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The Spring-blooming Rhododendrons - An Interview with Prof. Yen-hsueh Tseng of the Dept. of Forestry, Nat'l Chung Hsing Univ.
Rhododendrons can be seen everywhere and are of great importance in biology. /Golden Award in

Look at the beautiful rhododendrons blooming on the hillside on a cool March day....

The lyrics, which was written by famous composer You-li Huang, describe the rhododendrons that most Taiwanese people find so close to. Rhododendrons are in bloom as flower season opens in Yangmingshan National Park, and they also thrive in other national parks in Taiwan. In fact, some of the species are the relic plants from the ice age and bear much biological significance. In this issue, we take readers to have a closer look at rhododendrons.

In the Himalayas, roof of the world, dynamic forces that shape the various terrains of the Earth including mountains, gorges, cliffs and wind gaps are at play. What's more, rhododendrons also stem from here, at the height of the Himalayas.

Currently there are about 900 species of rhododendrons worldwide, and they are widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical zones as well as the alpine frigid zone in the northern hemisphere. " Rhododendrons can be classified into terrestrial and epiphytic ones" said Prof.Yen-hsueh Tseng of the Dept. of Forestry, Nat’l Chung Hsing Univ. "The former grow mainly in Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces in Mainland China, as well as in India, Burma and Vietnam, whereas the latter grow in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Mountains Reddened by Rhododendrons

Taiwan's unique location, diverse climate and complex terrains make it home to various wild rhododendrons. In fact, millions of years ago, Taiwan, which was then connected to the continental Asia, was also a native land of rhododendrons.

Rhododendron kawakamii Hayata grows at cloud forests ranging from 1,500m to 2,500m in altitude, and it is the only species with yellow corollas and dwell on the branches of red cypress endemic to Taiwan. /Photo provided by Yen-hsueh TsengRhododendron oldhamii Maxim can be spotted from 150m to 2,700m above sea level, and the population size of it is the largest among all rhododendrons in Taiwan. /Photo provided by Yenhsueh Tseng
  • upper:Rhododendrons can be seen everywhere and are of great importance in biology. /Golden Award in "Photography Skills" photography contest; taken by Jia-zhong Chiu
  • lower left:Rhododendron kawakamii Hayata grows at cloud forests ranging from 1,500m to 2,500m in altitude, and it is the only species with yellow corollas and dwell on the branches of red cypress endemic to Taiwan. /Photo provided by Yen-hsueh Tseng
  • lower right:Rhododendron oldhamii Maxim can be spotted from 150m to 2,700m above sea level, and the population size of it is the largest among all rhododendrons in Taiwan. /Photo provided by Yenhsueh Tseng

Interview & Text / Jane Chiu
Translator / Yonglan Huang、Chunyi Cheng



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