Nature’s Garden

Hong Kong has a lot of dense vegetation and wondrous natural flora once you escape the confines of the city’s concrete jungle. This page is only for those (predominantly) wild flowers, plants/shrubs, ‘jungly stuff’ and trees that I’ve personally come across and found worthy of photographing, so it’s not a definitive list by any means!

Please see the links at the very end for more information on Hong Kong’s diverse greenery, plus my page on Hong Kong fauna (critters, creepy-crawlies and bugs, etc.). If you can help identify any of the unknown species on this page, or spot an error, do let me know. All personal photographs are copyrighted. Thank you!

Flowers

Photos of wild flowering plants (including some ornamental, where indicated).

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Red Azalea or Sim’s Azalea (Rhododendron simsii), one of Hong Kong’s wild azalea species that can be found on some hillsides. The others pictured below are common ornamental species
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Hong Kong Hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica), a.k.a. India(n) Hawthorn, a common hillside shrub or small tree that blossoms in early spring
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Rose Myrtle (Rhodomyrtus tomentosa), a common hillside shrub that blossoms in spring
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Blood-red Melastoma (Melastoma sanguineum), another common hillside shrub
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Twelve-stamened Melastoma (Melastoma dodecandrum), a type of wild ground melastoma
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Glory Bush (Tibouchina urvilleana), a.k.a. Princess Flower or Brazilian Melastoma, an ornamental melastoma species
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Blue Sage or Blue Eranthemum (Eranthemum pulchellum), an ornamental shrub with the most amazing indigo coloured flowers. Gorgeous!
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Philippine Violet (Barleria cristata)
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Long Sepal Violet (Viola inconspicua)
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Lavender Sorrel (Oxalis debilis var. corymbosa)
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Creeping Woodsorrel (Oxalis corniculata)
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Zornia (Zornia gibbosa)
Japanese Raspberry (Rubus parvifolius), a.k.a. Australian Raspberry, Native Raspberry or Herbaceous Myrica. The small berries produced by the plant in spring and summer are edible

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Lantana (Lantana camara), a.k.a. Shrub Verbena or Wild Sage
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Cairo Morning Glory (Ipomoea cairica)
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Blue Skyflower (Thunbergia grandiflora), a.k.a. Blue Thunbergia or Bengal Clock Vine
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Adenosma (Adenosma glutinosum)

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Skullcap (Scutellaria indica)
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Hainan Galangal (Alpinia hainanensis)
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Yellow Walking Iris (Trimezia steyermarkii), an ornamental iris not native to Hong Kong, but very striking nonetheless
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Blackberry Lily (Belamcanda chinensis), a.k.a. Leopard Lily, another non-native ornamental iris
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Shepherd’s Needles (Bidens alba), a.k.a. Spanish Needles, Butterfly Needles or Beggarticks, a very common type of wild asteraceae (daisy family) in Hong Kong
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Creeping Daisy or Creeping Oxeye (Sphagneticola trilobata or Wedelia trilobata), a common type of asteraceae (daisy family) and ground cover in Hong Kong
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Type of asteraceae (daisy family), possibly Ragwort (Senecio scandens)
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Type of asteraceae (daisy family; species unknown)
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Type of asteraceae (daisy family; species unknown)
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Praxelis (Praxelis clematidea), another type of asteraceae (daisy family)
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Lone flower and fluffy seed head of the Lilac Tasselflower (Emilia sonchifolia), a.k.a. Cupid’s Shaving Brush, another type of asteraceae (daisy family)
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Sensitive Plant (Mimosa pudica), a.k.a. Touch-Me-Not
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Red Powder Puff (Calliandra haematocephala), an ornamental shrub or small tree with big puffy flowers like giant Sensitive Plant flowers

Plants & Shrubs

Photos of interesting wild plants and shrubs (including some ornamental or cultivated, where indicated) bearing distinctive features, such as unusual seed pods, berries or other fruits.

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Hairy ‘fruit’ of the Blood-red Melastoma (Melastoma sanguineum)
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Super spiky seed pods of the potentially poisonous ornamental Golden Trumpet plant (Allamanda cathartica), a.k.a. Yellow Allamanda or Common Trumpet Vine

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Tiny berry/cone-like flower buds (and an incomplete flower) of the Sensitive Plant (Mimosa pudica), a.k.a. Touch-Me-Not
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Cluster of berry-like flower buds of the ornamental Red Powder Puff (Calliandra haematocephala; see the above section for a photo of the flowers in full bloom)
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Multi-coloured berries of the Wild Coffee shrub (Psychotria asiatica)

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Bright magenta berries of Bodinier’s Beautyberry (Callicarpa bodinieri), a.k.a. Profusion Beautyberry. The berries are apparently non-poisonous, but very bitter

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Mini eggplant-like berries of the poisonous Cerulean Flaxlily (Dianella ensifolia)
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Edible fruit of an Abacus Plant (Glochidion hirsutum, philippicum or triandrum?)
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Strange looking double banana-like fruit of the poisonous Goat Horns shrub/climber (Strophanthus divaricatus), apparently one of Hong Kong’s top-five most poisonous plants 😮
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Common Banana (Musa x paradisiaca), a.k.a. French Plantain, typically cultivated by local villagers. These are actual bananas that can be eaten, unlike the poisonous Goat Horns above! Check out the weird alien-like banana plant flower below (yes, that big red torpedo thingy)

Jungly Stuff

Photos of wild ferns, tropical plants, climbers/creepers, mosses and fungi. In other words, ‘jungly stuff’, lol.

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Oriental Blechnum (Blechnum orientale), a.k.a. Centipede Fern for the way in which new fronds unfurl in two stages, making it look like a long protrusion bearing lots of little legs. Seeing is believing!
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Golden Chicken Fern (Cibotium barometz), a.k.a. Woolly Fern or Lamb of Tartary, being the source of the mythical Vegetable Lamb of Tartary. Seriously. People used to think that the fern bore fruit in the form of actual sheep. I kid you not!
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Dichotomy Forked Fern (Dicranopteris pedata), a.k.a. False Staghorn Fern
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Lace Fern (Sphenomeris chinensis)
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Fan-leaved Maidenhair (Adiantum flabellulatum)
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Nodding Clubmoss (Lycopodiella cernua), a.k.a. Staghorn Clubmoss, which is actually a fern despite its appearance and common name
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Giant Alocasia or Giant Taro (Alocasia macrorrhizos)
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Type of climber and moss (species unknown)
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Fallen tree branch covered in thick fern moss (species unknown)
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Type of tree fungus (species unknown)
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Type of tree fungus (species unknown)
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Type of ground mushroom (species unknown). I thought it was a discarded hamburger bun at first glance, lol. Almost the same size, too!

Trees

Photos of an iconic tree and trail trees with – wait for it – ‘treemendous’ character. *groan* :p

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Hong Kong Orchid Tree (Bauhinia x blakeana), official emblem of the HKSAR, plus another related species below commonly found across Hong Kong
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Common pine cones
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Different pine cone species
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Thou shalt not pass!
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All-seeing eye of the Illuminatree :p
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Nom, nom, nom!
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Aerial root mayhem
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Defying gravity in every which way
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Keeping it all together in a literal gridlock? (Note the mini Buddha at right – very zen!)
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Tied up in knots: When nature plays Twister, lol

 


For further information, see also:

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