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Date: 2009-06-06
Historical records show that Kinmen was once covered in lush forest. But, during the Yuan (1206-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, trees were felled to boil seawater, build boats and for military purposes. Overlogging gradually depleted the islands vegetation. This exposed the sandy soil to the wind, leading to sand storms. However, since 1949, the armed forces and civilian population have been actively working to plant and protect trees. The most common planted tree is the beefwood, followed by acacias, pines and eucalyptus trees. Today, many of the streets of Kinmen are shaded by tall trees, providing numerous opportunities to enjoy the beauty of nature.

Eucalyptus citriodora Hook●    Eucalyptus citriodora Hook

This is a fast-growing tree that stands very straight. These trees can be planted closely together. The roots emit a substance that keeps most other plants from growing around them. The leaves have a distinctive lemony aroma.

Kinmen National Park contains more than 548 species of plants. Most native plants belong to one of nine families including Gramineae, Compositae and Papilionoideae. Some plants found on Kinmen are not distributed on Taiwan including Litsea glutinosa (Lour.) C. B. Rob, Pyrus betulifolia Bge, and Oenothera drummondii Hook, etc. Marshy areas and the edges of ponds and lakes are dominated by plants such as Polygonum viscosum Buch. *Hamon (Mart.) Solms. cx Don., Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinth), and Typha angustifolia L. (cattail). Due to the close proximity, Kinmen’s flora is closely related to the flora of mainland China.

The park’s wetlands provide good habitats and foraging areas for birds, and thus are important ecosystems in addition to being beautiful scenic spots. The surrounding hills and wooded areas are great places for bird watching.

Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Ait.) Hassk.●    Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Ait.) Hassk.

This is a plant native to Kinmen. It is an ornamental plant with beautiful flowers. Its fruit is edible and tastes sweet. The whole plant has medicinal properties. It is distributed through Kinmen, but is most concentrated in the Mt. Taiwu area. This is a protected species.

Litsea glutinosa (Lour.) C. B. Rob●    Litsea glutinosa (Lour.) C. B. Rob

This    member of the camphor family is an evergreen shrub or small tree. It has the largest storage capacity of any existing native Kinmen tree. It is highly adaptable. It has    high disease resistance and can endure drought conditions. It is an ideal species for coastal afforestation.

Scolopia oldhamll Hance●    Scolopia oldhamll Hance

This is a small evergreen tree with twigs covered in sharp needles. This indicates that its growing environment is dry. It is usually found on sandy soil or red clay soil.

●    Rhaphiolepis indica Lindi Var. tashirol Hay. ex Matsum & Hay.

Rhaphiolepis indica Lindi Var. tashirol Hay.This plants beautiful white or pink flowers make it a good choice for landscaping. It is scattered among shrubs in areas with red clay soil and little interference.

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 July 2009 09:07
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