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Appreciate flowers at Hong Kong Wetland Park in spring (with photos)

     Once again, spring is in the air. At this time of the year, it is easy to sense the feeling of renewal that always accompanies this particular change of season. Spring is also the best time to appreciate flowers. A thematic event entitled "The Blossoms on Wetland" being held at the Hong Kong Wetland Park from today (March 24) until June 4 will introduce a variety of flowering plants to visitors.

     Flowers not only beautify the environment, but also play an essential role in the ecosystem. Many animals rely on flowers as a source of food. Butterflies and bees collect pollen and nectar. Some bats feed on petals while some birds eat flower buds.

     One can easily appreciate the wonders of flowers when observing them closely. Flowers are the reproductive organs of plants, displaying the most beautiful stages of plants on their way to producing the next generation. Through blossoming, pollination, fertilisation and fruiting, plants produce their offspring. Flowers often display bright colours and attractive scents and some even develop special features to attract pollinators. For example, the nectar guides on azaleas readily direct pollinators to the centre of flowers while the touch-me-not is shaped to accommodate the probosces of butterflies.

     The Mangrove Boardwalk is the most popular spot among the visitors. In spring and summer, visitors can find a mangrove walkway dotted with the purple blooms of the spiny bear's breech. The plant grows near the shore and has purplish-white flowers. Its leaves have spiny lobes. The oblong fruits and the long styles left on the fruits after flowering make the spiny bear's breech look like a mouse. The plant can adapt to the brackish environment and salt is excreted through the salt glands on leaf surface. It has an amazing ability to adapt well to a tough environment.

     With its small pink flowers, the round-leaved Rotala in the freshwater pond is among the first to welcome the arrival of spring. It is a small herbaceous plant that is usually 10 to 20 centimetres tall. Its round leaves look like Chinese button knots and grow in layers along opposite sides of the stem. Visitors may find the blooming round-leaved Rotala in freshwater marshes during its flowering period in March and April.

     To enrich visitors' knowledge of flowers, the park organises a variety of activities such as guided tours, art workshops, thematic exhibitions and a public lecture.

     Photography enthusiasts can also make use of the opportunity to take pictures of the flowers on the wetland. They will get a souvenir by submitting their shots of flowers taken in the park. The offer is on a first-come, first-served basis while stocks last. Outstanding entries will be exhibited in the park.

     For programme details, please visit

Ends/Saturday, March 24, 2012
Issued at HKT 15:01


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