Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Cotton Tree 木棉, 紅棉

This is one of my favourite trees. The main trunk grows straight, with branches growing more or less horizontally - the reason why it is also nicknamed 英雄樹. In spring, the huge red flowers appeared before the leaves, making a majestic sight.

Although the main trunk is very straight, it is not very dense. Hence not considered good, solid wood. For that reason people are not eager to cut it down, and it can be found all over Hong Kong.

Look at the size of the humongous flower! It is bigger than your palm. It is also an ingredient for 五花茶. By the way, the five flowers are 杭菊花,金銀花,木棉花,雞蛋花,槐花.

As for yesterday’s picture. They were dried fish roe, of course. Very tasty roasted.


The Cat said...

I have three of these outside my window at home! Every spring, I wait anxiously for them to bloom, and then it's really cute when their flowers blow and cotton bits fly all over the street. Definitely one of my favorite trees, too!

But I don't like their flowers up close as much. A little too indelicate for me. But from afar, they're beautiful.

StephenC said...

Yeah. Perhaps they are intended for indelicate people.

My friends and I used to kick them as 毽子 (Jianzi, shuttlecock, Chinese hacky sack). True, they fall apart after a few kicks. But they are free.