白千層 paperbark tree (melaleuca cajuputi subsp. cumingiana.)

白千層在香港很常見,來自澳洲,早年由政府引入種植於水塘、郊野公園,也見於路旁。

就算不大留意樹種的朋友,對此樹都不會陌生。因為那一身脫皮的樹幹,一見難忘。但似乎沒有很多香港朋友對白千層特別表示鍾愛,有點替他不值。

白千層其實也有其明星地位。在行山攝影圈子中,城門水浸白千層是每年的季度景色。不過,一般社會大眾對此樹比較冷淡。我忍不住要為他打響招牌。

even though it came from australia, paperbark tree is very common in hong kong. thanks to the colonial government which introduced this tree species to the city and wildly planted them around reservoirs, country parks and roadside.

among hikers and country park goers, the paperbark forest at shing mun reservoir is one of the top sights of this city rural scene.

but i seldom hear common hongkongers mention this species even though i am pretty sure they recognize this tree (no matter they know the name or not) as it is so unique in the appearance.

this tree is so commonly seen in hong kong, it worth us knowing about and treasuring better.

paperbark admiralty nov15

先說花,因為大家此時正可欣賞花開景象(白千層的花季長,不過這陣子街上郊野皆滿樹開花,不得不叫大家一齊看看)。沒有奪目色彩,卻有可愛造型。穗狀花序頂生,白近奶黃色,如小小毛刷。一到花季,滿樹掛上很多小刷,有種聖誕樹佈置的喜氣,惹人喜愛。

跟著介紹葉子。先瞄一下,你可能會說,沒什麼特別呀。我卻覺得有點帥氣。葉互生,枝葉疏密有度,感覺整潔。樹葉披針形,全緣,數條縱脈讓葉片的畫面玲瓏有致。再說,白千層屬的葉(及嫩枝)可製煉「茶樹油」,或有說「白花油」的成份,很有藥用價值。絕對是內外兼備。

paperbark tree has a long flowering period. but as it is really booming around town right now, let’s start the appreciation. colour of the blooms is relatively plain, cream; yet it is hard to resist the cuteness. once blossoming, trees are happily dangling with many of these little bottle-brush, really christmasy. the flowers are arranged in spikes on the end of branches. each spike contains as many as more than a dozen groups of flowers in three.

paperbark tree actually do us a lot of goods, for one of medical usage and that mainly comes from its leaves. the leaves are used to distill ‘cajeputi’ or ‘tea-tree oil’ which has medicinal and antiseptic uses. what adds to me is the look of the leaves. i love the neat appearance, leaves are arranged alternately with gracious spaces in between; each blade is lance in shape with clear longitudinal veins running along.

paperbark flowers leaves admiralty nov15

說此樹,不得不說其「皮」。白千層的樹皮老化就變薄剝落,這種特質該緣由其原生地,澳洲經常發生天然的山林大火,層層的老皮成了樹本身的消防層。更不得不大聲喝斥那些「手痕友」,曾見過幾棵白千層的皮慘遭剝皮,讓瘦嫩的樹幹曝露於大氣中。

of course we cannot forget its bark. when the bark ages it thins down and turn papery. this actually is a protection mechanism as it is an australian native. natural forest fire always happen there. when fire attacks these papery peels will be burnt leaving the living bark inside protected.

paperbark bark admiralty nov15

最後,一個白千層的小知識。白千層的樹幹跟人有點相似,年青時挺拔直立,老去了身軀便彎曲。只要看到樹幹越絞結,就表示那是樹伯伯樹婆婆了。

one more thing about paperbark tree, the trunk will go more and more twisted as it grows older and older.

paperbark cenotaph dec2014

白千層 paperbark tree (melaleuca cajuputi subsp. cumingiana.) – kingdom: plantae | (unranked): angiosperms | (unranked): eudicots | (unranked): rosids 薔薇類 | order: myrtales 桃金娘目 | family: myrtaceae 桃金娘科 | genus: melaleuca 白千層屬 | species: m. cajuputi subsp. cumingiana.  wiki

參考 ref:

樹木谷》; 《香港百科》; wildsingapore.com

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