Photo: Photography by Jake Huang(黃聖凱).
★Blooming period: Every year between February and April.
★Location: Wulai of New Taipei City, Yangmingshan National Park of Taipei City, Alishan Forest Recreation Area of Chiayi County.
Every year from February till April, cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Flowers through Taiwan flourish successively with a rich and diverse range of species. From north to south, major events integrate the cherry blossom season with the local cultural characteristics. The cherry blossoms found in Taiwan generally originate from other countries, with the majority from Japan, as Taiwan was once a colony of Japan. Due to the high status of cherry blossoms in Japan, traces of the flower were evident in areas throughout Taiwan. In recent years, the cherry blossom season has become an important festivity in Taiwan.
Every year when the flower flourishes, packs of tourists will visit the mountains to admire the flower. Furthermore, many relevant activities have been developed in collaboration with the blooming cherry blossoms. For instance, visitors of Wulai can enjoy hot springs while admiring the cherry blossoms and tasting the local delicacies. Meanwhile, those who travel to Alishan can take pleasure in the delicious cherry blossom cuisine. Such satisfying lifestyle experiences have invigorated the local tourism industry and successfully promoted local culture characteristics.
- Other names: Bell-flower cherry
- Country of origin: Mainly grows in areas of Taiwan with altitudes of 300 to 2,000 meters. Flowers in low altitude areas tend to flower first, while flowers in mid-altitude areas wait till March to bloom.
- Characteristic Features: The Formosa cherry is native to Taiwan and classified as a deciduous tree. The flower is comprised of three to five tiny flowers and blooms downwards. After the flowers fall, a bright red oval-shaped drupe fruit is formed. It changes to a red-black color when it matures and becomes edible. Just before the conclusion of the flowering period, the growth of alternate simple leaves emerge. The double serrated leaves are oblong or oval oblong-shaped and its stipules portray a feather-veined state that is unique.
Japanese flowering cherry (Flowers between March and May)
- Scientific Name: Prunus × yedoensis
- Other names: Yoshino cherry, Tokyo cherry
- Distribution: Originated from Japan and was introduced into Taiwan in the early 20th century.
- Characteristic Features: Located within areas of Taiwan with mid-to-high altitude of 2,000 to 3,000 meters, the cherry blossom displays a special charm with its pastel white color. It grows in clusters of two to three, and the longer-than-average stem is its unique feature. By nature, it prefers cooler climates and it is more difficult for it to grow in low-altitude regions. Hence, the distribution of the cherry blossom is highly concentrated in Alishan. The Japanese flowering cherry is a popular plant amongst plant admirers and is grown extensively in temperate regions around the world. The Japanese flowering cherry was first introduced to North America and Europe in 1902 and has been widely cultivated in areas such as Washington.
Taiwan Flowering Cherry
- Scientific name: Prunus campanulata ‘Double -flowered’
- Other name: Peony Cherry
- Characteristic Features: The size of the flower is larger than the average cherry blossom. The flower is pink with multi-petals and grows from a long stem. Very often, the flowers will bloom simultaneously in large quantities, and coupled with the fact that the total number of flowers for the whole plant is generally less than other species, the sight of the plant not in full bloom is quite spectacular. The Japanese prefer pale-colored cherry blossoms, hence the Taiwan flowering cherry is, in contrast, not common in Japan and can be considered a species that possess strong Taiwanese characteristics.
Photo:Government Information Office, Republic of China (Taiwan).Photography by Ming-yuan Yeh(葉銘源). Jeffrey Hsu.(森情寫意:http://forestlife.info/index.html)
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