Red cotton tree flowers welcome spring in S China

On February 4, 2020, in Hainan Province, China's southernmost island, cotton tree flowers seemed anxious about the coming of spring, and have started blooming one by one on the branches, attracting many animals including birds and squirrels to enjoy the sweet nectar.

The cotton tree is also known as red cotton tree. It is a tropical deciduous tree that has big reg flowers with five petals in spring before the new foliage appears on the branches. It gets its name from the capsule which contains white cotton-like fibers that it produces.

The February 4 of 2020 marked the first solar term of Chinese lunar year: Lichun, which means the beginning of spring in Chinese. This solar term represents the spring breeze that will wake plants up, hence the blooming cotton tree flowers.

(All images via VCG)

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