- Specie: Cuban Bast (hibiscus tiliaceus)
- Location: Harbour front next to the Discovery Bay ferry terminal, Central
There is a whole row of interestingly shaped trees outside the harbour facing side of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui. They have bare trunks that lead up to a foliage of round, heart-shaped leaves. On a few occasions to attend shows and concerts there, I even saw some bright yellow flowers.
I never knew what the trees were, until today, when I took a walk from the central harbour front – actually from the Discovery Bay Ferry terminal – westward towards the Western District. Imagine my surprise when I came across rows upon rows of the same type of tree, complete with a tag that says – Cuban Bast, or hibiscus tiliaceus.
There is a very good reason why there were so many of these Cuban Bast along the harbour. That’s because the specie is tolerant to salty air from the sea.
If you just keep to the harbour front, it is possible to walk all the way from the Central ferry terminals, via a detour through Shun Tak Centre and the Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal, to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park in Western District. Along the way, there are plenty of greenery and trees. Among them are many flowering Cuban Bast trees, as well as Royal Palms, Chinese Fan Palms, Devil Trees and many others I haven’t managed to identify yet. Plus you get an amazing view of the harbour along the way.