Rare flora species recognised as Vietnam Heritage Trees

Hoang Lien National Park in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai received certificates of Vietnam Heritage Trees for two rare flora species in the park at a ceremony on November 5. 

The two species are “Do quyen canh tho” ( Rhododendron basilicum ) and “van sam” or “sam lanh” (Abies delavayi subsp. Fansipanensis) which grow in the park at an altitude of 2,000m or higher above the sea level. 

Surveys by Vietnamese scientists show that the area near the peak of the 3,143m Fansipan Mountain is home to a colony of 56 Rhododendron basilicum trees, which are 11-15m tall and about 250 years old. In addition, 36 other species of rhododendron are also found here, giving the area the name of “The Kingdom of rhododendron of Vietnam.”

Scientists have also counted 26 “van sam” trees that are 18-20m tall and about 300 years old in the park. They grow on an area of around 1,000 sq.m in the park’s core zone, 2,700m above the sea level. This species is listed in Vietnam’s Red Book of fauna and flora facing threat of extinction.

Hoang Lien National Park, recognised by the ASEAN Secretariat as a regional heritage site in 2006, comprises the communes of San Sa Ho, Lao Chai, Ta Van and Ban Ho in Lao Cai province’s district of Sa Pa, as well as part of Than Uyen district in Lai Chau province. 

Its 28,509ha core zone is surrounded by a buffer zone of 38,724ha, which borders a number of communes in the districts of Van Ban, Than Uyen and Phong Tho in Lai Chau province. 

The park harbours 2,024 flora species, including 66 listed in Vietnam’s Red Book. The number of indigenous plants here accounts for 25 percent of the native flora species of Vietnam.

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