i’ve been concentrating on small plants and birds lately. feeling guilty, i felt that i have to write about some trees. there are many seasonal choices: bauhinia has been blossoming and fruiting; paper-bark are all fluffy with their white flowers; sweet gum and trident maple started turning red.
finally, decided to write about white popinac first. as i saw many of them few days ago at kam tin while birding with friends. probably because of the weather fluctuation, some white popinac are flowering, some of them are showing green pod and others having legume hanging all through.
white popinac is a close relative of mimosa. the pinnate leaves are easy proof. the adorable spherical heads formed by many white flowers are easily recognizable. but what drew my attention in the first place was its seed pods. it was winter, numerous reddish-brown pendants shimmered against the green from far along the highway to yuen long.
when i research on this plant, it is interesting to find out it is both an angel and demon. the plant is used as green manure, it is also efficient in nitrogen fixation. cattle feed on them and can easily gain weight. meanwhile it is considered an invasive plant because of its strong vitality and reproduction, as well as its invasive exclusivity (its roots release mimosine which can stop other plant from growing around).
銀葉合歡 white popinac (leucaena leucocephala) – 植物界 plantae kingdom | 被子植物門 angiospermae division | 雙子葉植物綱 lignosae class | 豆目 fabales order | fabaceae family 豆科 | mimosoideae subfamily含羞草亞科 | mimoseae tribe 含羞草族 | 銀合歡屬 leucaena genus | species種：銀合歡 l. leucocephala wiki