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Fall's favorite flower

By Wu Ni ( Shanghai Star ) Updated: 2014-09-22 09:12:11

Fall's favorite flower

Osmanthus came to blossom at Binjiang Avenue in Lujiazui area of Pudong New Area in October, 2013. [Photo provided to shanghai star]

The sweet scent of osmanthus flowers will soon fill the city. Wu Ni discovers some of the best places to enjoy the floral wonder.

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The smell of Shanghai in early fall is pure and sweet. Osmanthus flowers are in full bloom and they perfume the whole city. The lingering fragrance can last for as long as one month.

There is no need to take a deep breath. The elusive floral scent floats in the air. It may slow your step on a busy street or refresh your mind when you open the window in the morning. It is tradition for family members to gather at Mid-Autumn Festival to enjoy the harvest moon and moon cakes under the sweetly scented osmanthus trees.

But this year, the osmanthus fragrance is yet to fill the air, even 10 days after the moon festival. Wu Zhixing, a retired botanist from Shanghai Botanical Garden, explains that the relatively high temperature has stopped the osmanthus from blooming.

Wu has been observing the more than 8,000 osmanthus trees in the botanic garden for the past month. “The flower buds are fully grown and are poised to bloom. Only a small number is in full bloom and the fragrance is very light,” he says.

He says the osmanthus buds will bloom when the temperature stays between 24C to 28C for a period of time. It is possible that they will bloom in late September when it is cooler.

Records show that osmanthus in Shanghai normally comes into full bloom in late September and early October. Last year, the city was not filled with the fragrance of osmanthus until Oct 3.

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