In 1986, camellia was officially made the city flower of Chongqing.
Camellia is the evergreen shrubs in the theaceae family which has a long florescence, tolerates pollution and is easy to plant. There are 73 existing species. The flowers have bright colors, varying from pink, purplish red, to white and multiple colors. The petals have a variety of patterns.
Camellia has been cultivated in Chongqing for more than 2,000 years and is applied and praised a lot. Su Shi (1037--1101), a famous poet of the Song Dynasty, wrote some famous sentences in praise of camellia: 'With all the pollen taken by the humming bees, the flowers remain fragrant, sweet as honey.' In Zhiziqiao, Shigang, Banan District, an ancient camellia tree of 400 years old is still alive, 8m in height and 72 cm in diameter. Camellia can be found everywhere in Chongqing, in parks, scenic spots, in front of the houses, and on balconies of tall buildings.
The ficus lacor was officially made the city tree of Chongqing in 1986.
Ficus lacor is the tree with deciduous leaves, of banyan genus in the mulberry family. With its deep roots, strong trunk, and thriving branches and leaves, it has great vitality, grows fast, and enjoys a long life. The tree can grow on thin soil in hot, damp climate, and is pollution resisting. It can even grow well on high cliffs.
There are many places in Chongqing named after the tree, 'huangge', as the local people pronounce it. The fact is witnessed by ancient books. An ancient book Shui Jing Zhu (A Record of Rivers) of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386 - 534 A. D.), noted, 'the water (of the Yangtze) then goes east through the Huangge Gorge (known as Tongluo Gorge today).' And in the Tu Jing (A Book of Pictures) of the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279) described 'At the foot of Tushan Mountain, there are huangge trees (ficus lacor); and below the trees there is the Huangge Ferry Crossing'. In Chongqing today, there are quite a number of places named after the tree: Huanggeya, Huanggeping, for instance.