Menglun Tropical Botanical Garden
The Luosuo River, a branch of the Lancangjiang River, lies in the Mengla Basin. In the Menglun area, it flows into a gourd-shaped course, surrounding a piece of land which is named the Calabash Island (Huludao in Chinese). With three sides facing water the island is connected with Menglun Town by a suspending bridge in the east and with Mengla Road by a highway bridge in the south.The Garden was established in 1959 under the leadership of Prof. Cai Xitao, a famous botanist in China. In the 900 ha.areas of the Garden, more than 6,000 species of tropical plants from both China and abroad have been collected and cultivated in over 20 plant collections (garden). The Garden has been const constructed as a botanical garden with the largest area and the richest plant diversity in China. It has been assessed and elected to be a top-level tourist scenic spot of China. Each year, the Garden receives about 500,000 visitors including experts, scholars and tourists.
With a fertile land of 15,000 Chinese acres, the Calabash Island is home to 1,500 kinds of tropical plants. Visitors can try the Mysterious Fruit that turns from sour to sweet; they can also have a look at Maytenin that can kill cancers. There are many wild species, for example, the killer of plants, a parasite that will kill its host; King Lotus (Royal Water Lily), which can bear a 20-kilogram child; Anthocehalus that can grow ten times faster than the pine tree; Southeast Dracaena that can help promote blood circulation and remove blood stasis, and black rosewood that is worth USD3,000 per ton. No wonder when people look on Xishuangbanna as a green gem, they do not forget to refer to the Botanical Garden as the highlight of the gem.
In the Garden, ther are many strange and rare flowers and plants in the garden. The single”big banyan tree ” can make a forest. The Upas Tree(Antiarias Tocicaria) produces a lethal poison used on the arrow. The “black-heart” tree can never be cut death when you cut its top, the more branches will grow out. The “glutinous-rice-smelling bamboo” is used to cook rice by the Dai people. The “clock flower” blossoms when the sun rises and closes when the sun sets. The “big root” is like a concrete wall. “The lusenjiao”(strelitziacease) can save people from thirsty and sunstroke. The “dancing herb” rotates gently when listening to the music. The “king lotus” can hold a baby on its broad leave. The “mysterious fruit” can reverse taste, turning sour to sweet.(It is a really magical fruit. I tried to eat “mysterious fruit” first , then to have sour lemon. I can not believe the lemon taste already changed to sweet taste.It is really craze. I am very exciting to enjoy this magical feeling, but my stomach cannot bear so sour juice, it is start to be a little pain.) The “pattra palm” can be used to write Buddhist Scripture on its leaves. The “jackfruit” can blossom and bear fruit on its stalk.(The biggest fruit could be 30kg) The “lard fruit” enjoys the name of “Oil king” in the forest. The “tuanhua tree”(Anthocephalus Chinensis) grows ten times faster than the pine.The “common nepenthes” can small insects. The fruit of “yolk fruit tree” has the some colour, shape and taste as an egg. The “colour-changing flower” changes colour three times daily.The “sensitive grass” closes its leaves when one touches it.