Magnolia tree to symbolize friendship between Buffalo & its Chinese sister city

July 12, 2016
ceremony with Chinese at Botanical Gardens

David J. Swarts, president/CEO of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, greets the 40-member Chinese delegation at the ceremony marking the gift of a magnolia tree from Buffalo’s sister city Changzhou. From left are Erin Markle, director of Buffalo China Sister Cities; Maria Whyte, deputy Erie County executive; Yu Pei, deputy director of Changzhou’s foreign affairs office, and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

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.

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One Response to Magnolia tree to symbolize friendship between Buffalo & its Chinese sister city

  1. Donna on July 15, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Love the fragrance of the Magnolia.

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