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Flower friends

During the Song Dynasty ten "friends names" were given to ten flowers, which is a common theme in painting. The ten flowers are:

  1. Sacred friend = Lotus flower
  2. Distinguished friend = Crab apple blossom
  3. Excellent friend = Chrysanthemum
  4. Lustrous friend = Peony
  5. Pure friend = Plum blossom
  6. Meditative friend = Gardenia
  7. Hermitic friend = Cassia blossoms
  8. Poetic friend = Kerria (yellow rose)
  9. Elegant friend = Jasmine
  10. Exceptional friend = Daphne

These connections may be a little difficult to figure out, but are based on their general symbolic values, as the lotus flower grows in mud but comes up white and pure and is thus a sacred flower of Buddhism, and is thus called "sacred friend" in this cathegory. The peony has a rich, lustrous appeal, so it is called "lustrous friend" and so on.

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