Count Your Blessings!

With love and passion, everyone can have a nice garden...Elaine Yim

Count Your Blessings!
Count The Garden By The Flowers, Never By The Leaves That Fall.
Count Your Life With Smiles And Not The Tears That Roll.
..... Author unknown.

Knowing me, Knowing you..... Aha.....!

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Malaysian Flora USDA Zone 11
Welcome to our exotic world of everlasting summers and tropical rainforests!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Chinese New Year Plants and Flowers 2016

1. Calla Lilies
This year Chinese New Year falls on Monday, 8th February 2016 and Lichun Day is on Thursday, 4th February 2016.

2016 is the Year of the yang fire Monkey and it starts on February 4th, Lichun Day (立春) at 5:45 pm local Malaysian time. Lichun denotes the start of the first solar term and beginning of spring in ancient China. It is a day when farmers would traditionally hold prayers to the gods for a prosperous year ahead hoping for a good harvest.  It is a time when farmers go back to the fields and begin work after a long winter's break.

The nurseries have started selling Chinese New Year plants and flowers and here are some preliminary pictures.

Dahlias are called "da li ju:" 大麗菊 = big/very beautiful chrysanthemum.
Perhaps "li" sounds like "da ji da li" (大吉大利) meaning great fortune and great profits/gains.

Florists also give the following names to dahlias:
芍藥 shao yao (Chinese peony)
大利花 da li hua (great gains flower)
紫牡丹 zi mu dan (purple peony)

“Chinese New Year Plants and Flowers 2016”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on Jan 16, 2016

Camellia azalea hybrid

Why Liliums (e.g. stargazers, casablanca, madonna ,asiatic,oriental, tiger lilies) are auspicious:
a) Chinese name for Lilium spp is "bai he" (百合) - meaning many things going smoothly according to your wishes
b) For couples, the phrase "bai nian hao he" (百年好合) would mean happy together for a hundred years
c) For marriage this would mean that the husband and wife shall always be together and live happily ever after.

Clyclamen plants are known as "xian ke lai" (仙客來) in Chinese which sounds like "fairies, gods or immortals are on the way or coming over as guests"  hence it is very auspicious.

Triphasia trifolia
Common names: Lime-Berry, Limau Kiah

Aglaia odorata is also known as the "Chinese perfumed plant".

It is also called the Chinese Rice Flower  - mi zi lan (米仔兰 - rice, little, orchid).
Just saying the words "mi zi lan" in Cantonese reminds me of my grandmother so much!

The flowers are very fragrant with a sweet lemony scent hence the common name "mock lemon". The tiny flowers do not open fully and each one look like a grain of rice. I guess this would signify and abundance of food since rice is a staple food in Asia.

 Hyacinth bulbs.
Hyacinth is 洋水仙 (yang shui xian) meaning water fairy, or 风信子(feng xin zi)

 Remember to check what is the colour of the flowers

or you may wish to wait for the surprise when the flowers starts to bloom.

Narcissus bulbs

Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)

Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) grown in vases with auspicious paintings and decorated with festive ornaments. 

Ardisia crenata

Pussy willows.
Some are in their natural colour of white with unopened buds but there are some batches with long, blooming catkins.
Some have been dyed in colours of pink, red and orange.

The ever popular must-have chrysanthemums.

Peach Blossoms have arrived in Malaysia!

Flower pots with auspicious wordings.

Note: This post will be regularly updated with fresh photos as we count down to Chinese New Year 2016


  1. Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for sharing these lovely flowers. They warmed up my very cold day here in the Northern U.S.! I was happy to learn the meaning of the Cyclamen, since I have a beautiful one that has been with me for several years. It goes dormant during my hot summer, and blooms inside my sunroom in February. I'm looking forward to seeing the first flower buds very soon! Happy Chinese New Year!

    1. Yes indeed, Cyclamen plants are lovely. They are very popular from Christmas to Chinese New Year season here.

  2. I really enjoyed learning about the meanings of these plants....

  3. SO many collection of lovely flowers! Do the plant grow well after a while or they die? I always have resistance on these flower plants but i doubt it will last long....

    1. Malar, the survival of the plants depends on the owner and how much care is given to them. Basically, temperate plants such as chrysanthemums will grow vegetatively and won't flower again in our hot lowlands after the bloom period is over while narcissus, hyacinths and tulips need to go through a winter period. Anyway, we can just treat them as annuals and enjoy their seasonal beauty while it last.

  4. Hi Elaine, looking at your photos have triggered a strong urge for me to head to the nursery this weekend. I don't believe I have seen triphasia trifolia before.

    I've bought Ardesia crenata on two separate past CNYs. They are still surviving but have not fruited ever since. At the moment I'm trying to get my bougainvilleas and Adeniums to bloom in time for this CNY.

    1. Stiletto, yes indeed, now is the best time to shop for CNY plants. It is really very exciting as the temperate plants have arrived, including peach blossoms, magnolia, gardenia, and Cymbidium orchids. The hyacinths are blooming now with a few colour choices.

    2. Stiletto, it is also my first time seeing Triphasia trifolia. There were so many pots of these plants on that day of my visit.

  5. The azalea camellia hybrid is something I've never seen before.

  6. I bought Aglala Adorata at Sungai Buluh.
    Hard to find and very expensive.
    A pot of plant may cause up to rm75 dollers.
    Fortunately I manage to buy at rm35 only......Hehehe.
    The smell is so perfumed.
    Reminds me of my grandma's hose in the kampong,
    that's why I bought it.
    By the way - how do you plant it.........???
    Can we just cut the branch and plant it in the pot....???

    1. Cik Minah, Aglaia odorata can be propagated by using semi-hardwood cuttings.

    2. Thanks Autumn Belle.
      I will try to do it, as I'd like to plant the tree
      around my house.

  7. beautiful flowers..i hope we can be friends and i would like to know about flowers in malaysia especially

    1. Ummul, thank you very much for visiting my blog! Will be glad to know you better too.

  8. I can imagine how wonderful they smell! Flowers look so tender and bright.


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