Sunday, 28 May 2017

mellow yellow

Although I’m now back in the UK, I have a couple of posts for which I had prepared the photographs before leaving Hong Kong but had not written the accompanying text. This, the first of these posts, features the various yellow flowers that I encounter when cycling around the New Territories. I stop quite frequently to take photographs, and as you will have noted from the subject matter of recent posts (Jeepers Creepers, A Blaze of Glory, Bougainvillea Boogie), flowers are a common attracter of my attention.

I’m not a botanist, or even particularly knowledgeable about plants, so there are only a few species that I can identify with certainty, so I’ll confine my comments to the images and their contexts. I’ll start with a photo I took at the end of November last year, which shows what an otherwise nondescript bush looks like for two weeks every year—covered in star-shaped yellow flowers.

This bush is located near the start of the long and winding road, but this species is very common on semi-abandoned disturbed ground. An opportunist, in other words.

The next photo was also taken on the long and winding road and is of a bush next to one of the paths traversed on this route.

We pass the location of the next photo on one of the return sections of the journey to the west. Unlike the other photos in this collection, its subject is a cultivated plant. I simply had to stop and take a few pictures.

Despite the poor quality of the next photograph, I’ve included it because this is the only location where I’ve seen this particular ground creeper. It’s next to the car park at the top of the first hill I described in Surprise View. For obvious reasons, I don’t intend to return to try to get a better photo.

A much more common ground creeper is shown in the following photograph:

Uncommonly for ground creepers, this one doesn’t have thorns, but it is dense, which means that where it has taken over a sizeable area of derelict but previously used land, you get a spectacular carpet of yellow flowers at this time of year. The next photo is of an area of open ground next to one of the paths followed on the long and winding road. The only other location that I’ve encountered with a similar display is around the multi-path junction described in Ping Kong Ping Pong.

The extremely pale yellow flowers of another common vine are shown in the next photo:

I often see a gourd-bearing vine, and I’ve taken photos at several locations. My attention is attracted by the oddly crinkly texture of the flowers, although I suspect that these may not be flowers but coloured bracts similar to those found on bougainvillea and poinsettia plants.

These yellow bushes alongside the Sheung Yiu River are actually ornamental trees that grow to 6—7 metres in height, but the Drainage Services Department likes to keep river banks well trimmed, so the trees here never get a chance to grow:

And this is a close-up of the flower buds:

The next three photos are of various herbaceous species. The first picture is of flowers that I spotted along the long and winding road, and I have not seen other examples since I took this photo, not even here.

This photo was taken next to the path to Sham Chung and shows how a plant can take advantage of a recent hill fire to establish itself, although it is likely to be crowded out by other vegetation after a few months:

The plant in the next photo has also taken advantage of a small patch of bare ground to establish itself:

There are a couple of other trees in Hong Kong with yellow flowers. The first is like the cotton trees in that the flowers appear before the leaves, although these trees lack the grandeur of the latter. This photo was taken on a cycle track near the southern edge of Fanling:

The other yellow-flowered tree, the acacia, is much more common. This has been the view from my balcony for the past few weeks:

Finally, here is another species that I can identify with certainty. Someone must have planted this sunflower, which I photographed alongside the frontier road, but I don’t know who.


  1. Certainly there is a variety of yellow flowers in Hong Kong whether they are BIG or tiny laying abundantly in the green green grass!!!!

  2. Very good! Can we have a red version please?

    1. You’ll have to wait until next year Peter, although A Blaze of Glory was about a tree with red flowers!

  3. They are very beautiful, I could see it without coming to the site. :)

    1. I agree. And as Peter (above) has requested, I’ll be doing a red-themed post next winter.

      Don’t you just love flowers!


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