The Living Fossil of Peonies in the World, Qunfang, the Magical Peony Leader of the Han Dynasty

Research Theme: Celebrities and Peonies

release time:

Jun 30,2023

Peony occupies a high position in the minds of people in China and even the world. Many literati, celebrities, emperors and nobles in the past dynasties all like peony. They not only love flowers, enjoy flowers, feast flowers, make flowers, worship flowers, but also plant flowers, arrange flowers, write flowers, and have formed an indissoluble bond with peonies.

Peonies occupy a high position in the minds of people in China and even the world. Many literati, celebrities, emperors and nobles in the past dynasties all like peonies. They not only love flowers, enjoy flowers, feast flowers, make flowers, worship flowers, but also plant flowers, arrange flowers, write flowers, and have formed an indissoluble bond with peonies.

1. Liu Xiu and Peony

According to the records of Jiuzhi County Events, during the Han Dynasty, after Wang Mang usurped the Han family, he sent troops to hunt down and kill Liu Xiu, a clan member of the Han family, in order to eradicate the grass. "Give me a bowl of water and find a place to hide." Due to the turmoil, the villagers dared not open the door, and said through the door: "This village has no well and no temple." You should run out of the village. Liu Xiu was helpless, and sighed: "There is a scene in Beihao Village." There is no temple or well, and the land master lives in a hole in the wall." As soon as he finished speaking, he saw the beacon smoke billowing behind him, and the pursuers were approaching. Liu Xiu hurriedly whipped his horse and ran to the entrance of the village. The main hall and the west hall enshrine thousands of Buddha statues. Due to frequent wars, the temple of Amitabha Temple collapsed. After Liu Xiu entered the Amitabha Temple, he saw broken walls and ruins everywhere, and there was nowhere to hide, and the few peonies in the courtyard were also flourishing, so he got into the peony bushes. In an instant, the peonies spread their branches and leaves, and the flowers bloomed, covering Liu Xiu tightly. Liu Xiu was protected by Peony and escaped from hunting. In order to thank Peony for saving her life, Liu Xiu wrote on the broken wall, "King Xiao took refuge in Huangzhuang, and the wells and temples are not very desolate." There are only a few peonies, and the verses are loyal and never change to the king. Later, Liu Xiu ascended the throne and proclaimed himself emperor at Qianqiu Pavilion in Qiannan, which is five miles away. He was known as Emperor Guangwu of Han Dynasty in history, and Baixiang peony was also called peony of Han Dynasty.

Second, Sui Yang Emperor and Peony

In 604, Emperor Yang Guang of the Sui Dynasty succeeded to the throne and established Xiyuan in Tianpi, Luoyang, the eastern capital. Emperor Yang of the Sui Dynasty was curious about flowers and rocks, so he went to the south of the Yangtze River three times to search for them. And sent people to plant peonies collected from various places in Xiyuan. According to the "Hai Shan Ji" recorded in the Tang Dynasty: Emperor Yang opened a land of 200 miles as Xiyuan, and ordered the world to import flowers. Twenty peonies entered Yizhou, including Feilaihong and Yuanjiahong. Zuiyanhong, Yunhong, Tianwaihong, Yifuhuang, Yan'an Huang, Xianchunhong, Zhanfengjiao and other valuable varieties. This is the first time in history that a large number of peonies are planted in the royal garden, which shows Emperor Sui Yang's love for peonies.

3. Wu Zetian and Peony

Wu Zetian is a female emperor in the history of our country, a famous politician in the Tang Dynasty, and a native of Wenshui County, Bingzhou.

In history, there was a legend that Wu Zetian demoted Peony to Luoyang, describing Wu Zetian as a tyrant. In fact, she is a very emotional person, and Bingxian is especially fond of peony. According to Shu Yuanyu's "Peony Fu Preface" said: "Xihe, the hometown of Queen of Heaven, has many fragrance houses, and there are peonies at the bottom. The flowers are unique. "This just shows that Wu Zetian's hometown has long grown many peonies, and the county's "special" varieties have surpassed many varieties in the capital, so the rare varieties from his hometown were moved to the capital. Later, when Wu Ze established the god capital of Wu Zhou in Luoyang, it was reasonable to bring some peonies from Chang'an to Luoyang.

