Common Name:Sweet Gum
Scientific Name:Liquidambar formosana


Form and growing behaviour

•Tall deciduous tree, max height 30m
•Local tree species
•Commonly found in woodland
•A commonly grown tree type

Identifying features

•Simple serrate leaves with three lobes, acuminate apexes
•Leaves turn into red in autumn and winter
•Shape of inflorescences and fruit are special—like a ball with soft spikes

 
 
Common Name: Hong Kong Orchid Tree
Scientific Name:Bauhinia blakeana


Form and growing behaviour

•Evergreen tree
•Can reach 8m to 10m of height
•A main greening or ornamental tree species in Hong Kong

Identifying features

•Singe leaves, two lobes, in heart-shape
•Red-violet flowers, the petal in the centre is in dark violet
•Long flowering period, from November to March
•Rarely fruit, therefore usually reproduced by cutting

Little story—The floral emblem of Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Orchid was first found by a father from the French Mission in 1908. He discovered it near a broken house in the coastal area of Pok Fu Lam. It was officially selected as the floral emblem of Hong Kong.

 
 
Common Name: Fishtail Palm
Scientific Name:Caryota ochlandra


Form and growing behaviour

•Evergreen palm, of 3-5m height
•straight trunk, ring-shaped traces left after the leaves fall, making the trunk looks like it is
    having joints
•A main greening or ornamental tree species in Hong Kong

Identifying features

•Bipinnate compound leaves
•Small leaves are in shape of fishtail, which is the best identifying feature

 

 
Common Name:Heung Tree
Scientific Name:Aquilaria sinensis


Form and growing behaviour

•Evergreen tree, can be 6m tall
•Local tree species
•Can be found in fung shui woods and secondary forests
•Owing to its economic value, it was widely grown in the old days

Identifying features

•Grey bark
•Smooth shiny leaf surfaces with fine veins
•Unique shape of fruit, dehisce during maturity and hang tadpole-shape seeds with fine
    threads

Little story—The origin of Hong Kong

The fragrant resin of Heung trees can be used in the production of incense for memorial ceremonies or aroma relaxation. In the late middle Ming Dynasty, related incense products were manufactured in large scale in regions of New Territories and outlying islands. The products prevailed in the entire nation. Because Hong Kong is the main export and transit place of incense products, people regarded this place as the "incense harbour" literally, and Hong Kong, the exact pronunciation in Cantonese, became the name of this city.

 
 
Common Name:Acacia
Scientific Name:Acacia Confusa

Form and growing behaviour

•Tall tree with smooth grey bark, often with green algae attached
•True leaves only appear in seedling period, and will disappear when grown up
•The "leaves" that we see are actually "fake leaves" called phyllodes developed from petioles
•In the flowering season, there is always a sea of gold-yellow flowers

Interesting profile

•Acacia is tough and vital. It can grow in dry, hard or infertile soil. It is often planted in wind
    break or fire break zones.
•Acacia is always used as the pioneer trees in woodlot (especially for those which suffered
    from hill fire) because there are nitrogen-fixing bacteria (diazotroph) in its roots that can help
    improving the infertility of the soil.

 

 
Common Name:Sea Hibiscus
Scientific Name:Hibiscus tiliaceus


Form and growing behaviour

•Evergreen tree with height up to 6m
•Rapid growing
•Broad canopies offer shading function
•Local tree species
•Usually grow in coastal areas, often on beaches
•Widely planted as horticultural and greening use

Identifying features

•Heart-shaped leaves
•Eye-catching yellow flowers
•Flowering period in May to July

 

 
Common Name:Elephant's Ear
Scientific Name:Macaranga tanarius


Form and growing behaviour

•Evergreen tree, can be 5m tall
•Rapid growing
•Wide canopies with dense foliage, can serve shading purpose
•Looks like mushrooms in distance
•Local tree species
•Good adapting ability to the environment
•Also planted for horticultural and greening use

Identifying features

•Ovate leaves, round and large like an elephant's ear as the name suggested
•Leaf stalks do not connect the leaves on the edge but at the back, a special feature for
    identifying the Elephant's Ear

Little story-the bleeding plant

When the trunk surface being damaged, red liquid will come out like bleeding. That maybe the reason that the Elephant's Ear has the name of "Blood Tung" in Chinese.

 

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