- Specie: Lance-leaved Sterculia (sterculia lanceolata)
- Location: Southern edge, near the gravel foot massage yard of Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park in Sheung Wan
Few trees in Hong Kong make such an impact as the Lance-leaved Sterculia when they are fruiting. The tree is not exactly a stand out during the rest of the year, although its flowers are pretty, in pink, and can cover the entire canopy of the small to medium-sized tree.
But when those flowers become fruit, like they are doing now (first week of July) around Hong Kong, they form bright red and orange star-shaped jewels that not only glisten, but are florescent like neon lights, even in the sun. They are hard to miss, like these next to the foot massage yard in Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, where plenty of beautiful trees await you.
The fruits grow in formations of five pea-pods. They start being green and then gradually brighten through a spectrum of yellow and orange before they get to their crimson peak, at which time, the pods open to reveal a dark beady seeds.
The ostentations of the fruits are certainly effective bait for some.
But the Lance-leaved Sterculia is not done yet. Once the seeds have fallen and the pods are empty, they darken to the colour of vintage red wine, and while they do shrivel up, they gain a whole other level of distinction and become organic art.