In our ongoing mission for citizen engagement, we’ve made a cute little video to tell people about #BauhiniaWatch.
Bauhinia Watch is the part of this Bauhinia Genome science project that truly anyone can get involved with – that means you! An important part of science is to know about what’s happening outside of the lab… in the real world. The government knows of about 25,000 Bauhinia blakeana trees in Hong Kong (it planted them) but we are less sure of wild Bauhinia variegata and Bauhinia purpurea trees and of course, if there are any other wild Bauhinia blakeana trees -the last wild one was the first one discovered over a hundred years ago, finding another one would be big news!!
We’re really keen to know how many of these trees there are, where they are, when they flower and when they seed. This is proper bioscience research and it’s way too big a job for any team of scientists – that’s why it needs you, the people of Hong Kong!
There is also the ever important mystery of the seeding Bauhinia blakeana – Hong Kong’s emblem is a sterile hybrid meaning it doesn’t normally produce seeds but for years reports have come in from around the world that people might have seen a tree with seeds (some reports from as far away as Greece!). Finding a seeding Bauhinia blakeana would be an incredible find that would get the science community in a real buzz! Are you the one that’s going to find the seeding blakeana?
You can record your sightings on our Google form (click here) and you can get info on how to identify the 3 common Bauhinia trees over on our Know your Bauhinia page (click here) .
You really can help this science project so please do, get involved!