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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.

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(Tip:  Clicking any photo will bring up a full-screen version. Click again for a really big version.)

Wutong trees just starting to show their leaves. April, 2012

Wutong trees... from a few paces back.

Gardener working under the Wutongs.

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.

More Wutongs behind me...

More Wutong trees line the long boulevard heading toward the Student Cafeteria. The trees are ubiquitous around campus.

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?

The building in the background is the largest on campus and is the showpiece structure.

Although I'm not tree species savvy enough to know what tree types are that I'm viewing... there is no denying their beauty.

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).


Other trees like these willows accent the campus as well.

Of course, it is not only the Jiaotong University campus alive with the colors of Springtime... All of Xi'an is bursting with brilliance. These trees along the old city wall, about a fifteen minute walk from campus, are no exception.


Until next time, my friends…  Happy Springtime from Xi’an!


From → China, Xi'an

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