Fantastic Species in Hainan: More efforts needed to save the 'blood tree'
Xu Wen

Gently cut through the hard bark, oozing dark red "blood" down the "wound," and this shocking scene is actually the sap or fluid secreted by Horsfieldia hainanensis.

Fantastic Species in Hainan: More efforts needed to save the 'blood tree'

The species is commonly known as Hainan horsfieldia. The Li ethnic people in Hainan used to cook rice or make wine for women with the branches and leaves from the tree. It is considered a good medicine to promote blood circulation, called "fairy blood" and "blood tree" by locals.

In China, they are primarily distributed in southwestern Hainan Province, southern Yunnan Province and western Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. However, it is extremely rare for the tree to be spotted in the wild. Due to both anthropogenic and natural causes, such as habitat destruction and poor natural regeneration rate, the number of Hainan horsfieldia has been decreasing in the past. Therefore, the protection of the trees is urgent, as is that of most rare tree species.

Thanks to the efforts made by many scientists and conservationists, the seeds collected from the wild are artificially cultivated first for a higher rate of survival. Then the saplings will be planted to their original natural habitat to enlarge their population.

About 'Fantastic Species in Hainan' series:

The annual Boao Forum for Asia will soon be held in Bo'ao, south China's Hainan Province. Among the topics discussed will be "green development," which cannot be achieved without ecological protection. Hainan has the best preserved and largest contiguous tropical rainforest in the country, home to numerous creatures unique to the province. This series dives into Hainan, leading the audience to learn more about the amazing species thriving here under the great protection efforts from all walks of life.

For more:

Fantastic Species in Hainan: Technology helps unveil mysterious Hainan black-crested gibbon

Fantastic Species in Hainan: The Haania vitalisi

Fantastic Species in Hainan: A close-up of phoenix damselfly

Fantastic Species in Hainan: Find Chinese cave geckos in rock crevices

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