Chinese botanists are gathering in Beijing this weekend to
select the flowers that will be used to decorate parts of Beijing
for the 2008 Olympics.
"Experts will select 100 types of flowers from more than 300,
which will be able to cope with Beijing's climate," said an
official from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Landscape and
Chrysanthemums and China roses are already confirmed on the list
thanks to their status as "flowers of the city", titles bestowed on
them by Beijing residents in 1986. Also on the list include peony
In recent years, a debate has arisen over the suitability of the
Chrysanthemum as one of Beijing's signature flowers due to its
widespread use as a funeral flower in the West.
Supporters of the flower argue that it received high praise in
ancient Chinese literature and if you gave someone a single
Chrysanthemum, it meant you viewed the person as honest. Even so,
Chinese diplomatic officials now no longer consider a gift of a
Chrysanthemum appropriate for visiting foreign guests.
Plants grown in the Beijing summer can usually sustain the
oppressive heat and humidity, but the current amount of flowers is
not sufficient to meet the capital's demand for street and stadium
decoration in 2008.
Landscape engineers are going to introduce more flower types
from other parts of the country through crossbreeding to produce
flowers that can blossom in the heat of August , experts said.
(Xinhua News Agency November 19, 2006)