues to thrive in the garden.
The Orchid Garden also features more than 700 orchids of 30 species, which are grouped by their colours and shapes to represent the four elements of nature: Earth, Water, Fire and Air.
If you’re at the airport on National Day, August 9, keep a look out for the national flower of Singapore, Vanda (Papilionanthe) Miss Joaquim, which will also be on display.
There’s much more to see and do for nature lovers here! Feed the fishes in the Koi Pond at 9am and 4pm daily. Stroll along the raised walkways in the Sculptural Tree Garden and get up close with the foliage on the tree-like sculptures. Gaze in wonder at the dazzling aquatic plants such as the Sacred Lotus and Amazon Water Lily in the Water Lily Garden. Each of the 10 gardens within Changi Airport has interesting secrets just waiting to be discovered.
With so many natural experiences to explore – all for free – there’s no wonder why Changi Airport is consistently ranked among the world’s best airports. Come early to hang out among nature before your flight. The only ticket you need is your boarding pass.