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Lingnan fengwu ji 嶺南風物記

Sep 27, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Lingnan fengwu ji 嶺南風物記 is a book of south China written during the early Qing period 清 (1644-1911) by Wu Qi吳綺 (1619-1694), courtesy name Yuanci 園次, style Fengnan 豐南, Tingweng 聽翁 or Hongdou Ciren 紅豆詞人, from Jiangdu 江都 (today's Nanjing,Jiangsu). Wei was prefect (zhifu 知府) of Chaozhou 湖州) and a famous poet.

His short book describes the geography, climate, population, economy and living creatures of south China. The text is interesting for its detailed analysis of local crops and flowers, like cotton (mumian hua 木棉花), hibiscus (fosang hua 佛桑花), lantana (maying dan 馬纓丹), Caesalpinia pulcherrima (jinfeng hua 金鳳花), Jasminum grandiflorum (suxing hua 素馨花), Jasminum sambac (moli hua 茉莉花), Tamarindus indica (luowang zi 羅望子), the bamboo Phyllostachys aurea (luohan zhu 羅漢竹), ylang (Artabotrys hexapetalus, yingzhua lan 鷹爪蘭), Averrhoa carambola (yangtao 羊桃), the Chinese chestnut (Sterculia monosperma, pinbo guo 頻婆果), wampee (Clausena lansium, huangpi 黃皮), Chinese black olive (Canarium pimela, wulan 烏欖), Dracontomelon spec. (renmian zi 人面子), or lemon (yimu zi 宜母子).

He describes marvellous stones of the region, used as collectibles, like yingshi stones 英石 from Yingde 英德 or inkstones (yanshi 硯石) from Duanxi 端溪, and points at famous local products like jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus, bolomi 菠蘿蜜) and coconut (yezi 椰子) from Qiongzhou 瓊州 (today's Hainan), sago pondweed (Stuckenia pectinata, longxu cao 龍須草) from Deqing 德慶, kumquat (gan 柑) from Sihe 四會, the fan palm (Livistona chinensis, pukui 蒲葵) from Xinhui 新會, Citrus reticulata (juhong 橘紅) from Huazhou 化州, lychees (lizhi (荔枝)) from Zengcheng 增城, the shark from Leizhou 雷州, the "hairy turtle" (maogui 毛龜) from Shaozhou 韶州, octopus (zhangyu 章魚) from Chaozhou 潮州東莞, Aquilaria sinensis (nü'erxiang 女兒香) from Dongguan 東莞, or cassia wine (guijiu 桂酒) from Huizhou 惠州.

Wu's book is a valuable complement to Fan Chengda's 范成大 (1126-1193) Guihai yuheng zhi 桂海虞衡志. It is included in the series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Sources:
Lin Zixiong 林子雄 (2006). "Lingan fengwu ji 嶺南風物記", in Lingnan wenhua baike quanshu bianji weiyuanhui 《嶺南文化百科全書》 編輯委員會, ed. Lingan wenhua baike quanshu 嶺南文化百科全書 (Beijing: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), 824.
Yang Baolin 楊宝霖 (1988). "Guanyu Lingnan fengwu ji yu Pan Falian xiansheng shangque 關於《嶺南風物記》與潘法連先生商榷", Zhongguo nongshi 中國農史, 1988 (9).