Where to meet the 'friends of winter' in Shanghai
Wintersweet, along with pine and bamboo, is often referred to by Chinese people as one of the "Three Friends of Winter" thanks to its ability to endure the cold of China's severe winters.
Blossoming in mid- to late-December in Shanghai, the pretty yellow flowers are now in their best season. Here are four of the best places in Shanghai to meet these winter friends:
Songjiang Wintersweet Forest features a vast expanse of yellow-petal and red-stamen flowers. [Photo provided to study-shanghai.org]
Songjiang Wintersweet Forest
If you venture out to the southwestern suburb of Songjiang, you'll find an entire park devoted to the winter flower. The largest wintersweet forest in Shanghai, the 3,600 mu (240 hectare) area features a vast expanse of yellow-petal and red-stamen flowers, as well as some purple-stamen varieties, whose delicate fragrance infuses the entire park.
Address: Huaqiao village, Dongjing town
Transportation: Metro Line 9, Songjiang College Town Station
Shanghai Century Park is one of the best places in Shanghai for admiring the pretty wintersweet blossom. [Photo provided to study-shanghai.org]
Shanghai Century Park
One of the most popular parks in Shanghai, Century Park contains more than 3,000 wintersweet trees, including more than 30 species. Most of these are grafted trees that are of great ornamental value.
Address: No 1001 Jinxiu Road, Pudong New District
Transportation: Metro Line 2, Century Park Station
The Waigang Wintersweet has long been known locally as one of the "three treasured plants of Shanghai". [Photo provided to study-shanghai.org]
Waigang Wintersweet Garden
This garden is mainly devoted to the Waigang Wintersweet, a special variety of the winter flower known locally as one of the "three treasured plants of Shanghai". However, this year the garden has introduced more than 85 kinds of domestic and overseas wintersweet.
Address: No 2700 North Moyu Road
Transportation: Metro Line 11, Anting Station
Qingpu Grand View Garden boasts a stretch of ancient wintersweet trees. [Photo provided to study-shanghai.org]
Qingpu Grand View Garden
As one of the four most famous gardens for plum blossom in the Jiangnan region, the areas south of the Yangtze River Delta, Qingpu Grand View Garden boasts a stretch of ancient wintersweet trees, among which are several rare and valuable species.
Address: No 701 Jinshang Highway
Transportation: Qingpu Travel Line C