The hibiscus is called mù fú róng (木芙蓉). Beacause the hibiscus flowers in autumn, its ancient name was “resists frost” , jù shuāng (拒霜). Hibiscus is a symbol of wealth and good fortune in China. Hibiscus was always used as embroidery patterns, and used as festival gifts. Typically painted with beautiful pink-and-white blossoms, it can be used as a pun for “wealth”, fú (福) and glory róng (榮).


The combination of hibiscus and peony together stands for “May you have splendor, wealth and honor”, or “May you have high position and great wealth”, róng huá fù guì (榮華富貴).


Terese Tse Bartholomew, 中國吉祥圖案:Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, pp. 148-149, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco