History of Yellow Mountain
The Yellow Mountains known as Yishan in the Qin Dynasty (221 -207 B.C.) got their present name in 747 A.D. (the 6th year of the Tianbao reign of the Tang Dynasty), when Li Bai (701 -762), the great Tang poet, wrote about them in these lines:
Thousands of feet high towers the Yellow Mountains
With its thirty-two magnificent peaks,
Blooming like golden lotus flowers.
Amidst red crags and rock columns.
What to see in Yellow Mountain?
The Yellow Mountains are a marvel within an area of 154 square kilometres there is a crowd of peaks, 72 of which have names indicating the shapes they resemble. Lotus Brightness Apex and Celestial Capital are the three major ones, all rising above 1,800 metres. The mountains are a body of granite, often with vertical joints. Erosion and fracture contributed to shape the rocks into huge columns giving rise to lofty peaks and deep ravines. When it is cloudy the pinnacles loom in mists as if they were visionary, while in sunshine they unfold in all their majesty and splendour.
Scenery by season
The Yellow Mountains change their colour and appearance with the alternation of seasons. In spring blooming flowers decorate the slopes in a riot of colour and fill the valleys with fragrance, in summer you see verdured peaks rising one upon another and near springs gurgling merrily. Autumn dresses the mountains in red and purple, as maples are all blazing - red; winter turns them into a world of frost and ice with silver boughs and rocks everywhere. So from ancient times it has been frequented by tourists seeking their mystery and admiring their scenery. They come to the conclusion that the fantastic pines, the grotesque rocks, the sea of clouds and the hot springs are the four major attractions of the Yellow Mountains.
As a matter of fact there are marvels almost everywhere especially in the following scenic areas: Wenguan (Hot Spring), Yupinglou (Jade Screen Tower), Xihai (West Sea), Beihai (North Sea), Yungusi (Cloud Valley Temple) and Songguan (Pine Valley Nunnery).
Plants & Animals in Yellow Mountain
Owing to the peculiar terrain, the Yellow Mountains' climate is marked by a vertical change, and the vertical distribution of vegetation is also distinctive: plants on the summit, on the middle levels and at the foot belong to the frigid, temperate and subtropical zones respectively. There are more than 1500 species of plants, of which trees comprise one third. So the Yellow Mountains occupy an important place in China's botanical research. Here you will find century-old pines, firs ginkgoes, Chinese torreyas, Chinese sweet gums, nanmus, camphorwoods and the precious Magua trees, remnants of the glacial era.
The Yellow Mountains abound in flowering plants; many of them are rare ones, such as Goddess Flower, the Yellow Mountains Azalea as well as camellia, plum, lily crape myrtle, orchid, Spring Herald Ina Flower and so on. It has a rich store of medicinal herbs; more than 300 kinds are found here, the notable ones being glossy ganoderma, ginseng, Chinese goldthread rhizome and Chinese cinnamon. Maofeng tea of the Yellow Mountains is well known at home and abroad.
According to the Directories of Plants in Huangshan, 1985, Huangshan senic spots have 1446 species of protophyte in 155 orders, 193 species of hemerophyte in 51 orders. the protophyte include 187 species of bryophyte in 114 genera and 127 species of pteridophyte in 57 genera. Those under the second-class state protection are Ginkgo biloba L., Emmenopterys henryi Oliv., Pseudotsuga gaussenii Flous, Pseudolarix kaempferi (Lindl. ) Gord., Eucommia ulmoides Oliv., Liriodendron chinense Sary., Cercidiphyllum japonicum Sieb. et Zucc., Kirengeshoma palmata Y. . Those under the third-class state protection are Tsuga tchekiangensis (Flous., Euptelea pleiosperma Hook. f. et Thoms, Magnolia officinalis Rehd. et Wils. Subsp. biloba(Rehd. et Wils., Magnolia cylindrica Wils., sorbus anabils Cheng ex Yu., Litsea auriculate Chien et Cheng., Magnolia sieboldii K. Koch., cinnamomum japonicum Sieb, Magnlia amoena Cheng, M etasequoia glyptostroboides Hu et Cheng, Pteroceltis tatarino Wii Maxim, Tapiscia sinensis Oliv, stewartia sinensis Rehd. dt Wils. Besides, Mt. Huangshan also preserves the ancient plants in the Tertiary and Quaternary period, which include Huperzia serrata (Thunb. )Nakai, Osmunda japonica Thunb., diploteruygium glaum (Thunb) Nakai, Ginkgo biloba L., Cephalotaxus fortunei Hook. F., Cephalotaxus. sinensis (Rehd et wils. ) Li, Pseudolaxix kaepferi(Lindl0 Gord), Liguidambar formosano hance., Manglietia formdiana Oliv., Aphanathe aspera (Thunb. ) Planch, etc.
These rare and ancient plants are of great viewing value and of scientific research significance. They can serve as important materials and experiment sites for probing into origins and history of various species.