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Hong Kong Flower Show opens today

The Hong Kong Flower Show 2006 opened at Victoria Park today (March 3), with 183 organisations taking part and more than 350,000 flowers on display.

The show's theme flower is the Dianthus with the theme of "Enchanting Beauty". The 10-day show, which runs until March 12, features more than 70,000 pots of the theme flower.

The flower show, organised each year by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), is a major event in promoting horticultural activities as it provides an opportunity for local people and horticulture lovers from around the world to appreciate the beauty of flowers and share their experience about growing flowers.

Officiating at today's opening ceremony were Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Anissa Wong; Legislative Councillors Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, Tam Heung-man, Emily Lau Wai-hing, Choy So-yuk, Andrew Cheng Kar-foo, Daniel Lam Wai-keung and Patrick Lau Sau-shing; Miss Hong Kong 2005, Tracy Ip and the Adviser to the Hong Kong Flower Show 2006, Professor Hu Shiu-ying.

A total of 183 organisations from 19 countries participate in the flower show. These organisations are from the Mainland, Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Korea is taking part for the first time.

The LCSD presents an elaborate display, using some 4,000 plants to make an Olympic emblem of "Five Rings" to celebrate Hong Kong as a co-organiser of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Equestrian events. The "Five Rings" comprise kalanchoes, cigar flowers and impatiens. The emblem is surrounded by spurting water jets and further decorated at the base with 30,000 dianthus flowers.

More than 15,000 tulips fill the showground with vibrant colours, providing a spectacular backdrop for photo-taking.

On display at the Special Exhibits corner is a rare double coconut. Its seed, weighing up to 15 kilograms, is the biggest and heaviest in the plant kingdom.

Other highlights are a floral wall displaying the 5th East Asian Games emblem and the displays presented by the Ocean Park Hong Kong, the Institute of Horticulture (Hong Kong) and the Bureau of Urban Utilities and Landscaping of Guangzhou Municipality.

Cherished by flower lovers for its brilliant colours, charming forms and long flowering period, Dianthus is a group of flowering plants belonging to the genus Dianthus of the family Caryophyllaceae. It has been extensively cultivated throughout the world, mainly in the Netherlands, Italy, Israel, the United States and Poland. There are more than 30,000 varieties. Those commonly found in Hong Kong are D. caryophyllus, D. barbatus, D. plumarius and D. deltoids.

A series of fringe activities complement the 10-day flower show for the enjoyment of visitors. They include music and dance performances, floral art demonstrations and fun games.

The Hong Kong Flower Show opens from 9am to 9pm from today to March 12. Admission tickets to the flower show are sold at the entrance to the showground at Victoria Park throughout the show period. They are also available now until March 12 at the Leisure and Cultural Services Department's District Leisure Services Offices, and venues with Leisure Link services.

Admission for adults is $14. Children aged four to 14, students, senior citizens aged 60 or over and people with a disability pay half price. Senior citizens and people with a disability have free admission on weekdays and adults in a group of 30 or more admitted at the same time will pay half price on weekdays.

For enquiries, please call 2697 8030, fax 2691 7264 or visit the LCSD website at .

Ends/Friday, March 3, 2006

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