Monday, 10 November 2014

Taoyuan City - part 2 - At the foot of Hutoushan

In the first part of the series we learned basics of Hutoushan or Tiger Head mountain 虎頭山. In this article we see what does it look like before climbing up. There are two main entrances to the Hutoushan Park (虎頭山公園), one for pedestrians only along the Nankan river, close to the Taoyuan High School, and another one for vehicles further up on Chenggong Road to the right just before the Veterans Hospital (台北榮民總醫院桃園分院)


When you approach Hutoushan from the County Stadium, you need to pass through this small street along the river. You will see majestic trees on both sides of the road, they are called Chinese Banyan. The scientific name is Ficus microcarpa. It was first described scientifically by Carl Linnaeus the Younger in 1782. In Europe they are growing mostly indoor in flower pots, very often as bonsai trees. But in Taiwan Ficus microcarpa is a huge tree. Distinctive to it are the aerial roots hanging down rom high. With the aerial roots the tree take water from the humid air. If the roots are let to grow and they reach the ground, they will become pillar roots and finally develop into secondary trunks. In this way a banyan style tree with pillar roots and secondary trunks is developed.