Subtropical plants found in 'fairy cave' in NE China

Over 10 subtropical plant species were found growing in the Xianrendong National Nature Reserve in northeast China's Liaoning Province. 

Dalian, the city where the reserve is located, belongs to the temperate zone. Normally, it's unlikely to see subtropical plants like the Korean mountain magnolia, wedding cake tree or Styrax obassia there. 

However, the nature reserve lies in the southern section of the Qianshan Mountains. The northern part partially blocks the cold current from going southward in the winter, and combined with abundant rainfall due to its adjacency to the sea, the climate in the Xianrendong National Nature Reserve is comparatively humid and warm, allowing subtropical plants to flourish.

In Chinese, "xianrendong" means "fairy cave." Maybe it gets the name for the unique climate inside the reserve. According to the latest survey, there are 667 plant species and 227 animal species in the reserve.

(Cover image via screenshot)

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