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Ejin Huyang Forest: The Spirit of Desert

Dec 10, 2009

This video clip is from Hero (2002), a Chinese wuxia film directed by Zhang Yimou. This movie got very good recognition to western audience, who were mostly astonished by its poetic scenic photographic throughout the entire movie.

This part, as shown in the clip, featured two colors: yellow and red. The red is what the actresses wear; the yellow is what I will introduce to you today: Huyang Forest.

The movie was shot at Ejin Huyang Forest. Ejin Banner is located at the northern border of China, is the most western part of Inner Mongolia. Ejin Huyang Forest is one of the three Largest Huyang Forests in the world.

Huyang – the ONLY tree specie in desert

Huyang (scientific name: Populus euphratica), also known as hero tree, Populus heterophylla, often grow in the desert. Huyang is the only tree species that grows in the desert. It is very valuable, like a “living fossil plant”, comparable to the ginkgo tree.

Hundreds of years ago, it has been widely distributed in warm temperate regions of western China as well as Central Asia; Today, 90% of all Huyang are located in China. Only a small amount can be seen outside the country.

More than 90% of Huyang in China are curled up in southern Xinjiang’s Tarim Basin. The others are distributed in the Qaidam Basin, Hexi Corridor, and some desert rivers in Alxa League, to which Ejin Banner belongs.

Three Thousand Years of Life

Huyang has a very strong vitality. It can survive in extreme cold, drought, salinity, wind and sand. There is a saying to describe its strong vitality: “Live for a thousand years until death; Stand for another thousand years until fallen; Exist for another thousand years until rotten.” This is the spirit of life in desert; it is also the precious spirit of people who understand them.

In the end, let’s enjoy some beautiful pictures taken a month ago at Ejin Huyang Forest.

Photos are generously provided by H-J Sun, Copyrights All Reserved.

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