大口環路上的兩棵榕樹 two handsome fig trees on sandy bay road

即使不懂或不賞樹的大眾,大抵都知道香港有很多榕樹,甚至知道我們城內的石牆樹種是榕樹,仔細一點說是細葉榕。

翻查舊文,原來此部落未有專文寫過此兩種榕樹。剛巧近日愛上行走一個路段,路上有兩棵型態美呆的。容我介紹番:

fig trees are so common in hong kong. but actually i haven’t written about these two species before. since i have been attracted by these two handsomes lately, let me spent a little time to introduce them to all.

印度榕 rubber fig (ficus elastica)

高山榕 council tree (ficus altissima)

不過,先介紹兩樹的家園-大口環路。這裡是香港靠近南區一條幽靜的大斜路。大口環一帶是香港的老寧養區域,有歷史悠久的兒童醫院,也有好幾家醫療、復康、安老設施。大口環路對下是海(沙灣),向上連接域多利道,一帶多山坡。大家可以想像,背山面海,好景、人少,是以這兩棵大樹可享受「發揮」的空間。下面大家看到照片,就會明白所以然。

before starting on the trees, i have to add an introduction of their ‘home’ because i believe the living conditions determine the life and death let alone the form (in this case they both look gorgeous) of the species.

sandy bay road enjoys a very nice neighbourhood. it has sandy bay in front and hills and foliage around. many medical and healthcare institutions chose to base here in the southern district since the mid of last century. in fact these two trees are each standing in front of one of these facilities.

indian rubber jan16 a

大口環根德公爵夫人兒童醫院鐵絲圍欄攀據的是印度榕。

印度榕是榕樹一族中愛氣派的一員,很少會看到印度榕小家小氣生長的。他的氣根板根長得快且壯,是獨木成林的高手。與細葉榕比較,印度榕的根似乎較大枝大器向橫發展,細葉榕的則愛盤扭糾結。

印度榕的亮麗地方,是葉。葉片厚、革質,墨綠油亮。每次發新葉,還耐不住要宣告天下,抽出紅色的葉芽苞片。而他又名印度橡樹,因樹含白色黏液乳汁,曾經用作製造橡膠。但當代大型橡膠的原材料並非來自此樹種。

indian rubber jan16 b

climbing strongly and graphically at the wire fence is an indian rubber outside the duchess of kent children’s hospital.

indian rubber is definitely having a dominating presence. as many kinds of fig trees are good strangler, i found indian rubber’s ‘skill’ is different from chinese banyan’s. the latter like to twist and go down deep, indian rubber like going horizontally. its aerial roots are more masculine and growing fast.

the highlight of indian rubber apart from its stately roots is definitely its leaves. they are big broad shiny, deep green when mature and oval in shape. young leaves develop inside sheaths amazingly pink or red in colour. these sheaths will drop off when the leaves mature.

this tree is native to south asia. there is certainly a reason for “rubber” in its common name, it yields a milky white latex that in the past people used to make rubber. however it cannot compare to the latex/rubber being used for modern days industrial and commercial purpose, that comes from another different species.

indian rubber jan16 c

路的另一邊是紅十字會甘乃迪中心,其賽馬會樓前大閘左側,有棵高山榕。樹的年齡一定相當,但確實數字未能考究,但這大閘一定比他年少很多,因為閘的設計窩心,為樹根特留空間。

council tree jan16 a

高山榕與印度榕,以此兩棵為例,遠觀外型有相近的地方:根「架勢」,葉大質厚。但也有容易辨認的地方,前者有紅色的葉芽,後者有很多橙色的果子,印度榕長果則不明顯。高山榕其他特徵包括樹身光滑,葉大卵狀而有急尖,榕果成對腋生。

council tree jan16 c

得提出一點,一般高山榕的果期在春季,此時隆冬才將至,卻果子已跌落一地。是否地球暖化又一證明?

近距離,更欣賞這棵高山榕,她的根簡直有如雕塑藝術。

on the other side of the road, outside hong kong red cross john f. kennedy centre is a council tree. this evergreen is native to guangdong. from the built one can tell it is an old enough tree. even though i cannot trace the age so far, one thing for sure to state is that the gate is definitely much younger than the tree. really appreciate the effort of the centre to make room for the roots when they built this entrance gate.

council tree jan16 b

from far, the council tree and indian rubber share some similarities. both have beautiful looking aerial and buttress roots and big broad leaves. but if you look closely, there are differences you can easily tell. council tree has smooth barks and trunks and it bores lovely orange figs in pairs and are in the axils of the leaves.

one note to add, council tree’s flower and fruit time usually start in spring. wondering if this is another example of the effect of global warming.

anyhow, let’s focus on the beauty of these trees. i simply think that the root of this council tree is a nature sculpture masterpiece.

council tree jan16 d

 

印度榕 indian rubber (ficus elastica): kingdom – plantae 植物界 | (unranked): angiosperms 被子植物門 | (unranked): eudicots 雙子葉植物綱 | (unranked): rosids | order: rosales 薔薇目 | family: moraceae 桑科 | tribe: ficeae | genus: ficus 榕屬 | subgenus: urostigma 榕亞屬 | species: f.elastica 印度榕  source: wiki

高山榕 council tree (ficus altissima): kingdom – plantae 植物界 | (unranked): angiosperms 被子植物門 | (unranked): eudicots 雙子葉植物綱 | (unranked): rosids | order: rosales 薔薇目 | family: moraceae 桑科 | tribe: ficeae | genus: ficus 榕屬  | species: f.altissima 高山榕  source: wiki

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