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Showing posts with label Flora. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Flora. Show all posts

Friday, March 23, 2018

Flowers and Rinds on a Park Bench in Jiangmen

Yesterday I saw red silk-cotton tree flowers and tangerine peels drying at two neighboring places. Today as I passed through a park I noticed the two items sitting out together.

Red silk-cotton (Bombax ceiba, kapot) flowers and tangerine peel on a park bench


Nearby, I noticed a couple more flowers on the ground.

Red silk-cotton (Bombax ceiba, kapot) flowers on a walkway


I picked one up and then saw something fall to the ground with a thud. I picked up this fresh red silk-cotton flower as well.

Shortly after that, I saw another flower off to the side.

Red silk-cotton (Bombax ceiba, kapot) flower on the ground


And now I had three hefty flowers in my hand.

A passing duck did not display any similar interest in the flowers as it swam by — not so surprising since ducks don't drink five flower tea.

duck swimming in a lake past Red silk-cotton (Bombax ceiba, kapot) flowers


Looking up, it was easy to spot the two trees that had produced the growing number of flowers I noticed on the ground.

flowers in a Red silk-cotton (Bombax ceiba, kapot) tree


As is often the case, I wouldn't have noticed the flowers high up in the otherwise barren trees if it hadn't been for the flowers on the ground, especially since the trees were intermixed with leafy trees of other types.

Although I was now the proud possessor of three fine flowers, I realized I probably wouldn't be able to put them to good use, such as five flower tea.

So soon there were three more flowers on the bench.

tangerine pee with more red silk-cotton (Bombax ceiba, kapot) flowers on a park bench

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sun Drying Flowers & Peels in Jiangmen

Yesterday shortly after going outside in Jiangmen, I saw more red silk-cotton flowers. These, though, were being dried in the sun.

Bombax ceiba (red silk-cotton, kapok) flowers drying on a chair


Around the corner from there, more red silk-cotton flowers were drying.

Bombax ceiba (red silk-cotton, kapok) flowers drying on the ground


Possibly some people are planning to use them to make herbal tea. The flowers are also used for soup and congee.

Next door, another item was sun drying.

tangerine peels sun drying on the ground

Xinhui, a nearby district in Jiangmen, is known for its dried tangerine peel, used in a variety of foods, soups, and teas. So it wasn't surprising to see these tangerine peels on the ground, even outside a mobile phone repair shop.

I saw these three examples of drying during a brief outing which didn't cover a lot of ground. Undoubtedly, more could have found on that sunny day in Jiangmen.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Bountiful Bombax Ceiba Flowers

Bombax ceiba (Red Silk-Cotton, Red Cotton, Kapok, 木棉) flower on the ground


The previous post included a single photo of flowers I saw in Jiangmen. Around this time of year I have come across these flowers before, mostly in southern China. I took the above photo almost exactly one year ago elsewhere in Guangdong province at the Guangzhou Orchid Garden. Although the flower isn't an orchid, Guangzhou is a particularly fitting setting since this is the city's official flower.

The scientific name for the tree which produces the flower is Bombax ceiba. The tree is also known by a variety of other names in English such as red silk-cotton and kapok. The name "kapok" is used for some other trees as well, such as Cochlospermum gillivraei and the more closely related Ceiba pentandra, also known as the white silk-cotton tree. So it may be better to avoid using the name. At least in this region, the typical Chinese name is 木棉 (mùmián), which literally translates as "cotton tree".

Whatever you want to call the tree, I welcome seeing the large deeply-colored flowers. And they are one of the key ingredients for Five Flowers Tea (五花茶 - wǔhuāchá) — a traditional herbal tea common in Guangdong and Hong Kong which I drink simply because I enjoy its strong bitter flavor (no sugar, please).

I didn't mention any of these details before because I wanted the earlier photo to stand alone. But viewing the photo while sipping some Five Flowers Tea would probably work fine.