Spring flowers in Beijing start to bloom in late March till mid-May. The less than two-month spring flower blossoms transform Beijing from its cold and bold winter into a warmer and flowery spring. People are out for their favorite spring flowers which are scattered in and around Beijing.
1. Apricot Flower 杏花
Blossom Time: March 28 – April 15
Best Places to See: Phoenix Ridge Scenic Area (凤凰岭风景区) & Jiangjun Tuo Scenic Area (将军坨风景区)
The Apricot was first cultivated in India in about 3000 BC. It is said that apricot had a wide native range including Armenia, Caucasus, the Himalaya, China and Japan. The flowers have five white to pinkish petals 2–4.5 cm in diameter; they are produced singly or in pairs in early spring. The fruit is a drupe likening to a small peach, 1.5–2.5 cm diameter from yellow to orange. The single seed is enclosed in a hard stony shell.
The Chinese people often associate the apricot with education and medicine. For example, the classical word “Apricot Altar” which means “educational circle”, is still widely used in written language. About 2500 years ago, the greatest Chinese scholar -Confucius often taught his students among the wood of apricot used as a forum, hence”Apricot Altar”.
Phoenix Ridge Scenic Area ( Beijing Fenghuangling Nature Park ) is situated in the northwest of Beijing’s Haidian District, about 51 kilometers from the Tiananmen Square and 23 kilometers from the Summer Palace.
2. Cherry Blossoms (樱花)
Blossom Time: March 30 – April 12
Best Places to See: Yuyuantan Park (玉渊潭公园)
Cherry flowers have a short blooming period – only two weeks. The Cherry Blossom Festival at Yuyuantan Park is very famous. The park almost becomes a temple fair every year at flowering time.
About 2,000 cherry trees were transplanted from Japan to China in the 1970s as a token of friendship between the two countries. There could be a lot of people, but you will find that it’s worth visiting when you view the stunning blossoms.
Yuyuantan Park is located in the western part of Beijing city proper, just next to Diaoyutai National Guesthouse in the East, the CCTV transmitting tower across the street and to Chinese Century Monument in the South.
3. Yulan Magnolia (玉兰花)
Blossom Time: Early April – Mid April
Best Places to See: Dajue Temple (大觉寺), Tanzhe Temple (潭柘寺)
Magnolia is an ancient genus. The Yulan magnolia, is native to central and eastern China. It has been very often cultivated in the buddhist temple gardens in China since 600 AD. It was also planted in the courtyards or the open fields within the Emperor’s palaces. Its flowers are regarded as a symbol of purity. The 10–16 cm white flowers are beautiful and thick with a citrus-lemon fragrance.
Dajue Temple is a one-thousand-year-old temple in the western suburbs of Beijing, a tranquil and ancient place. Tanzhe Temple was first established in Jin Dynasty (365-420), so in Beijing there is a common saying that “First there was the Tanzhe Temple, then came Beijing”.
4. Lilac Flower (丁香花)
Blossom Time: April 20 – May 08
Best Places to See: Fayuan Temple (法源寺)and Temple of Heaven(天坛)
The lilac trees are in bloom in spring. The flowers are 5–10 mm in diameter with a four-lobed corolla. The usual flower colour is a shade of purple, but white and pale pink are also found. In China lilac flowers are often found in Buddhist temples, a symbol of purity.
Fayuan Temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Beijing, lying in the Xicheng area in the southwest of the city proper of Beijing. Temple of Heaven ( Tiantan ) is located in the southern part of Beijing, one of the most holy places for the whole country for more than five centuries. In the lilac garden of Temple of Heaven, you can enjoy White lilacs.
5. Chinese Flowering Crabapple (海棠花)
Blossom Time: April 15 – 30
Best Places to See: Yuan Dynasty Wall Relics Park (元大都遗址) and The West Bank of Beihai Park (北海西岸)
The elegant Chinese flowering crabapple blossoms are regarded as the famous flowers loved by people with both refined and popular tastes. In Chinese royal gardens, Chinese crbapple flowers are often accompanied by Yulan Magnolia, peony and Osmanthus, forming a artistic concept of “Wealth and Nobility”.
Yuan Dynasty City Wall Relics Park, built on the original city wall relics in Yuan Dynasty ( 1271-1368 ) is about 9 kilometers long crossing Haidian and Chaoyang districts from west to east. Every year the park will hold its Chinese Flowering Crabapple Festival, which will draw thousands of visitors to appreciate the grand view of over 2000 flowering Chinese Crabapple trees with a dozen of varieties.
6. Peach Blossoms (桃花)
Blossom Time: April 15 – May 15
Best Places to See: Pinggu (平谷) and Beijing Botanical Garden (北京植物园)
The peach is known as a species native to China. It was introduced to Persia and the Mediterranean region along the Silk Road before Christian times. The peach trees are in bloom in early spring, solitary or paired, 2.5–3 cm diameter, pink, with five petals. The peach often plays an important part in Chinese tradition and is symbolic of long life.
Pinggu District, northeast suburban district of Beijing, is the home of the world’s largest peach orchard. The orchard occupies about 20,000 hectares of trees that bear the crisp, sweet fruit, but the area also produces strawberries, plums, apricots and pears. The orchard’s stature is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
7. Peony Flower (牡丹花)
Blossom Time: April 20 – May 08
Best Places to See: Jingshan Park
With a nickname of “heaven fragrance and national beauty”, Peony flowers are reputed as the most elegant and poised, the king of the flowers in China.
Jingshan Park has long been famous for its traditionally imperial peony blossoms as well as the those from Luoyang, Heze and many more with over 150 categories of peony flowers.
8. Tulip Blossoms (郁金香)
Blossom Time: April 20 – May 08
Best Places to See: Jinzhan Tulip Park (金盏乡) and Beijing Zhongshan Park (中山公园)
The is one of the world’s most easily recognized and loved flowers. Tulips are a comfortable flower choice and one that expresses perfect love. Tulip flowers have 3 inner petals and 3 outer sepals that look much like petals. A gift of tulips is a sure delight, enchanting in its beauty and simplicity. Different colors of tulips also often carry their own significance: Red – true love; purple – royalty; yellow tulips – cheerful thoughts and sunshine; white tulips – forgiveness.
Jinzhan Tulip Garden covers an area of 260,000sq.m. It is divided into 3 sections – production section, display section and service section. The production section the place where plants and flowers are nursed. Display section is the site for people to view tulips in bloom while service section is for people to have a break and have some drinks or meals in the restaurants. Some people call the place Beijing’s Garden of Eden.
9. Pear Blossoms (梨花)
Blossom Time: April 01 – April 30
Best Places to See: Panggezhuang (庞各庄)
The pear flowers are white, rarely tinted yellow or pink, 2–4 cm diameter, and have five petals. The best place to view pear blossoms is Panggezhuang in Daxing District, the south suburban district of Beijing. Daxing is not only famous for watermelon but also pear planting.
10. Wild Flowers (山野花)
Blossom Time: Mid-April
Best Places to See: Mutianyu Great Wall
From Mid-April, wild flowers bloom along the Mutianyu Great Wall Scenic Area. The wild flowers are accompanied by peach flowers, lilac flowers, and pear flowers, forming a long flower corridor, a strong breath of spring.
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