Sixty-two members from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering have jointly proposed selecting the plum blossom and tree peony as China's two national flowers as soon as possible according to Wen Hui Bao.
On July 20, Chen Junyu, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, China famous flower expert, professor with Beijing Forestry University, and one of the earliest national flower sponsors, asked his assistant to send the reporter by fax the written proposal of 62 members including Wu Liangyong, Zhou Ganchi, Shi Yuanchun, Shen Guofang, Lu Liangru, Fang Zhiyuan, Yuan Luping and Meng Zengzhen.
The proposal says some 100 countries in the world have designated national flowers, however, China is the only country in the world that has not decided its national flower, which is not matched with its title of "mother of gardens". So it goes against showing China's flower culture to the world and supporting its flower industry in international competition. With the 2008 Olympic and 2010 Shanghai World Expos drawing near, it is imminent to solve the problem, and it is time to end the debate on the national flowers.
The debate has been going on for a long time. There have been different claims on the flowers since 1980s, which are mainly classified into four groups:
-Single flower, in which there are two opinions: plum blossom and tree peony.
-Two flowers: plum and peony as proposed by Chen Junyu.
-Four flowers: peony, lotus flower, chrysanthemum and plum blossom that represent the four seasons of the year.
-Five flowers: peony will be the main national flower with orchid (spring), lotus flower (summer), chrysanthemum (autumn) and plum (winter) as China's four seasonal flowers.
Through many years of fierce debates on national flowers, a consensus has been gradually reached: it is not convenient to remember several national flowers while a single flower is not strong enough to represent national flower. So, it is suggested that double national flowers will be suitable.
Chen Junyu proposed the selection should be made under the leadership of specialized institutions including flower gardening, forestry and agriculture with civilian recommendation as main selection sources, which will be finally designated by the government.
By People's Daily Online