4 September 2019

Daylilies season in Taidong's Taimali

I prepared for this trip quite long time. Isearched places on a Google maps about a month before we went. I felt like checking every place that someone add photos there... It's a little annoying thing to do, but this way I hope to find places not many foreigners been too. Also husband's uncle showed us some places that local people would go.
We planed 8 days long holiday in Taidong and Hualien. Unfortunately we had to get back just after 3 days there, due to our son's illness. We still have seen few places around, which I'll post in the future. First we started our travel visiting Jinjinshan in Taimali. From our place in Shanhua, Tainan, it took about 4-4,5 hours to drive to there. Also an important thing, if you want to drive to there, please don't follow GPS in the mountains. It's not difficult to drive following signs on the road there, while GPS mistaken roads plenty of times. Also the sea view seen from hills was very beautiful. I still hoped to see two other mountains with those flowers in Hualien, but unfortunately didn't get chance. Hope next year maybe will back to east of Taiwan. It was really an amazing view I can't easily forget.

Eastern Taiwan's mountains are the main places to watch daylilies in bloom. In Chinese those flowers are also known as Golden Needle Flowers (金針花). Every August - September mountains become covered with orange flowers. Flowering of daylilies last less than 24 hours. The flowers open in the morning and every night are replaced by another flowers.

To Jinjinshan, you can go up the industrial road along the Taima Lixi River from Taimali Station. The whole journey is 11 kilometers and takes about 35 minutes. The prospects along the way are good and the scenery is beautiful. Even if it is not the golden needle season, there is a worthwhile trip. Local farmers plant many cherry blossoms on the farm. From the end of January to March, the cherry blossoms in Taimali are in full bloom and artists come to paint the beautiful scenery.
In the wilderness of Taimali, due to the famous flower of the Golden Needle, the local B&B and hotel in Taimali are in response to the tourist tour.

Daylilies are native to Asia. There are more than 80,000 cultivars of those flowers. Taitung has area of 3800 hectares planted with daylilies. The area covers Taimali, Chihshang, Jinfong and Changbin towns. The most popular area which brings many travelers is Taimali. Daylilies are planted 1450 meters above sea level. Low temperatures with high humidity are perfect for growing those flowers. The plant of the genus Liliaceae is very strong in adapting to the environment. The golden needle flower is grown and cultivated at an altitude of 700 to 1000 meters. In addition to the coastal plains, most of them are mountainous. This place is the most famous for the golden needle flower. In the summer season, the golden needles of the mountains and plains are always attracting a large number of tourists. The viewing or harvesting lasts from June to December every year. The best viewing period is from August to September. At present, Taiwan’s golden needles are mostly edible and ornamental varieties.

Because of its beautiful flower pattern and bright colors, it has the reputation of "beauty of the day" in Europe and America. The Chinese also call it "Mother Flower", because the finished product is golden yellow and has a needle shape, it is named "Golden Needle" and "Yellow Cabbage" in terms of its color, shape and use.. Those flowers are planted for culinary use, especially soup and sold to many restaurant around Taiwan. Nearly all parts of dailily are edible. They can be eaten raw, cooked or deep fried. Those flowers can be made into dried vegetables by steaming and drying.
Daylilies are also used as natural dye. This plant is high in protein, fat and carbs. Contains vit C, carotene, calcium, potassium. The roots of daylilies has anti-tumour compounds. They can also relieve pain, prevent vomiting, relaxes muscle spasms and cramps, reduce fever and helps sleep. 

The development of cultivation those flowers in eastern Taiwan started in 1959 after tragic flood. Thousands of hectares of farmlands was damaged in central and southwestern Taiwan. Many of local farmers relocated to Hualien and Taitung and started growing daylilies. 
The original species of daylilies came from Alishan. At the moment Alishan was the center of farming those flowers. Since that time fields in Alishan was almost completely replaced by tea plantations. 

In 1997 the Taimali Farmers Association started promote tourism. They advised plantators not to pick flowers before they was blooming. The campaign was really successful. Farms started to operate restaurants and tourists accommodation. About 15% of Daylilies are allowed to bloom to attract tourists. Originally daylilies are grown in high-altitude locations. In 1990 in Taitung was developed new species which grows from sea level up to 200 meters. As a result the cultivation of daylilies increased.

Jialun Industry Road, Jinfeng Township, Taitung County, 964

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