Mount Putuo has been known as “garden in the ocean”. There are countless of ancient trees and some very rare vegetations. A few trees are quite famous, such as the thousand-year-old ginkgo inside Fayu Temple, which still maintains its golden color in the fall. Natural vegetations on Mount Putuo include 8 categories: conifer, broadleaf forest, bamboo, shrub, grass, halophyte, psammophyte and hygrophyte.
Thousand-year camphor Located near the entrance to West Heaven, the tree is 20 meters tall and has a girth of 8 meters. The entire tree covers an area of over 1000 square meters (close to 10,000 square feet). As its name indicates, it is over one thousand years old. It is still alive and well. There are over 30 types of plants and fungus live on the tree trunk and branches, making the tree itself a mini botanic garden.
Carpinus putoensis Cheng It is a single tree found outside of Huiji Temple. It is 13.5 meters tall, and estimated to be over 200 years old. The tree is monoecism. Part of its main trunk is underground and the part above the ground has two main branches in V shape. Some locals thus call it “husband and wife tree”. Since the tree was found in 1930, it remains the lone known specimen in the world. It is now a category one protected plant in China.
Neolitsea sercea Koidz These rare trees have straight trunks and are fragrant, and could have been good material for furniture making. The tree has pleasant appearance. During spring, the leaves look fluffy and have a gold tone that shines under the sun. It is sometimes called “Buddhist light tree”.
Distylicum racemosum Sieb.et Zuce These are a type of Chinese witch hazels. On top of Foding mountain, there is a patch of these trees. The trees are over a hundred years old, and the largest has a girth of 71 centimeters. The trees are very rare.