- Specie: Chinese Fan Palm (livistona chinensis)
- Location: Hatton Road
One of the funniest movies from the 60s is ‘It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world‘ featuring some of the biggest Hollywood movie stars at the time. The movie was about four groups of greedy, sly, underhanded, but ultimately funny characters, who set off on a mad race across the US to find a buried treasure on the dying words of thief. Their only clue, a big W somewhere on the Californian coast, which turned out to a group of palm trees that formed the letter as they grew.
Now you don’t have to travel all the way to California to catch a glimpse of a big ‘W’ of palm trees. If you head to Hatton Road on the way to the Morning Trail that lead up to Victoria Peak, three Chinese Fan Palms, by growing in ascending arcs, now form a perfect ‘W’, albeit a slender one.
I have no idea why these three mature trees decided to sway in opposite directions, or why the typically straight growing trees turn sideways as they climb up towards the sky, but the effect is quite memorable.
Chinese Fan Palms are pretty common in Hong Kong. They can be easily identified by their large circular palmately leaves with thin long fingers that spread out like a, well, fan. When young, these trees bear the stubs from fallen leaves on its trunk and thus look serrated, but the trunks become smooth with age.
Compared to other palm species, Chinese Fan Palms are distinct because of their circular leaves, unlike the long, spiny leaves of the Royal Palm, the Alexandra Palm or the half circular ones of the Fishtail Palm.
But even among Chinese Fan Palms, these three are unique in their formation. Now does anyone want to dig up the road to see if there’s any buried treasure underneath?