10:57 | 23/05/2019 Society
An autumn symbol in Hanoi, milk flowers have bloomed months earlier, giving residents a soothing, fragrant respite from scorching heat.
If lotus, lagerstroemia and other flamboyant flowers are the iconic features of Hanoi in summer, the hoa sua, or milk flower, is an autumn highlight of the capital city, blooming and exuding their special fragrance from early September until November.
But this year, in the middle of May, the hoa sua trees on many streets like Duy Tan, Tran Duy Hung, Nguyen Du, Quan Thanh and Nguyen Du in downtown Hanoi are in bloom, taking Hanoians by surprise.
|Milk flowers and bright red gulmohur flowers (hoa phuong) both blossom by To Lich River|
Experts are blaming the sudden change in weather for the early blooming of the milk flowers this year. The last winter-spring season was warmer than usual, stimulating the flowers to bloom sooner than usual, they say.
The milk flower trees that line several streets are perfuming the night air and creating a romantic aura for young couples. Hanoians say that the best time to visit the capital city is when the milk flowers bloom.
For many generations of Hanoians, milk flowers are the sign that autumn has arrived, while gulmohur flowers signal the coming of summer.