A Chinese Naturalist Posts the First Erismanthus sinensis Plant to iNat! - Observation of the Week, 6/29/21

Our Observation of the Week is the first Erismanthus sinensis (轴花木 in Chinese (simplified)) plant posted to iNat! Seen in China by @qin\_huang!

While he studied at Zhejiang University’s Energy Department, Qin Huang tells me “I was more interested in nature and participated in many nature activities, such as Green Camp China 2007, in Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve.” After graduation, Qin found work in Doctor Shuihua Chen's team at the Zhejiang Museum of Natural History, mostly studying birds “such as Light-vented Bulbul, the Chinese Blackbird in urbanized environments, and also some very rare seabirds such as Chinese Egret and Chinese Crested Tern on small offshore islands in Zhoushan and Jiushan City” 

He’s since done research and conservation work at the Biological Museum of Sun Yat-Sen University and 

from the end of 2016, I had a great opportunity to be an ecological tour leader and I had the chance to travel to many countries such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Uganda, New Zealand, Australia. My favorite country is Malaysia. I have been there eight times and encountered wild Malay tapirs, Malay Bears, Asian elephants, Horsfield's tarsier, Orangutans, Helmeted hornbills, etc. In 2017, we had a wonderful journey to New Zealand, and encountered one Southern Brown Kiwi on Stewart Island. During that journey, my local friend introduced me to iNaturalist.

Now residing in Shenzhen, China, Qin participates in biodiversity surveys, makes trail signs, and shoots nature documentaries. It was while filming a ten minute documentary at the Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park this past March where he and his team came across an Erismanthus sinensis plant blooming near a waterfall in Bawangling National Natural Reserve.

The flowers are very beautiful, like natural earrings. We couldn’t help but spend maybe ten minutes taking pictures. Now my friend Wucheng, a jewelry designer, is working to turn its flower image into art jewelry, so that more people can know its beauty.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find much information about this species online, but Qin notes it’s one of only two species in its genus (the other is Erismanthus obliquus). It’s found in Southeast Asia and can grow from 3 to 11 meters tall. 

Since joining iNat in 2018, Qin (above, in Qinghai Province) has uploaded over ten thousand observations to iNaturalist, from China and all over the world, and tells me 

Through this platform, I have expanded my understanding and knowledge of nature, communicating with nature lovers from all over the world. Although it is not big enough, it is also a window for more people to understand the wildness of China.

Some quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and flow. Photo of Qin Huang by Demeng Jiang.

- is a member of Family Euphorbiaceae, check out the most-faved observations of this plant family!

- Bawangling National Nature Reserve is the only home to the Hainan gibbon, perhaps the rarest primate on the planet.

Posted by tiwane tiwane, June 29, 2021 11:46 PM


The hainan gibbon link does not work. I think only members of Tumblr can see it?

Posted by pcjentsch over 1 year ago (Flag)

Well done, what a great plant!

Posted by susanhewitt over 1 year ago (Flag)

Nice pics, congrats @qin_huang , it is always a pleasure to see your beautiful photos of China's biodiversity!

Posted by cdelrio over 1 year ago (Flag)

Maybe you can find more information about Hainan gibbons on the following page @pcjentsch

Posted by qin_huang over 1 year ago (Flag)

Sorry about that. It's just a link to the iNat page for that species. Should be fixed now.

Posted by tiwane over 1 year ago (Flag)

What a find, congratulations @qin_huang!

Posted by tkoffel over 1 year ago (Flag)

Wow, fantastic! Congratulations!

Posted by robinellison over 1 year ago (Flag)

Very unusual plant - thanks for sharing!

Posted by dinofelis over 1 year ago (Flag)

Thanks for sharing! Great flower!

Posted by sonnekke over 1 year ago (Flag)

Great observation,beautiful flower

Posted by karthikeyaeco over 1 year ago (Flag)

So much beauty in the world to delight our eyes and tickle our sense of adventure. Thank you for sharing Qin Huang. :-)

Posted by arlenedevitt over 1 year ago (Flag)

What an excellent idea to mimic the flowers as jewellery!

Posted by benjamin_walton over 1 year ago (Flag)

Thank you for your support, I am very happy to share the beauty of nature with you
Another great news for today is that we photographed a wild whale on the coast of Shenzhen for the first time. It is probably a Bryde's whale. I will upload my observation later.

Posted by qin_huang over 1 year ago (Flag)

Congratulations for this wonderful observations :) .

Posted by mariejoseegarand over 1 year ago (Flag)

Such a stunning flower. Enjoyed reading the narrative of your journey in appreciating nature :) Look forward to seeing the wild Whale photos. In South Africa, Durban we have just had the Welcoming the Whales festival.

Posted by margaretburger over 1 year ago (Flag)

Lovely pictures of a terrific find! @qin_huang If your friend Wucheng ends up making art jewelry of any flowering plants, and can ship overseas, please post a link so we can support them!

Posted by actuallyaxley over 1 year ago (Flag)


Posted by zhangshen over 1 year ago (Flag)

Such beautiful flowers! Really enjoyed reading this article. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your finds.

Posted by roserobin over 1 year ago (Flag)


Posted by qin_huang over 1 year ago (Flag)

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