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 Plant ecology


Kinmen is near to China, making Kinmen’s plants more similar to those found in China than those in mainland Taiwan.  For example, pond spice, goat horns, serissa, waxy leaf, Fujian crape myrtle, and Xyris complanata are all not present in Taiwan.  Some of the plants that are in bountiful amount in Kinmen, such as Drosera indica, tropical sundew, Utricularia caerulea, Utricularia minutissima, horsetail pine, Indian azalea, mysore thorn, Myoporum bontioides, Callery pear, and yellow eyed grass, are all considered rare or even near-extinct plants in mainland Taiwan.


Plant              Aquatic plants             Flower

Kinmen’s soil is mostly made of granite gneiss, which is largely different from the soil commonly found in mainland Taiwan.  Since the soil elements influence plants development, Kinmen’s plant ecology has evolved to be fairly different from the plants found in Taiwan’s hills.  Granites possess poor nutrients, the seashore area gives strong winds and seawater erosion, and precipitation in Kinmen is also insufficient.  But these elements have been Kinmen’s advantages of growing drought-enduring rock plants, as well as seashore plants and swamp plants that resist salt and wind.  Even though Kinmen does not occupy a large geographical area, its diverse soil elements and environment have created numerous kinds of plants to be nurtured here.  In addition, there are also alien plants that have assimilated themselves to living in the environment.  All of the plants have come together in this small but lovely wonderland of plant ecology, breathing eagerly as they grow, reproduce and take on the grand responsibility of weather regulation.

Aquatic plants

According to a survey that Kinmen National Park recruited scholars to take on, there are a total of 139 families, 476 genera, and 820 species of native plants and naturalized vascular plants in Kinmen region.  Amongst them are 22 families, 31 genera, and 52 species of ferns; 1 family, 1 genus, and 1 species of gymnosperm; 92 families, 326 genera, 529 species of dicotyledons; 24 families, 118 genera, and 238 species of monocotyledons.  For Kinmen’s geographical area, the density of plant species is considered fairly high.

Pond Spice

Pond spices are evergreen trees, which are in the genus of Lauraceae and the family of Litsea.  Light yellow hairs are attached on the trees, from the leaves, the branches to the flower stems.  Its oval-shaped leaves spread across all over the tree branches.  Whether they are paired with yellow flowers or black fruits, pond spices exhibit flourishing vitality in both settings.  Blossoming seasons for the pond spices are around May through June.  Pond spices are also the dietary plants for common mimes’ larva.  This butterfly specie unique to the Kinmen region has been able to reproduce with the existence of these pond spices.

Pond Spice

Goat Horns

Each March through May, plants with blossoms of starfish-like yellow flowers can be spotted over the granite gneiss or rural hills.  Because that it possesses an oblong fruit pod that looks like a goat horn when it is split open, it is therefore given the name “goat horn”.  This pair of fruit pods is called “follicle” and it is a kind of fruit that will split open by itself when mature.

Goat Horns
  

Isoetes Kinmenensis

Isoetes Kinmenensis are ferns that are perennial Isoetaceae plants, which are about 12cm tall, rosette plants in linear shape, and can grow underwater or out of water.  Its sporangium grows from the leaf base, and the spores can mature anytime of the year.  Isoetes’ leaf tissues are filled with air chambers, making isoetes light in weight and therefore easy to float out of the water surface if failed to secure them during cultivation.  Isoetes’ corms will grow spreading double-split roots that can grasp the soil and act as a securing feature. 

Isoetes Kinmenensis were discovered by Mr. Chen Hsi-Tsun in 1991 at Taiwu Mountain. They are only found in low-lying water puddles situated amidst rocks, which are formed after rainy season or typhoons. Isoetes Kinmenensis live under cruel conditions, but it is within this fleeting period of time that the isoetes complete their life cycle.

Isoetes Kinmenensis

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