厚葉黃花樹 red beech

厚葉黃花樹似乎是專屬香港動植物公園的。在網上搜尋,结果很多溯回兵頭花園去。

園中有兩棵。觸目的一棵在鳥舍範圍,另一棵則低調地矗立在小食亭附近。最先留意到就是鳥舍的一颗,因為古樹名目的牌,因為她挺直高聳的樹幹,赤紅呈圓鱗的樹皮,鈍圓厚身的樹葉。一直期待想像花開是什麼模樣。

in hong kong, red beech seems to be an exclusive item of the botanic garden. this australian native has two representatives in hong kong at the botanic garden. one stands handsomely at the bird-cage area wearing a smart ‘old and valuable tree’. the other one is of lower profile growing behind the tuck shop near the fountain. the former ages more than 90. it has eye-catching copper-red bark, tall and sturdy and straight trunk. the leaves are of adoring ovate shape, thick and glossy. go and visit them this season, their bold yellow flowers are showstopper.

突然上星期,一個下雨下午,走到公園小食亭避雨,赫然看到地上黃色飄然的花瓣,一瓣瓣的淒美。抬頭追看哪裡灑下的落英。因看到樹幹上的紅光,斷定是另一棵厚葉黃花樹。定個神來,為等到她開花而雀躍。昨日來個跟進,看看九十有多的那棵如何。終於近距離看到奪目的花貌。

有趣的是,樹葉花蕾不但出現在樹的上半部,連樹腳位置也抽出。

一個澳洲的原生植物協會網站說到此樹原生於澳洲北部沿海的雨林,也分佈于新幾內亞和馬來西亞。

厚葉黃花樹 red beech (dillenia alata) – also called beech and golden guinea tree ; 五椏果科 dilleniaceae family | 五椏果屬dillenia species

reference:

  • distribution: coastal rainforests of the northern territory and queensland. also occurs from new guinea north to malaysia.
  • the red beech is a small tree usually about 6 to 10 metres high, although sometimes smaller. it derives its common name from its beautiful flaky papery trunk, initially copper/pink and becoming maroon with age. the large (10-25 cm by 8-12 cm) ovate leaves are an attractive glossy, dark green colour, while new leaves are reddish-brown.
  • the flowers are bright yellow and 6-9 cm in diameter. although they last for one day, they are replaced daily for one to two months in late spring and summer.
  • the open fruit reveals bright red valves and black seeds. these are also an attractive feature of the plant and they contrast well with the dense green foliage. (source: australian native plants society)

 (source: national museum of australia)

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