An endangered and protected species of plant at Chenshan Botanical Garden in Songjiang came into flower in mid-April. The tiny white flowers of sinojackia xylocarpa Hu attracted the attention of quite a number of visitors.
The sinojackia species, small deciduous trees that grow to around 7 meters, have saw-toothed leaves in the shape of an ellipse and fruits that look like a drop weight.
Mid-April is when the trees are in full bloom. Each flower is a cluster of five or seven snowy white petals and a long pistil extends from the pale yellow stamens that surround it.
The plants were first spotted on Mufu Mountain in the suburbs of Nanjing, capital of neighboring Jiangsu Province, in 1927 by renowned fern enthusiast Qin Renchang. A year later, botanist Hu Xiansu established the new sinojackia species based on a sample and named it sinojackia xylocarpa Hu. The sinojackia species became the first species to be established by Chinese botanists.
Use of the species as firewood hugely reduced its numbers in China. In 1998 sinojackia xylocarpa Hu was put on the Red List of Threatened Species by the International Union for Conservation and Nature. The species is also a national Level-2 endangered species in China.