Under the Wutong Trees – Jiaotong University – Xi’an, China – April 2012.
The Wutong trees (called “Parasol” or “Phoenix” trees in English) are just now getting their leaves. In a few more weeks the leaves will be as large as oak or maple leaves.
Akin to mental images of trees in Sleepy Hollow, in the evenings one could easily imagine the Headless Horseman charging out of the darkness. In reality, however, the trees offer a warm and inviting feeling, day or night.
Jiaotong University is also famous for its many beautiful flowering trees in mid-April and early May. While it is only approximately 1/2 the size of the University of Colorado Boulder campus, for a university in China, it is quite large.
Click here for a map: http://g.co/maps/46jat
(Tip: Clicking any photo will bring up a full-screen version. Click again for a really big version.)
Zoom in on the above photo and you will see the trees are almost totally bark-less.
What little bark is there is wafer-thin and tends to peal away.
Xi’an Jiaotong University also has many beautiful flowering trees at this time as well. They include cherry, apple, and plum trees… plus a few other varieties with which I am not familiar.
To be honest, I don’t know which species is which… Perhaps you botanists out there would know…
Anyone? Anyone? …. Bueller?
What you won’t see on campus are street vendors selling the usual American cokes, chips, cookies, etc… What you will see, however, are stands selling big chunks of the sweetest pineapple you could imagine… for about 2.5 RMB (US$ forty cents).
Until next time, my friends… Happy Springtime from Xi’an!