The Reevesia Thyrsoidea tree- used to make rope and other products in Hong Kong

HF: While walking along the section of the Wong Nai Chung Tree Walk (part of the Wong Nai Chung Gap Trail) where it passes above the Hong Kong Cricket Club, on Saturday 6th January 2018, I came across the following Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department sign in front of a rather anonymous tree, a Reevesia (Reevesia thyrsoidea). Somewhat of a coincidence given that I have just reposted a couple of our articles about the Hongkong Rope Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Why? Read on…

“The most striking feature is the greyish- brown bark with artistic deep fissures. This evergreen tree of the Stercloiaceae family has high functional value. The bark fibres are fine material for ropes, sacs [sacks?] and paper.

Reevesia is widely distributed in Asia but the earliest record was made by a British man, John Reeves who lived in Guangzhou, thus the scientific name Reevesia thyrsoidea.”

It would be of great interest to learn more about the use of this tree in Hong Kong in the manufacturing of rope or any other products.

Or of the Tetracera Asiatica, the leaves of which were apparently used for polishing ivory chopsticks and tinware…see our article, linked below.

Tree Reevesia Thyrsoidea Image

The Reevesia thyrsoidea is “distributed widely in Southern China and Indo-China. Commonly seen on the Victoria Peak, especially by the side of Lugard Road overlooking the harbour… the tree is named after John Reeves, an English resident of Canton, who first discovered it. (1)


  1. Hong Kong Trees, SL Thrower, Urban Council, 1988

This article was first posted on 7th January 2018.


John Reeves, naturalist biography

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. 13 Ivory Chopsticks – made in Hong Kong? – Rough leaves of the sandpaper vine, Tetracera Asiatica, were used for polishing ivory chopsticks and tinware…
  2. Rope-making and Dyeing/Calendering on Ap Lei Chau Island. 1971 RASHKB article
  3. Rope Making in Hong Kong – Sai Ying Pun 1970s + Kowloon 1945
  4. Yau Ma Tei – origin of place name from rope making?
  5. The Hongkong Rope Manufacturing Co., Ltd

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