花期：三月 至 四月
Exotic (originated from Central and South America, the Caribbean and Northwest Africa)
Flowering Period: Mar - Apr
Victoria Park (Causeway Road Entrance)
【The tallest tree in Hong Kong】
The Kapok tree cluster has eight individual trees, and one is the tallest tree in Hong Kong, reaching a height of 33.5 metres, according to the Register of Old and Valuable Trees. Their long flat buttress roots can be taller than a human. In the 1950s, the government reclaimed the former Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter and developed it into Victoria Park, where many large-scale festivals and events take place, for instance, the annual Hong Kong Flower Show. The Kapok trees are estimated to be over 70 years old, standing and welcoming visitors at the entrance.
There was massive tree cutting in whole Hong Kong during the Japanese occupation. After WWII, urban greening development was slow. In the 1960s, the government focused on garden landscaping and started to organise the Flower Show to promote horticulture. Then in the 1980s, a comprehensive evaluation of tree species for amenity planting in Hong Kong was held, raising the concern of urban tree planting.
The Register of Old and Valuable Trees was established since 2004 to record (1) trees of large size, (2) trees of precious or rare species, (3) trees of particularly old age (e.g. aged 100 or above), (4) trees of cultural, historical or memorable significance (e.g. Fung Shui wood); and (5) trees of outstanding form. The Register was criticised for lack of transparency—the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) added and deleted the registered trees without disclosing any detailed explanation.
Kapok tree can grow to 70 meters with a trunk up to 3 meters in diameter with buttresses. It is important in many cultures and wildlife habitats due to its humongous nature and many uses. In ancient times, the Mayans believed that the Kapok tree stood at the centre of the world, connecting the underworld and the sky world, and was the path for the dead.