Top 10 Flowers In Chinese Culture

Flowers have a privileged position in Chinese culture. They are considered an indelible part of Chinese’s collective consciousness. Chinese believe that flowers convey positive messages and play a significant role in the day to day folk life. Here collected are the 10 most important flowers in Chinese culture; each flower has its unique traditional meaning.

1. Plum Blossom (梅花)

In Chinese culture the plum blossom is considered as “friend of winter.” It represents the value of endurance, as Chinese people are always indomitable and constantly strive to become stronger. As the Chinese poem goes, “the fragrance of plum blossom comes from bitterness and coldness”. Souls are tempered through the sufferings, growing in inner strength and unbending spirit.

2. Peony (牡丹)

Peony is the country’s most significant flower and is considered by many as the country’s national flower (not officially declared). Peony symbolizes riches, prosperity and honor. In Chinese history peonies in Luoyang are praised as the finest in the country and a peony festival is held in Luoyang between April and May each year.

3. Chrysanthemum (菊花)

Chrysanthemums originated in China and are well liked by Chinese. In traditional Chinese culture, chrysanthemums represent nobility and elegance. Chrysanthemums bloom in the late autumn, so its ability to withstand the coldness inspired many ancient scholars to write poems and paint pictures.

4. Orchid (兰花)


Orchid has been particularly favored by Chinese scholars since ancient times, as in Chinese culture it represents integrity, nobility and friendship, all of which are virtues of a perfectly cultured gentleman and scholar. Orchid was compared by Chinese philosopher Confucius to a virtuous man. Echoing this thought, many Chinese artists like to put orchid in their work of art.

5. China rose (月季)

Rosa chinensis, or China Rose is regarded as “queen of flowers.” It blooms all year and varies greatly in color and may open red, creamy white, or yellow. China Rose is endowed with and dauntless spirit  and is declared as city flowers by about 50 China cities including Beijing.

6. Camellia (茶花)

Camellia sinensis is a kind of plant whose leaves and leaf buds can be used to make tea. Camellia is native to east Yangtze River Basin, Pearl River Basin and Yunnan Province. In the south, they are planted in the yards, but are potted flower in the north.

7. Azaleas (杜鹃)

Azaleas bloom in spring and open in various colors such as red, pink and white, their flowers often last several weeks. Colorful azaleas represent happiness and prosperity and can always evoke people’s warm passion for life. Azalea is provincial flower of Jiangxi, Anhui and Guizhou provinces.

8. Lotus (荷花)

The lotus flower has been favored by Chinese for hundreds of years. Chinese believe that the lotus represents purity, long life, humility and honor. Chinese have a particular fondness for lotus flowers. The appreciation of the lotus flowers has developed into a unique “Lotus culture.”

9. Osmanthus (桂花)

Osmanthus give out strong yummy flavors. In ancient China a quite large number of poets praised osmanthus in their poems. Chinese people infuse osmanthus flowers with green or black tea leaves, creating a scented tea called guì huā chá.

10. Narcissus (水仙)

The narcissus is known in Chinese language as the “water goddess.” The flower is said to have occult value that it can rout out evil spirits. The narcissus is native to China and is mainly distributed Zhejiang, Fujian and other regions.

3 Responses

  1. Francis says:

    Thank you, I’m decorating my home, living room African, dinning room Chinese, 1st bathroom Egyptian, master bathroom All white and glitter,my son room Cincinnati Reds( his nickname is Big Red😁 extra bedroom,will be my bar room, so thanks for helping me pick out my dinning room table flower arrangement 😁

  2. TY says:

    I like the photos of the flowers

  3. Lolo Smith says:

    Wow! This is plenty informative, however, it would make sense if you included the dynasty in which each flower originated. This way, it would have extra information, providing readers better content.😉

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