Pansies take pride of place at 18th annual flower show

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 March, 2004, 12:00am

Rainbows of flowers, rare bonsais and shrubs as well as mushrooms, butterflies and fish will be competing for attention in Victoria Park for 10 days starting today.


At Hong Kong's 18th annual flower show, thousands of plants - grown locally or from 17 countries - will greet the estimated 550,000 visitors who will stroll through the show.


Themed 'Pansy Fantasia', the Viola tricolor, more commonly known as the pansy, will be the star of this year's show.


'We have a different theme each year and this year it's the pansy. We picked it because it's a tropical flower that will be in full and bright blossom at this time of the year,' said show steering committee chairman Eddy Yau Kwok-yin, who is also an assistant director of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which organised this year's show for the fifth time.


The cost of this year's show was expected to be about the same as last year's $8.4 million, with about $5.4 million to be recouped, Mr Yau said.


Near the west-facing entrance is Ocean Park's 'Regeneration Cycle in Nature' exhibition, which showcases edible mushrooms, brightly coloured kois, flapping butterflies and flesh-eating plants.


'We hope to educate as well as entertain,' Ocean Park spokeswoman Maggie Lee said.


When it came to mushrooms, the park aimed to enlighten the public to the fact that the fungi were not plants and that they were useful as they decomposed and recycled useful nutrients back into the soil, she said.


A few steps away from Ocean Park's display is Disney's world of fantasy in the form of waltzing animals grown out of ivy and creeping fig. Woven into the leaves are carnations and forget-me-nots.


Admission to the show, which ends on March 14, is $14 for adults and $7 for children. For further information, visit www.lcsd.gov.hk, or call 2723 6232.