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Appreciating Lotus and the Moon in Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden

Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Science, a national AAAAA-level tourist attraction, is located in Huludao, Menglun Town, Mengla County, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China. This garden is the largest tropical botanical garden in China, has the most abundant and complete plant species and thus serves to integrate and promote scientific research, preservation of species and popular science education.

From July 1st to August 31st, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden will hold a series of activities for 2018 “Appreciation of Lotus and the Moon” with the theme of “Appreciating the Charm of Lotus and Sailing a Tiny Boat”.

Three species of Victoria regia (two native species and one hybrid), 18 varieties of water lilies and 40 varieties of lotus flowers collected and nurtured by Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden will be on the display. Visitors can appreciate all species of Victoria regia in the world (Victoria Cruziana, Victoria Amazonica, Victoria Longwood) and a variety of water lily plants and lotus plants, including rare species like: the world-renowned water lily champion of new species – Wanvisa which is famous for its varied flowers; Dasajin – named as "the best in lotus" which is both beautiful and light, and “Pink Moon” - the first new species of water lily which is cultivated by the Garden and unveiled for the first time internationally. 

Victoria regia is also known as the "Victoria of the Queen". In 1837, the British botanist and horticulturist John Lindley publicly released the new genus and named it Victoria in order to express his reverence of the Queen Victoria at that time. The huge Victoria regia can bear nearly 70 kilograms of weight, just like riding a boat, speaking of the endless power, it is well deserved of the reputation of "Queen of Lotus". Victoria regia has the largest blade among aquatic plants, with a leaf diameter of up to 3 meters, and the edge of the blade curls upwards, shaped like a green jade plate, or a tiny boat. The back of Victoria regia is dark red, with densely hollow and solid veins, forming a strong "skeleton". There are many air-filled armpits in the leaves, which give great buoyancy to the leaves, so that it can carry not only goods, but also people, children can easily sit on it stably.


In addition, the Victoria regia has a major feature of “three changeable” - changeable temperature, changeable gender and changeable color. When the Victoria regia blossoms, on the first night, the holy white female flower raises the surrounding temperature and attracts pollinators to her warm embrace till the next morning when the flower slowly closes, the female flower begins to turn into male flower, and the anthers slowly get matured. The night comes again for the second day, Victoria blooms again, and the color of the flower magically turns into pink or magenta. Interestingly, the number of the seeds of a single Victoria fruit is around 300-400, and hits 700 at maximum. The fruit has a high starch content and is known as "water corn".

During the event of Appreciating Lotus and the Moon, the Garden also solicits contribution for the science popularization event themed on “Most Beautiful Victoria”. Participants who subscribes works of painting, natural notes and composition themed with “Victoria” will have the opportunity to win the “Free Stay at Victoria Hotel” or “One-day Family Trip”. Meanwhile, the brand activities such as “My Victoria and My Boat”, which are most popular among children, are also opened to the public.

On the shore of Victoria Pool, the sponsor unit specially arranged a large transparent water tank to display the rare back structure of Victoria leaves and the tropical fish Trichogaster trichopterus mainly lives in Southeast Asia, besides, a rich science commentary exhibition board, activity booklets and Victoria regia experience props are also prepared on the site, mainly introducing the content of the event of “Appreciating Lotus and the Moon " held in the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, the history of the introduction and cultivation of Victoria regia in the Garden, and the popular science story about Victoria. Therefore, visitors can have better appreciation of the Victoria, the water lily, and the lotus flower when visiting the botanical garden.

In addition to lotus, at the midsummer night in the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, strings of flashing smart fireflies also make people lost in the beauty, clusters of fireflies look like the galaxy, each like a little elf, decorating the childhood of children and the dream of adults.

The sky is blue, the galaxy is bright, and the stars are shining like diamonds. Thi[FS:Page]s quiet, shining star world is constantly glowing with dazzling starlight, people cannot hold themselves to look up and stop. Listening to the wind breezes and cicadas sing, you may feel as if you are in a beautiful picture of fairy tales. The fascinated people step on the shadow under moonlight for a beautiful encounter with fireflies.

On the summer night, fireflies in Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden are as always beautiful as flowers, clusters of yellow-green fireflies firmly hold the eyes of people. Thousands of fireflies dancing in the leaves, grass, lake, and even around the ears of visitors, millions of moving green lights make the most wonderful dream time, which has become a never-to-be-forgotten scenery in the hearts of people.


(Article from: WeChat Official Account – YunBaoLvYou, Music Travel, Zhang Jiaojiao)

(Part of pictures from: YunBaoLvYou, Zhang Jiaojiao)