Red cotton flowers in full bloom

Hoa gao (kapok or cotton flower), which is also known as Moc Mien, often comes in full bloom in March. The flower is mostly seen in the north of the country. The flower has five big petals in a bright red colour.

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Red cotton flowers in full bloom
Young women in traditional long dress under a kapok tree in Yen Mo District, the northern province of Ninh Binh.

Large old gao trees, ancient wells and communal houses are common features of rural villages.

Red cotton flowers in full bloom
An old kapok tree in Ngai Communal House in the northern province of Thai Binh.

The tree is called Po Lang in the Central Highlands region. It is said to have originated in India before being taken to Indonesia, China, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Red cotton flowers in full bloom
A kapok tree in Nga Son, Thanh Hoa.

This year the weather will get warm soon so the flowers will come into full bloom sooner.

 
Red cotton flowers in full bloom

Bright red flowers signal the end of spring.

Red cotton flowers in full bloom
The tranquil beauty of a village in Nga Son District, the central province of Thanh Hoa. VNS Photos Viet Ho

The flowers stay beautiful for a few weeks before falling when summer comes. Then the young buds of leaves will appear on bare branches.

VNS