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Hong Kong Flower Show 2014 opens today (with photos)

     The Hong Kong Flower Show 2014 organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) opened at Victoria Park today (March 7) with more than 350 000 flowers on display, including 40 000 pots of kalanchoe. Featuring the kalanchoe as its theme flower and "Blossoms of Joy" as its main theme, the show will run for 10 days until March 16.

     Officiating at today's opening ceremony were the wife of the Chief Executive, Mrs Regina Leung; the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Raymond Young; the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Executive Director, Charities, Mr Douglas So; Miss Hong Kong 2013, Miss Grace Chan; and the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung.
     This year, the event has attracted more than 200 organisations from 15 countries, namely Australia, Belgium, China, Estonia, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. This year's Hong Kong Flower Show is supported by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust as the Major Sponsor.

     At the flower show, a multicoloured floral carpet stretches from the Sugar Street entrance of the showground all the way to the stage. The theme of the floral carpet is "Home of the Animals" and it features assorted animal shapes made up of foliage and colourful flowering plants. Delightful floral displays themed on cosy homes around the world are also featured at the Hing Fat Street entrance.

     The LCSD is also presenting a spectacular exhibit entitled "A Garden of Joy in Hong Kong". The display is made up of striking contours and a lively composition using colourful kalanchoes to form a multi-layered parterre. Flowering plants provide the background for scenes of everyday bliss such as taking a leisurely stroll, cycling along tracks, relaxing under the shade of a tree, reading, playing a game of chess and more.

     Another exhibit, named "Floral Sea" and measuring 28 metres in length and 15m wide, creates a rich and colourful layering effect. The theme flower kalanchoe in a variety of colours is clustered closely with other floral species and contrasts with tulips. The tulip display in a variety of colours is strikingly beautiful and provides an opportunity for leisure viewing and photo-taking.

     Other main attractions include a mosaiculture display entitled "My Home Among the Corals", showcasing marine creatures living in the coral reefs; a Brand Hong Kong floral wall made up of colourful plants; a Hong Kong Velodrome floral wall; and interactive photo-taking booths.

     Special plant exhibits include:

* Sinojackia xylocarpa: The deciduous small tree or shrub Sinojackia xylocarpa (commonly known as jack tree) belongs to the Styracaceae family. China's Sinojackia species are currently threatened by extinction and they have been accorded Level II protection by the Central Government. The flowering season is from March to April, with white blossoms developing into fruit between July and September. Leaves are shed towards the end of autumn, exposing acorn-like ovate or cylindrical fruit suspended like weights from the bare branches in winter.

* Dracula simia: The flowering species Dracula simia (commonly referred to as monkey orchid or monkey-face orchid) is a member of the Orchidaceae family. The species gets its name from its distinctive inflorescence: the arrangement of and patterns on the petals resemble the face of a monkey, and the sepals form long tail-like spurs. They grow mainly in the cloud forests of Ecuador and Peru at an altitude of almost 2,000m above sea level. Because of this relative inaccessibility, it is not easy to come across monkey orchids in the wild.  
     The displays from the Mainland are equally spectacular, including those by the Beijing Municipal Administration Center of Parks, the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Landscaping and City Appearance, the Administration of Forestry and Gardening of Guangzhou Municipality, the Fenghuangshan Administration Office of Hangzhou West Lake Scenic Spot of Zhejiang Province, the Shenzhen Urban Management Bureau and Qingdao Shiyuan (Group) Co Ltd.

     Originating in Africa, the kalanchoe is an evergreen, succulent herbaceous perennial of the genus Kalanchoe in the family Crassulaceae. There are about 120 species all over the world.

     The kalanchoe thrives in a warm environment with abundant sunlight. It has a long flowering period from late December until May in the following year and comes in various colours including red, orange, yellow and purple. Its photosynthesis process is different from that of other ordinary green plants. Its leaf stomata remain closed during the daytime to reduce transpiration and increase oxygen storage, but open at night to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

     A rich diversity of educational and recreational fringe activities are also being held for the enjoyment of visitors of all ages. They include music and cultural performances, floral art demonstrations, cooking demonstrations, green activities workshops, green stalls, guided visits, recreation programmes and fun games.

     Admission tickets are being sold at the entrance to the Victoria Park showground throughout the show period. Octopus can be used to pay for admission. Admission tickets are also available at the LCSD's District Leisure Services Offices, and at leisure venues with Leisure Link services such as sports centres, tennis courts and squash courts, except for water sports centres and holiday camps.

     Admission fees for the flower show are as follows:

* Normal rate: $14
* Children, students and senior citizens aged 60 or above: $7
* Persons with disabilities and their minders (each person can enjoy the concessionary rate with one minder only): $7

     Concessionary rate from Monday to Friday:

* Free admission for senior citizens aged 60 or above.
* Free admission for persons with disabilities and their minders (each person can enjoy the concessionary rate with one minder only).
* Adults in a group of 30 persons or above will be admitted at half rate.

     For enquiries, please call 2601 8260, fax 2691 7264 or visit the LCSD webpage at .

Ends/Friday, March 7, 2014
Issued at HKT 20:48


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