|Artificial plum/cherry blossom flowers at a store in Kuala Lumpur Chinatown.|
There is a special flower that we associate with the Chinese New Year that no matter where we are and what our climate zone, you will find them in almost every home during the festive season. Just like poinsettias are for Christmas, plum blossoms are important for Chinese New Year.
Have you seen the real plum blossoms?
As I live in tropical equatorial Malaysia, I have never seen real plum blossoms. Every year I use artificial ones to decorate my home during this occassion. I just found out that there are real blossoms on display at Sunway Pyramid shopping mall in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia! So, I'm really excited and I shall be dashing over there as soon as I am free because I wanna see, touch and smell for the very first time what the real plum blossoms are like. I can hardly wait for this to happen.
|Pink plum blossoms|
In my previous post here, I posted about my wish to see plum blossoms this new year. I am so very happy to have the pictures of these lovely flowers in my blog post today.
The pink blossoms pictured here are published with permission from Lynn Rogers at 'From Lynn's Garden' blog in her post on 19 Jan 2011, titled, "Plants for Winter Blooms". I was doing a google search for blooming plum blossoms. It was my first visit to her blog and when I left a comment in her post, she replied to me with 3 photos attached! This just shows what a wonderful person she is and how lucky I am.
The flowers are blooming in her garden in Arkansas, USA now. Lynn, thank you so very much for this delight.
|White plum blossoms|
Coincidentally, Prof Lrong Lim of Potager Y in Japan blog, wrote a post titled, "Japan Plum Flowers, Winter Roses" on 23 Jan 2011 with a picture of the white plum blossoms. Now, with his kind permission, I am able to publish this photo in my blog. These flowers are blooming in the garden of Lrong in Japan now. Prof, my very grateful thanks to you and your lovely wife, Y, for this delight.
So you see, it is 'double happiness' for me!
Guess what? They really bloom in winter where everthing else appear 'dead and gloomy' and in the absence of any green leaves or shoots. In fact, the flowers appear before the leaves. They are so many pretty blooms against the bare branches, such a beautiful scene. I wonder, how they'll look when covered with snow.
Have you seen snow/frost on the flowers?
“Mei Hua Plum Blossoms for Chinese New Year 2011”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ http://www.mynicegarden.com/ on January 30th, 2011.
I understand that Prunus mume is grown more for their flowers than the fruits. Based on my google search, these are the information I obtained:
- They bloom in late January to early February.
- Plum blossom festivals are held at certain cities in China, Japan and Korea.
- There are some ancient trees in Hubei, China aged more than 1,600 years old that are still flowering
Plum blossoms are symbols of nobility, beauty, courage, resilience, longevity and hope. They also represent strength in adversity, e.g. people who excel when faced with difficulties or find opportunities in the presence of threats. Though plum trees bloom in winter, they are regarded as a harbinger of spring.
So, what's the difference between cherry, plum and peach blossoms? It is the fruits produced of course and they have different blooming periods. Cherry trees (Prunus serralate) or Sakura bloom in late March for about 2 weeks. The cherry fruits that we eat comes from another species Prunus avium. Peach trees (Prunus persica) bloom in early spring.
They all belong to the Rosaceae or rose family of flowering plants. The cherry, plum and peach blossoms look quite similar, hence they are sometimes collectively called 'cherry blossoms'. I used to be confused over this classification.
For feng shui believers, peach blossoms (flower of romance) and peonies (flower of lust and passion) are used to enhance love, affection and relationship luck while plum blossoms are for nobility, longevity, achievement and strength. Hence, their applications are different eventhough all 3 relates to beauty. It is important that they know the differences between the different flowers in order to apply the principles correctly.
For a picture of the real peony flower, please visit Beth's Plant Postings blog here.
For a picture of peach blossoms, please visit Ami's Southeast Florida Garden Evolvement blog here.