For a country as steeped in history and tradition as China, choosing a single flower to represent the immense population and the determination of its people is an enormous undertaking. However, five thousand years of history and culture can be represented in a single flower from this beautiful country – the plum blossom.
The State Flower of China
Indeed the diversity of the country and its enormous population make it a bit challenging to narrow down a single flower as best representing the country as a whole. While the plum blossom and its promise of spring and a shining future does ensconce the pride and promise of the people, other flowers have shown up in Chinese art and images for millennia.
Thus, while the plum blossom might be officially recognized as the national flower of China, other flowers can easily claim to be the favorite flower of China or the most notable flowers of China. The two flowers that vie for the coveted state flower of China position are the narcissus and tree peony. In fact, the recent 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing brought this floral discussion to the forefront as many debated the merits of several flowers for the right to represent the most populated country in the world.
After much discussion about the historical aspects of the tree peony and the plum blossom and their roles in the culture and representation of China as a unified country, it is believed that the plum blossom won out not only because it is so often featured in the art of the country, both ancient and modern, but for its added symbolism. The plum blossom is the first bloom of early spring in China.
The appearance of the plum blossom symbolizes the end of the barren winter and the beginning of the lush greenery of spring. Indeed, as China positions itself as a recognized world power, the plum blossom might be representing the country’s fertile future.
Growing Plum Blossoms
A flowering plum tree grows best in mild climates and will require a bit of care. The ornamental blossoming tree likes full sun and the plum blossoms appear just as winter is ending and spring begins. Despite its name, the flowing plum tree is ornamental rather than fruit-bearing and will not produce edible fruit.