血桐 elephant’s ear (macaranga tanarius)

日常經過的路段,近幾個星期看著周邊的血桐看花開得燦爛,興起寫寫他念頭。

回到檯頭,翻查看看,原來還沒有正式寫過這種香港處處可見的常綠喬木。

血桐是本土樹,在廣東、台灣原生。

this evergreen tree is so commonly seen in hong kong that i almost forgot to feature it here. but for the past few weeks it has been reminding me by its explosive blooming and fruiting extravaganza, i feel sorry that i did not introduce it here earlier.

血桐在香港隨處可見,就算你完全不認識此植物,實在有很多特色幫助你記得他的。

先是名字。「血」的由來:當枝條折斷,樹液出現,經氧化後變紅,狀似流血。而我最初對這植物產生好感,是因為可愛的英文俗名「elephant’s ear 象耳朵」,馬上會聯想到陳年電影卡通《小飛象》的可愛模樣。

macaranga tanarius is native to hong kong, guangdong and taiwan. it has an english common name in this region, elephant’s ear. but when i looked for it on australia or some western plant website, this name does not exist.

i adore this name though. it reminds me the lovely ‘dumbo’ in the disney old movie.

然後是外形。葉是他的招牌。雖然英文名說像象耳朵,事實每塊葉片就是一個盾牌,葉柄在葉底中間偏上位置支生出來。

血桐的花期是四、五月。遠觀開花的血桐,沒有很突出,因為花色不搶眼、淡黃淡淡蘋果綠。但近看的話,你可能會拜倒其繁盛的狀況。血桐的花單性,雌雄異株。但無論雌雄花開皆有空群而出之勢,雄花圓錐花序,雌花序密生成團狀;兩者都沒有花瓣,你所看到雄的是花萼裂片,雌是鋸齒邊的苞片。

elephant's ear flowers

elephant’s ear has many distinctive features that it is hard not to recognize it. the thin and papery leaves actually resemble shields much more than ‘dumbo’s ears. each leaf is a clear and pretty vein map.

flowering season is around april to may. even though the colours are not sharp, the flowers are captivating due to the intensity of the inflorescence. elephant’s ear is dioecious, male and female flowers do not coexist in one single tree. roughly speaking if you see flowers in cones, they are male. female blossoms tend to be in clusters.

開花是熱鬧的,結果則像「星空奇遇」。

用植物學語的形容:蒴果具兩三個分果爿,密被顆粒狀腺體和數枚軟刺;果梗具微柔毛。直接說,太外星了。

elephant's ear capsules

i am quite impressed by the business of the flowers, but the fruits definitely win my heart. these alien creatures are so ugly attractive with the soft prickles and dense glandular appearance. these fellows are capsules usually two to three celled. each ‘chamber’ contains one black seed.

elephant's ear capsules ii

血桐 elephant’s ear (macaranga tanarius) – kingdom: plantae 植物界 | (unranked): angiosperms | (unranked): eudicots | (unranked): rosids | order: malpighiales 金虎尾目 | family: euphorbiaceae 大戟科 | genus: macaranga 血桐屬 | species: m. tanarius 血桐 (wiki)

參考 reference: 《莊溪:認識植物》; worldagroforestrycentre 

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