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Chinese Literature
Jinzhang lanpu 金漳蘭譜 "Notes on the Orchids of Jinzhang"


The Jinzhang lanpu 金漳蘭譜 is a description of various orchids written by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) scholar Zhao Shigeng 趙時庚 who was a member of the imperial family. The dates of his life are not known, and the book on orchids seems to be his sole writing. It begins with an account how Shigeng's father retired from office and returned to his home village, where he dedicated himself to the cultivation of orchids. The author himself continued to invest in this extravagant hobby and finally started writing a book. The first of the 3 juan "scrolls" is a chapter about the general appearance of orchids (Xu lan rong zhi 敘蘭容質), a qualitative rating of the different kinds of orchids (Pin zhi gao xia 品質高下), and an overview of the cultivation (Tian di ai yang 天地愛養). The most beautiful orchid is the chen mengliang 陳夢良. A very extravagant flower (mingpin wai 名品外) is the species jindianpang 金殿邊, and among the best flowers one can find bailan 白蘭, yijilao 以濟老, zaoshan 灶山, shihua 施花, li tongpan 李通判, huizhirong 惠知容 and madatong 馬大同. The second chapter provides information about cultivation and irrigation, the use of pots, earth and sand, as well as fertilizing. Different types of orchids require different treatment and have to be specially cared for at different seasons. In the last chapter, the author describes the methods of cultivation, planting, reproduction, caring for the blossoms and preventing them from attacks by bad insects.
The Jinzhang lanpu is included in the collectanea Baichuan xuehai 百川學海, Shuofu 說郛 and Siku quanshu 四庫全書.


Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 1866. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

June 17, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail