Every part of the Lotus is eaten or used in some way in Vietnam: the seeds, which have a wonderful, flowery flavour, are candied or used in desserts; the stems are used in soups to absorb the broth and add crunch; the roots can be sliced, battered and fried for a crunchy snack; the leaves are used to wrap and steam foods, imparting a subtle flavour, such as in lotus-steamed rice; and all parts, including the flower itself, can be used to make Lotus tea. The leaves are shapely and thick: a satisfyingly plump heart-shape. Delicate purple, white and pink flowers and a glorious fragrance that puts the world’s perfumeries to shame, make Sweet Pea one of the prettiest and most seductive of flowers. (A good, easily accessible place to see impressive, old Banyans in the forest is on Son Tra Peninsular). I don’t know why, but its affect on me is profound. Hence another of its colloquial names: the umbrella tree. Colourful, perfumed, juicy, and full of little black seeds, it’s been a staple of my breakfast in Vietnam for years. *Other names: Lobster claws | Chi chuối pháo. Oh this is superb! Although Spider Lilies are used to adorn private and public grounds, I find there’s something a bit sinister about their shape and form: they look like the Martians from H.G. Yes, I’ve heard of the app, but never used it. *Other names: Cassia fistula | hoa hoàng yến & cây Osaka (Vietnamese), *Where & when you might see it: Coastal & midland regions, flowering March-June [MAP]. Flaming Trumpet is also called “hoa chùm ớt” or “hoa rạng đông”. There are hundreds of species of convolvulus, but most of them grow by the water in horizontal vines, straddling sandy beaches, muddy riverbanks, cliffs and lakeshores. That’s very helpful. Temperatures in the northern mountainous region have dropped below 0 degrees Celsius. A medium-sized tree with small leaves that turn a distinctive silver-grey in the sunlight, and bright yellow flowers which grow in clusters along the branches, Mimosa is found mostly in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. To me, this is a rather sinister beginning to the life of one of the world’s greatest trees. The more than 1,500 species of woody plants in the country range from commercially important hardwoods, such as ebony and teak, to palms, mangroves, and bamboos. In Vietnam, since the 1980s and 90s, coffee production has soared. Kapok trees are found in many villages, and the Vietnamese cultivate areca palms and betel peppers for their nuts and leaves and mulberry bushes to feed silkworms. Growing to a height of about 1-4 metres, coffee bushes are squat, glossy-green-leafed shrubs. But, for the most part, I couldn’t identify them by name, so I wasn’t able to communicate what I was seeing, whether in conversation, in writing, or in my own thoughts. And it really is magic. Click an item from the two indexes below: Flowers & Plants | Fruits & Trees: A General Map of the Geographical Regions of Vietnam, *Other names: Hoa Sứ (Vietnamese) | Plumeria (Latin), *Where & when you might see it: south, south-central & central coast, Mekong Delta [MAP]. She’s beautiful, but a cannonball when she needs to get things done… I will try dragonfruit and fried breadfruit, though in Massachusetts we have to wait till they get (maybe) ripe enough to eat. In Vietnamese, the fruit is called vú sữa, meaning ‘breast milk’ or ‘milky breast’. The second is rather more chilling. *Other names: hoa kim phượng or hoa phượng (Vietnamese), *Where & when you might see it: Coastal & midland regions [MAP]. Bamboo apparently has the same tensile strength as steel – indeed, much scaffolding in Vietnam is bamboo. They’re a deep green which blends with the sea and the sand of the beaches where they usually grow. These medium-sized trees often line main streets and boulevards, or dot parks and opens spaces. I’m told that there are several distinct kinds of similar-looking bushes. In Vietnam, broths may contain annatto, giving them a deep red tone. I see it most often in coastal resorts on the southern coast or, This pretty little flower grows on a shrub-like bush, especially by the sea. There’s a distinctive odour to jackfruit, particularly when the fruits have overripened on the tree: sweet and pungent; right on the edge of pleasant and revolting. The Peacock Flower is a lively splash of colour in city parks and gardens in the bright, tropical sunshine. In Vietnam, several strands of the cactus are grafted to a concrete post and encouraged to grow up the pillar. Yellow is the colour of prosperity, so the flower brings the promise of good fortune for the coming year. Thank you for the information and corrections. A great place to be among the Lotuses is the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, in the homestays on the Lotus fields. Despite the grapes being grown in Ninh Thuan, the wine they produce is generally called Dalat Wine. So I bought a few illustrated books about tropical foliage – ‘plant-spotting guides’ – and, within a couple of weeks on the road, I’d ticked off 90% of what was in them. The chilli plants are small and delicate, with the little red peppers dotted all over the bush like drops of blood. Like many large, old trees, there’s an atmosphere whenever you stand beneath them. Vietnam is one of the countries to which the Bodhi is native, and they can be found across the nation. Disclosure: I never receive payment for anything I write: my content is always free and independent. *Other names: Ravenala | Chuối Quạt (Vietnamese), *Where & when you might see it: Coastal & delta regions nationwide [MAP]. (previous page) () *Other names: Cây điều, Đào lộn hột (Vietnamese), *Where & when you might see it: Coastal & midland regions, especially south-central provinces [MAP]. On this page, I’ve compiled an informal, illustrated list of some of the flowers, plants and trees I regularly see in Vietnam’s cities and countryside, in the hope this may be something other travellers, road-trippers, and expats may find interesting too. Specific information on distribution, habitat, ecology, and uses has been compiled. Vietnam Tet Tree Stock Photos and Images (1,166) Narrow your search: Black & white. And even my home country, the UK, uses annatto: Red Leicester cheese gets its colour from the seeds of the Lipstick Tree, presumably an exotic addition made possible by the expanding trade routes of empire. *Other names: Monkey nut | đậu phộng or lạc (Vietnamese), *Where & when you might see it: Central & northern coastal plains [MAP]. And the photography! Found in the dry, arid, stark and beautiful coastal plains of the south-central provinces, the Prickly Pear Cactus is a plant that perhaps you wouldn’t expect to find in Vietnam. I first learned the name in Vietnamese when wandering the great stone courtyard, gardens, and grottoes of Phat Diem Cathedral, in the northern Red River Delta province of Ninh Binh. The temple was established on the small Jade Island near the northern shore of the lake in the 18th century and is in honor of … I don’t know much about cactus but, well, they’re green, thorny and exotic; they bear pinkish fruit (or are they flowers); and they seem to grow on rocky, sandy, windswept terrain. Its potential as a ‘slave feed’ was quickly realized and the tree was soon exported and grown on the Caribbean islands. What’s more, the Lotus is also a practical flower. *Where & when you might see it: Central & northern highlands & midlands [MAP]. Introduced by the colonial French in the 19th and 20th centuries, Vietnam continues to grow grapes for wine production, honey, raisins and candies. A saying I read once (but have never heard again since) goes: The large, brown, spherical fruit of this medium-sized tropical tree is where it gets its name. You’ll see jackfruit all over the southern and central coast and the Central Highlands, and they seem to be almost always bearing fruit. Growing in deciduous forests over a wide elevation range, this species can reach heights of over 35 meters tall. Thank Tom for great topic. During January, the coldest month of the year, Hanoi has a mean temperature of 63 °F (17 °C), while the annual average temperature is 74 °F (23 °C). *Other names: Christmas Star | hoa trạng nguyên. In particular, the large, century-old tropical almond trees on Con Son Island are famous for their nuts. This implies the Banyan has a benevolent nature; a sentiment I’m inclined to agree with. 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