18 Juni 2010

The Chinese Sacred Lily

Narcissus tazetta (Chinese Sacred Lily, Bunch-flowered Narcissus, Joss flower) is a perennial ornamental plant of the family Amaryllidaceae that grows from a bulb.

The Chinese sacred lily is neither sacred nor a lily. In the Romanized form of written Mandarin it is called shui xian hua (水仙花) which can be translated as water spirit flower. The botanical designation is Narcissus tazetta v. chinensis, or Ruen.

Its fragrance is quite different from that of its distant cousin, the paperwhite narcissus which has an animal scent to many people.

Special topiary carving techniques can be used to form leaves and flowers into fanciful shapes. The flower is an important element in the Chinese lunar new year celebration, and is sold at flower markets before the Chinese New Year. It is believed to be good luck to have the flower bloom on the first day of the Chinese lunar new year spring festival.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissus_tazetta

See also: International Flower Delivery, Florist

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