Flora of Jingdong: Versatile plants in our daily lives

Plants lay foundations for the sustenance of life on this planet – the oxygen we breathe, the vegetables we eat. 

Some plants are even more versatile.  

The woods of Schima wallichii and Styrax tonkinensis are often used to make furniture. The gum resin obtained from trunks of Styrax tonkinensis is the well-known Benzoin, which is used in perfumes, incense or medicine.

Colocasia esculenta or taro is the oldest cultivated species in the Aroid family. In Jingdong County, there is still a wild taro population living, which can potentially enrich the gene diversity of cultivated taros that we eat. The plant is also used as pig feed. 

As for Alangium kurzii, its seed oil is used in industry. You might not easily forget its appearance because it seems to have its flowers permed and has an extremely long anther.

As the name suggests, the branches and leaves of Gaultheria fragrantissima are fragrant. People extract an essential oil from the leaves and use it in food and medicine. 

Luculia pinceana looks similar to Syringa or lilac, and is mostly found in southwest China's Yunnan Province. Thus, it gets the Chinese name "diandingxiang (滇丁香)," meaning lilacs in Yunnan. 

According to "Flora of Tibet," the root, flower and fruit of Luculia pinceana can all be used as medicine to treat pertussis and rheumatism. The plant can also be applied externally for poisonous snake bites. 

Rhododendron microphyton might look no different from other flowers in the genus Rhododendron, but one folk prescription will probably make you remember the plant. In Miyi County, southwest China's Sichuan Province, people use its flowers to stop a nosebleed.

Did you marvel at these versatile plants in Jindong County?

About "Flora of Jingdong"

Jingdong Yi Autonomous County in Pu'er City, southwest China's Yunnan Province, has two national nature reserves – the Ailao Mountain and Wuliang Mountain National Nature Reserve. The complex terrain and diverse climate here have created great plant diversity. The county is thus hailed as a "Demonstration County of International Biodiversity Project." This series will take you on a visual tour of diverse flora in Jingdong County.

Flora of Jingdong: These flowers you can only see in Yunnan's Jingdong

Flora of Jingdong: Plants with weird names

Flora of Jingdong: Precious orchids

(All photos taken by Liu Wenhui and Qu Shang, designed by CGTN's Du Chenxin.)

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