Frances has taken many pictures of the Taiwanese flora, too many to include in the daily travelogue. We know many of our followers are interested to see what grows here, hence this special post. Taiwan is generally lush with natural vegetation, even to high altitude, as one might expect of an island bisected by the Tropic of Cancer. There is farming too, mainly of rice and fruit.
We don’t know what many of these pictured plants and trees are. So if you do, perhaps you might like to leave a comment to tell us and our readers? Thank you to those who already have.
1.Let’s start with a large one, in a courtyard of Taichung Museum:
2. Lines of these along some Taichung roads:
3. Now, Sun Moon Lake, which is rich in natural and planted species:
We found many of its flowers scattered on the ground, and Jimmy kindly posed with one for us:
Hmmm. The pics need separating with text, but it could get boring to go on at length about each one, so some we’ll just number so that you can refer to them. This is no. 4:
Number 5. I think this is wild poinsettia.
Number 7 was already featured in our post about the Sun Moon Lake trip. Sue identified it as Lantana camara (genus: verbenaceae) with lots of varieties. Thank you Sue:
Number 8. These trees were everywhere, often lining the edges of farmsteads or fields or roads. Clearly not intended to be wind breaks!
Number 11 was our first Unusual Tree in the Bells and Smells post:
Number 12. Touching how they grew high roots and wrapped them round themselves!
Number 15. When does a fern count as a tree?
Number 17. Another example of the trees with roots starting from high up and then entwining them around its own trunk. These often also have branches going straight out sideways at around 4 or 5 ft off the ground then going horizontal for an extraordinarily long way – and no sign of the weight causing a split at the trunk.
Number 18 was our second Unusual Tree in the Bells and Smells post. Probably the same as 17?
Number 19. I don’t know if this had been coppiced, or if it just does this.
Number 20. And the next picture is a closeup.
Number 21. The first one is one of the many others that are unknown but not particularly noteworthy (shoot me now if you wish), but I put this in just to show you because the second one is a sample of bamboo, which alongside pampas grass and banana trees is very much the standard normal plant around everywhere. This bamboo here is neatly trimmed.
Number 22. I don’t know how many types of trees sport these roots that descend from on high (ooops, too many Christmas carols lately!), or whether they’re all the same sort. These weren’t of the figure-hugging variety, though.
Number 23. This type, some quite large but often in pots, notably swell towards the bottom of the trunk. By the way a feature of the climate round here is almost constant wind (while we’ve been here it’s been a nice warm wind), so a great number of the trees in parks, hotel gardens, along the roads etc, have these wooden support systems.
Number 24. Also common in a pot, this time with a distinctively different shape to the base of the trunk.
Number 25. Closer photo next.
Number 26. Also has a closer shot next.
Number 27. Ditto. I’m getting used to this!
Dear Frances and Martin
Congratulations on writing this fantastic diary of your trip; it’s so interesting. Now this latest instalment is a real challenge! However, I think picture number 11 from yesterday is a Cajeput Tree (genus Melaleuca leucadendron), characterised by its white bark that peels easily because of its soft spongy nature, giving it the local name of the ‘weeping tree’. It would have been grown originally to extract Cajeput Oil used in aromatherapy.
The second picture from yesterday repeated in your current post I’m fairly certain is a Banyan Tree (ficus: fig), which is common in Asia. It is known for producing aerial roots probing vertically from its branches and its trunk to grow new trunks in the ground, as in your picture, with roots hanging down like ‘tresses’. It also sends out these huge horizontal branches you comment on and can form grotesque shapes around any old trees or buildings it finds in its path (as in India at the temple of Angkor Wat) and maybe your tree is reaching out horizontally to find something to hug!
Bernie suggests showing the leaves of species in detail helps with identification. Picture above of your guide holding an orange flower ties in with a picture I’ve found of an African Tulip Tree (Spathodea campanulata), which is common in tropical areas and bears the bright orange flowers with the serrated edges that you show. It also produces the flowers on vertical twigs from the branches, as in your other picture of the species.
The last picture above shows a pink flower that looks a lot like Lagerstroemia (Crepe myrtle) found in southern France and Australia.
We will work on the others. Hope you get some more replies about these.
I bought no. 24 in a pot in Ikea to give to a friend, who still has it doing well after several years indoors. Can’t remember what it is though, if it was ever identified in store!
Other identifications: tree, tree, flower, fallen flower…. (botany not my strong point!)
Very interesting diary though, and I hope someone can throw light on the plants.
See you soon,