One of China’s most ancient and best-known ornamental flowering plants, cymbidium (a type of orchid) is considered a symbol of spring. This herbaceous perennial has graceful grass-like foliage, and its flowers, though inconspicuous, give off a fragrance so marvelous that the sage Confucius called it “the scent of kings.”


Terese Tse Bartholomew, 中國吉祥圖案:Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, pp. 66-67, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco