Poetic beauty: 10 most significant flowers in China

By Li Hongrui | chinadaily.com.cn | 2017-03-01 10:13

Poetic beauty: 10 most significant flowers in China

Sweet-scented osmanthus and Chinese ink paintings of the flower. [Photo/VCG; artron.net]

Sweet-scented osmanthus

In her poem, Li Qingzhao from the Song Dynasty, described osmanthus as "light yellow, with a soft body, only leave fragrant smell behind. light yellow, with a delicate figure, that only leaves fragrance behind; No need for bright greens and reds, the osmanthus is a flower destined to shine."

Planting sweet-scented osmanthus in China has a history of more than 2,500 years. Often blooming in August, the plant is also connected with Mid-Autumn Festival due to the fairy tale about a man named Wu Gang. Wu is ordered to cut down a large and strong osmanthus tree on the moon every day, yet the charmed tree never falls and has fragrant flowers each autumn. Wu is only allowed to have a rest for Mid-Autumn Festival.

The little yellow flowers are often added to porridge, cakes and tea to enhance the taste. In Guangxi province where many osmanthus trees are planted, the perfume produced by the flowers has become an important local specialty.

Click here to listen to a Chinese folk song: Fragrant Osmanthus in Jiangnan

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