China's Flora Tour: A tree drops 'money' in spring
By Li Yujun

In spring, there is a tree dropping "coins" in the wind. The "coin" is the tender fruit of the Chinese elm, which is circular and coin-sized. These fruits are called "elm money."

In early spring, the elm tree comes into blossom with little brown flowers. The fruits grow as the flowers fade; and they become dry and light gradually.

The fruit of the Chinese elm is a spring-exclusive ingredient. When it is small and tender, people steam it with flour; it is popular in north China.

The adaptability of the Chinese elm is strong and distributed in many places in China. In northern China, they usually grow on hillsides or valleys and are also very common in cities. The Chinese elm can also grow on deserts such as the Hunshandake Sandy Land in Inner Mongolia.

The fruit of the Chinese elm usually germinates and grows quickly. It can grow to 30 to 40 centimeters high within two months and more than one meter in a year. Hard and durable, the Chinese elm is ideal for carving and furniture.

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, CGTN 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.

(Cover image via VCG, designed by CGTN's Liu Shaozhen.)

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