In Australia we mark the new calendar year on the 1st of January, but in many places throughout Asia, the start of the New Year is dictated by lunar cycles. Often referred to as Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year, on 12 February 2021, we will ring in the year of the Ox.
The HSBC Orietnal Garden at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is special part of the garden and has been opened since 1997 featuring more than 2,400 wild and cultivated plants from East Asia. Here are a few highlights:
Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn (Lotus Flower)
Lotus flowers are considered sacred in China, Tibet, and India and it is symbolic in both Hindu and Buddhist religions as the lotus displays all of the different stages of growth simultaneously — bud, flower and seed pod. It is also the national flower of India and Vietnam.
The lotus has also been grown for culinary use for hundreds of years as the leaf stalks, young leaves, rootstock and seeds are all edible.
Bamboo is a kind of grass that can grow as tall as a tree. There are over 1,200 species of Bamboo worldwide and a third of these are endemic to China. They are the fastest growing land plants on earth and are one of the most useful plants in the world.
Chinese people have been planting and using bamboo for food, fibre and construction for at least 7,000 years.
Native to China, Sri Lanka, India and south east Asia, this small tree to 12 metres is grown for its perfumed flowers. The flower may only last a day but the perfume lingers in the surrounding air. The oval fruits that follow start as a nondescript green turning to a bright scarlet red.
Join us in the Garden
These are just a few of a multitude of beautiful East Asian plants you can discover at the HSBC Oriental Garden. You can learn more about the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney by booking a guided walk.