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A blooming autumn surprise

SHANGHAI’S see-sawing temperatures of late have given residents a treat — the abnormal blooming of spring flowers such as magnolia and begonia.

Several magnolia trees in People’s Square have flowered because of the unusually warm weather, with maximums above 30 degrees Celsius as recently as Tuesday.

“Normally, magnolia will experience a period of dormancy after its spring bloom,” said Wang Yuqin, a botanist at the Shanghai Botanical Garden in Xuhui District.

“But the recent abrupt rise of temperature broke its dormancy.”

The just-passed summer’s record high temperatures caused many magnolia leaves to fall and they have now sprouted,” Wang said. But the abnormal blooming will mean fewer flowers next spring.

Rain and warm weather also led to the flowering of white magnolia — the city’s flower — and the Guyi Garden in Jiading District saw the rare blooming of begonia.

Some spring plants were unable to adapt to the unusually high temperatures and abundant rain, causing them to flower as a natural protection, the company operating the garden said.

Temperatures will be stable in the coming days, but keep your umbrella with you.

Today should be overcast, with temperatures ranging between 17 and 21 degrees Celsius, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

Rain, from drizzle to moderate, is forecast for tomorrow, with a low of 18. Sunday is expected to be rainy, with temperatures of 19-22.

Drizzle will continue on Monday, when the maximum should be 22. Tuesday will remain overcast with temperatures of 19-23.

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