China's Flora Tour: The harbinger of spring on Mount Fanjing
By Zhang Xinyue, Zhu Yingming

In early May, the endemic Fanjing primrose quietly blossoms on Mount Fanjing in southwest China's Guizhou Province.

The flower's name in Chinese means "to inform the arrival of spring," and these pink blooms usually grow on mountain tops and plateaus.

Fanjing primrose on Mount Fanjing, southwest China. /CGTN Photo

Fanjing primrose on Mount Fanjing, southwest China. /CGTN Photo

The Fanjing primrose can be found at altitudes between 2,100m and 2,300m on Mount Fanjing, the highest peak in the Wuling Mountains.

They thrive among rocks, on cliffs and in the shades of grasses.

To adapt to the high-altitude environment, the Fanjing primrose has evolved with smaller flowers.

It usually has five heart-shape petals, each the size of a fingernail.

Fanjing primrose. /CGTN Photo

Fanjing primrose. /CGTN Photo

It has a special way of reproducing like other primrose species. Cross-pollination is accomplished through the difference in height between the stamen and the pistil.

When honey bees collect nectar, the pollen from the shorter pistil can be mixed with that of the longer stamen of another primrose, and vice versa for the longer pistil and the shorter stamen.

The small difference in length is one of the Mother Nature's many tricks.

China's Flora Tour

From the wetlands along the coast to the dense rainforests hidden in southwestern China, all boast an array of plant species. In this series, we will go on a tour to learn about some of the most representative floras in different provinces and see how they live in harmony with the local geography and climate.

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(Cover image designed by CGTN's Yu Peng)

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