- Specie: White Jade Orchid Tree (michelia x alba)
- OVT Registrar: LCSD CW/43
- Location: Glenealy entrance to the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens at the corner of St Joseph’s Terrace
The White Jade Orchid Tree (michelia x alba) is one of the most common species of trees in Hong Kong. Many members line roads and streets with their full deep-green foliage and strong, erect trunks. But just because something is common doesn’t mean it is anything less remarkable, or that it should be underappreciated.
While the specie is pretty striking on its own, one individual stands out amongst the rest, both metaphorically and literally.
This ‘Old and Valuable’ tree member – LCSD CW/43 – stands on a quiet path just above the Caritas centre at the beginning of Caine Road.
It is arguably the most prominent representative of its kin, measuring 34 metres in height with a canopy at 24 metres wide.
Despite its size, it is easy to miss since its substantial presence overwhelms the narrow street in which it rests. But if you just take a moment to look up, it’s a sight well worth the effort.
The tree gets its name from its delicate white flowers, which fill the air with their exquisite scent when they bloom. In fact, during the flowering season, it is easy to find sellers of the white flowers on busy street corners, or taxi drivers displaying a bunch of the blooms on their dashboard to frequent their cabs.
As I have written about before, the White Jade Orchid Tree has a close cousin, which yield yellow flowers and are much rarer.