Flowers and plants in ancient Chinese poems

Publish DateJan 31, 2022

Ancient Chinese poems heavily rely on metaphors and symbolism. 

Pear flowers

Song poet Cen Sen ingeniously used "pear flowers" to describe the spread of snowflakes on trees in winter. 


"It was like a spring breeze overnight; bloomed pear flowers on a thousand trees."

Pear flowers could also be used to symbolize women in ancient poems. 


"The jade-like lonely face sheds tears, like spring raindrops hanging on pear flowers."

Chrysanthemums -

This flower is very versatile. It can symbolize strong will and resilience since it is the last standing flower before winter comes, and at the same time, it can also be used to memorialize melancholy and death. On top of that, chrysanthemums are also a common flower used to express one's desire to become a hermit. 


”it's not that I favor chrysanthemums over other flowers, but rather there are no flowers after they bloom."

Plum flowers -

Plums are the only flowers that bloom in winter. Countless poets have attributed strengths and power to this flower. 


"Bits and pieces trampled over to dust, but the fragrance remains."

Peach blossoms - 

Peach blossoms are always used to symbolize happy times. 


"danced until the moon lowers; sang until the peach blossom fan exhausted."


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