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By YANG WANLI | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-10-13 09:20
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Acer yangbiense

A type of maple tree that belongs to the Aceraceae family. Plants of this family grow mainly in the temperate northern zones of Asia, Europe and North America, including about 140 species in China. Many highly familiar plants belong to the family: for example, the distinctive maple leaf on the national flag of Canada is that of Acer negundo, aka the box elder. Acer yangbiense was first detected in 2003 in Yangbi county, Yunnan province. Only five individuals were found at the time. The tree has been assessed as critically endangered both in the China Species Red List and The Red List of Maples published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2009.

Carpinus putoensis

This is a deciduous tree and belongs to the Betulaceae family, which is endemic to China. In 1930, it was discovered by the renowned taxonomist Zhong Kuangguang. At present, there is only one known specimen of this species in the wild. Located on Putuo Island in Zhejiang province, it is estimated to be 250 years old. Due to its rarity, the plant, aka the Putuo Hornbeam, is known as the "Single Child of the Earth". It is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. Its seeds were sent into space as part of a breeding experiment aboard Tiangong I, the Chinese space station launched in September 2011.

Cyclobalanopsis sichourensis

A type of evergreen tree of the Cyclobalanopsis fagaceae family. It is a critically endangered species that receives attention worldwide. In 2010, it was listed as one of 62 plant species with extremely small populations. Surveys conducted by experts with the Kunming Institute of Botany showed that only 17 plants of this species still exist in China in Xichou and Funing counties in the southeast of Yunnan province, and in Ceheng county, Guizhou province. About 50 plants are protected at the Kunming Botanical Garden. It is an excellent ornamental tree with a beautiful shape, bright red tender shoots and large fruit.

Firmiana kwangsiensis

Only a small number of individuals are scattered across a wide area as a result of biological characteristics and the influence of the environment and human activity. It is a deciduous tree that grows to a height of 10 meters and can be used for making furniture and plywood. Its seeds contain starch and oil, and its flowering period can last more than a month. It blooms with beautiful blazing red flowers like burning torches.


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