Forbidding topography at Mount Leiti
Plant ecology
Fish pools & swamps
  Plants & animals  
▲Common mulberry
Family: Moraceae
Scientific name: Broussonetia papyrifera (L.) L'Herit ex Vent,
Nicknames: Fawn tree, milk tree, shell juice tee, ding dong tree, papermaking tree
 Common mulberries are a familiar deciduous small arbor distributed in the island’s low-altitude to mid-altitude regions. The back of the leaf is full of fine, downy furs, but the leaf surface is quite rough. The leaf shape varies drastically. It cleaves in deep indentation on a young tree and then becomes heart-shaped on a mature tree.  
 The flowers are particular, too. The cylindrical, caterpillar-like male flowers are four to eight centimeters long. They grow in the inflorescence of axillary catkin. Spherical female flowers grow in the inflorescence of capitulum. Flowering time is March and April.
 During June and July, female flowers bear sweet, juicy tangerine-color fruits, a delicacy for wild birds, squirrels, bees and flies. Deer raisers plant common mulberries for feeding spotted deer.
 People rely on the tree as well. They believe that eating the fruits and roots benefit their tendons, bones, kidney, liver and eyes. They also make China paper and mulberry paper with the bark. That is why the tree is nicknamed “Papermaking tree”.

▲Linden Hibiscus

Family: Malvaceae
Scientific name: Hibiscus tiliaceus L.
Nicknames: Rice cake tree
 Fully developed trees are four to seven meters high. So, coastal and rural villagers planted the trees for wind-checking and sand-controlling in early days.
 The yellow blooms have bell-shaped corollas and capsules. Grandmas in the agricultural days made glutinous rice cakes with fillings in soy sauce. They put the large, heart-shaped leaves underneath. That is why the tree is nicknamed “rice cake tree”.

▲Bidens pilosa

Family: Asteraceae
Scientific name: Bidens pilosa L. var. minor (Blume) Sherff.
Nicknames: Ghost needle grass, white-flower needles
 The glabrous plant has an upright stem, a lot of branches and is 30 to 100 centimeters high. The feather-shaped split-up leaves with sawtooth edges grow in opposite series. The leafstalk is about three centimeters long.
 The plant flowers in all seasons. The flower stem is some one centimeter long, with fine furs on the base. Five to seven white tongue-shaped flowers surround the central flower, which is yellow color and tubular-shaped.
 The achene is dark brown color and about one centimeter long. It has a hooked calyx on the tip, easily sticking to human beings and animals. That is why bidens pilosa is nicknamed this or that needle.
 Bidens pilosa is a useful medicinal herb in Chinese medicine. It serves as a diuretic and therefore helps with detoxification, releasing fever and blood stasis. It also does good in appendicitis, liver troubles, diabetes, swollen throat, enteritis, metritis and head cold.

▲Mituo bamboo
Family: Grass bamboo
Scientific name: Phyllostachys makinoi Hayata
Nicknames: None
 Bamboos are in the woody grass family. They prosper in tropical and subtropical zones, from the plain up to high-altitude regions. The island has sixty-strong local and foreign bamboo species.
 Bamboo forests must have flourished in Mituo; the place was called “Milo Port”, meaning bamboos in the Pingpu language. Now, you only see planted bamboos in Mount Tahti, but it is still a popular dish.
 Have you noticed that the plant flowers? The small reddish flower is actually numerous tassels, each containing one to several tiny flowers. They depend on wind for disseminating its pollen.
‧Best viewed in 1024 x 768 screen resolution‧ Copyright ©2004 走讀臺灣 All Rights Reserved