Botany

A staff member takes photos of cherry blossoms at Wuhan University, 17 March 2020. (STR/AFP)

[Photo story] Cherry blossoms are blooming in Wuhan, but is it spring yet?

In these days of Covid-19, the world needs hope. As spring descends and the world renews itself, the cherry blossoms in Wuhan — where the coronavirus was first reported — remind us to take heart that no matter how long it takes, this too shall pass. (Did you know that the cherry blossoms in Wuhan University were first planted by the Japanese army during WWII?)
The wintersweet, the last remaining breath of fresh air in this cold, dark, chilly winter of Jiangnan. (iStock)

Wintersweet scents in Jiangnan

Cheng Pei-kai grows despondent on a dark day of winter in Suzhou, but perks up instantly with one whiff of wintersweet’s enigmatic scent.