Thursday, April 14, 2011

Poor Cotton Trees (木棉樹)

I like trees.  I like particularly cotton trees because of their earthly charm.

The cotton tree is quite popular in Hong Kong.  It grows tall, straight, big and strong.  Its big red flower is actually the flower emblem of Guangzhou.  The flower can be dried and used as medicine - one of the ingredients in 五花茶.   Its seeds can be squeezed for oil, and the left over can be used to feed pigs.  The fibers of the fruit can be used in place of cotton. 

Unfortunately, some people in Hong Kong complained that they were bothered by the flying fibers.  So a representative of a local political party asked the government to clip off the fruits of a whole bunch of cotton trees.  The workers sent by the government clipped off the flowers together with the fruits.  Was it simply overzealousness? Miscommunication? Callousness? Ignorance?

What a tragedy!

Apparently the political party put up a banner announcing the removal of the fruit as a major victory.  Subsequently, when challenged over the removal of the flowers, however, they claimed it had nothing to do with them.  Isn't that typical of us humans? Claim all credits but deny any responsibility!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the pictures of cotton trees. It's very difficult to take pictures of these giants, especially when they are so tall! I am embarking on painting them so your pictures serve as a good reference.

StephenC said...

I am glad you found them useful. Please show me your productions when you are done. Cheers.

Pauline said...

What's a crazy act? Cotton trees are one of HK's signature tree. I think cotton flower should be HK's city flower.

StephenC said...

Yeah. It is a real shame what they are doing to the trees. By the way, the cotton tree is the city flower of Guangzhou and a number of other cities.

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