China's frozen princesses: Native flowers bloom in ice and snow
By Xing Fangyu

Flowers are elegant but fragile which need special care, but there are some flowers that can bloom in icy winter and early spring to dedicate to dull seasons with their gorgeous colors. 

Plum blossom

Red plum blossom /VCG Photo

Red plum blossom /VCG Photo

Yellow plum blossom /VCG Pho

Yellow plum blossom /VCG Pho

The plum blossom, Chinese name is “meihua” (梅花), is the most beloved flower in winter. It originated from the south of the Chinese mainland and played an important role in Chinese history and art.

Because this winter flower is not afraid of ice and snow, it's a symbol of purity, brave and hope in Chinese culture, and widely seen in Chinese literary and paintings. Wang Anshi, a famous Song dynasty poet, wrote “Several plum trees around the wall put on a show. /They are the only ones blooming in the bitter cold. /I know from the distance they are not snow. /For their faint fragrance finds its way to my nose.”

Weeping forsythia

Weeping forsythia in the snow /VCG Photo

Weeping forsythia in the snow /VCG Photo

Weeping forsythia is native to China and widely known in a Chinese medicine. But it is popularly planted in North America as a deciduous weeping garden shrub for its arching branches and the early-blooming yellow flower. The flower appears in late winter or early spring before the leaves emerge. 

Snow lotus

Snow lotus grows in mountain rock crevices at about 4,800 to 5,800 meters above sea level. /VCG Photo

Snow lotus grows in mountain rock crevices at about 4,800 to 5,800 meters above sea level. /VCG Photo

Snow lotus grows in mountain rock crevices at about 4,800 to 5,800 meters above sea level. /VCG Photo

Snow lotus grows in mountain rock crevices at about 4,800 to 5,800 meters above sea level. /VCG Photo

Snow lotus is a common name used for a number of high altitude Saussurea species in central Asia, such as Saussurea involucrate and Saussurea obvallata. The seed can sprout at 0℃ and can live at -21℃ environment. But it takes 5 years until the flower blossom, which makes it unique in plants world.  

Amur adonis

Amur adonis in the snow /VCG Photo

Amur adonis in the snow /VCG Photo

Amur Adonis is also known as Adonis amurensis. This golden yellow flower likes sunshine of winter, showing her vibrant colors in the cold and snow. It's a perennial plant can be wildly found in the northeast of China, Japan, Korea and eastern Russia.

Helleborus

Helleborus in the snow /VCG Photo

Helleborus in the snow /VCG Photo

Helleborus is commonly known as hellebores, a genus that widely distributes in Europe and Asia. The nick name in Europe is “winter rose” or “Christmas rose”. Helleborus thibetanus is one of the species which comes from China. This species likes the rain forest environment at altitudes of 1,100 to 3,700 meters, which creates a fully geographical isolation environment from other Helleborus species.Previous