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The four southern islands of Penghu have magnificent geological landscapes and rich marine ecology. It also has conserved distinctive traditional architectures which have attracted many tourists in recent years. Among these visits, tourists must have come across beautiful and peculiar local plants along the paths or the trail leading to the Dongji Lighthouse. However, visitors may not always take a closer look. According to our research in recent years, a total of 268 species of plants in 178 genera of 64 families, including 162 native species, have been recorded in South Penghu Marine National Park. Despite the harsh environment of this small island, many species thrive. As long as we are willing to slow down and look for the plants in different environments. We can appreciate their survival skills and wisdom on the sandy beach, rocky shore, mesa, or rocky coast.

 

In the early days, the inhabitants of theSouth Penghu Marine National Park lived mostly by fishing. At the same time, the industrious ancestors worked hard to create farmland on the top of a mesa to grow vegetables and dry crops such as sweet potatoes and sorghum for daily needs. The ancestors collected the special weed (named as Hsiang-Ju in Chinese) to make beverages. Children pick flowers and grasses to make various children's games. During the period of Japanese rule, river tamarind was introduced as charcoal material, and agave and pencil cactus were used as natural barriers against air landing and landing. As the times and industries changed and the population moved out of the area, the arable land gradually became barren.

 

The four southern islands of Penghu depend only on rainfall for freshwater. The harsh environment characterized by shallow soil, high salt content, strong sunlight, and strong wind makes it difficult for plants to grow. Therefore, low herbaceous plant communities are the main dominant vegetation type, with grasses (Poaceae or Gramineae), sedge (Cyperaceae), daisy (Asteraceae), and legumes (Fabaceae) being the dominant species.

 

This herbaceous vegetation habitat gives the site a different look with the change of seasons.

In autumn and winter, the cold northeastern monsoon and drought make the grasses dry and yellow. Nevertheless, when the sun sets, it is splashed with dazzling golden color. In early spring, the rains moisten the island. The lifeless island is instantly tinted with a more or less green color with a variety of flowers dotted among. It's become alive.

 

Plants are not only the most basic producers but also decorate the landscape of the four southern islands of Penghu. Through the study of flora succession, we can get a glimpse of the changes of the local plant community along with the change of industrial structure of Penghu South Island. This study not only serves as a basis for maintaining the biodiversity of the area but also aims to let more people understand and love the plants of the area. Therefore, this plant guide book selects nearly 80 common or distinctive plants, together with rich and wonderful photos to invite you to walk into the flowers and plants of the four southern islands.

 

 

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