Taking a closer look at these tiny 梅花 at the garden of Royal Chelsea Hospital. 🌸🌸
I’ve known these flowers all my life. The Plum Blossom is the national flower of the Republic of China (a.k.a. Taiwan), chosen for quite fascinating reasons (to me anyway):
1. Since plum trees usually start flowering in the deepest of winter (around January), the Plum Blossom is used to symbolise resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity.
2. The five petals of plum blossom represent the five branches of government.
3. The triple grouping of stamens represents the Three Principals of the People, a political philosophy developed by ROC’s founding father, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, and serves as the cornerstone for many of Taiwan’s policies.
4. The Plum Blossom is also the emblem seen on the flag of “Chinese Taipei” at international events, when the status of ROC as an independent nation is not recognised.
But from afar it’s so easy to mistake plum blossom for cherry blossom or vice versa. Luckily I’ve found an incredibly helpful article by Fran Pickering which clarifies their differences! 🌸💕