by Connie Oswald Stofko
A magnolia tree will be a symbol of the friendship between Buffalo and its sister city in China, Changzhou.
A ceremony was held yesterday at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens to mark the gift. The event was attended by a 40-person delegation from China consisting of Changzhou’s government officials, performers, businesspeople and a Chinese television crew.
The crew is shooting a documentary called “A Tale of Two Cities,” highlighting the cultural and arts exchanges between the two sister cities.
There was a ceremonial planting, but the tree is still just a seed. Several magnolia seeds will be planted in pots and nurtured until one is large enough to be put on exhibit at the Botanical Gardens. It will be displayed indoors; it isn’t winter hardy.
The official tree of Changzhou, the magnolia is a majestic tree with a fragrant flower, said Erin Markle, director of Buffalo China Sister Cities. The bark and flower have been used for centuries in Chinese medicine.
“It will grow and stand as a testament to our friendship,” Markle said.