Fourth, Concubine Yang and Peony

Concubine Yang is especially fond of peonies. During the Kaiyuan period of the Tang Dynasty, the court began to pay more attention to peonies, and planted several kinds of red, purple, light red, and white peonies in front of the Xingqing East Chenxiang Pavilion and the Lishan Palace. When the flowers first bloomed, Concubine Yang took all the court ladies to enjoy the flowers, fascinated. Wang Renyu of the Five Dynasties "The Legacy of Kaiyuan Tianbao" stated: "At the beginning of Yang Guozhong, because of the special favor of the imperial concubine, he gave several copies of peonies (that is, peonies) and planted them at home. "Because the noble concubine loved peonies, Tang Minghuang also gave them to her brother as a favor.

V. Empress Dowager Cixi and Peony

Cixi, the empress of the Qing Dynasty, was influenced by the traditional culture of the nation since she was a child, and she likes peonies very much. Many peonies were planted in the Royal Garden of the Forbidden City and other gardens. When she was "handling politics behind the curtain", she designated the peony as the national flower and built a national flower platform in the Summer Palace.

6. Pu Songling and Peony

Pu Songling, a famous writer and thinker in the Qing Dynasty, was good at using "ghosts and gods" novels to expose the dark side of reality, and compiled the book "Strange Tales from a Liaozhai Studio". The writing style is fluent and has profound meanings. Among them, there are two novels "Gejin" and "Xiangyu" with peony as the theme. They use flowers to describe immortals and immortals to describe people. The articles have high appreciation value and historical data.

Seventh, Li Bai wrote a poem about peonies

Li Bai, a great poet in the prosperous Tang Dynasty, wrote a famous line about peonies in Chenxiang Pavilion, which has been recited by people for thousands of years. It is said that one day Tang Xuanzong and Yang Gui watched peonies in Chenxiang Pavilion, and singer Li Guinian led a group of children to play music and sing. Tang Xuanzong said to Li Guinian: "Admiring famous flowers, how do you sing old lyrics to Concubine Yan?" How about this, you quickly call Li Bai to write new words. "Li Guinian rushed to the famous restaurant on Chang'an Avenue to look for it. Sure enough, Li Bai was drinking with several literati, and he was already very drunk. When Li Guinian conveyed the imperial edict to him, his drunken eyes opened slightly, and he fell asleep without paying attention.

The imperial decree cannot be mistaken, so Li Guinian had no choice but to ask his followers to drag Li Bai to the horse, and when he reached the gate of the palace, he pushed him to the front of Tang Xuanzong with a few people holding him left and right. Tang Xuanzong saw that Li Bai was as drunk as mud, so he asked the waiter to help him to rest on the jade bed, and ordered to bring sober soup, and Concubine Yang asked someone to spray cold water on his face to relieve it. Li Bai lay on the jade bed and stretched his feet towards Gao Lishi, asking him to take off his boots. Gao Lishi had no choice but to hold his breath and squat down to take it off for him. After a while of fuss, Li Bai woke up from his drunken dream. Tang Xuanzong told him to write poems to cheer up. Li Bai smiled slightly, picked up the pen, and in less than a stick of incense, he had already written three poems of "Qing Ping Diao":


Yun Xiang clothes Hua Xiangrong,

The spring breeze blows the threshold Revlon.

If it weren't for Qunyu Mountain,

It is suspected that Yaotai will meet under the moon.


A branch of red dew condenses fragrance,

Clouds and rain Wushan heartbroken in vain.

May I ask who in the Han Palace is like?

Poor Feiyan leans on her new makeup.


Famous flowers are all over the country, and the two love each other,

Looks like a king with a smile.

Explain the infinite hatred of spring breeze,

Chenxiang Pavilion leans against the railing in the north.

These three poems are written with Peony and Concubine Yang interacting together. Flowers are people, and people are flowers. From a structural point of view, the first poem is written from space and introduced into Langyuan, the Moon Palace. The second song is written from time, introduced to the balcony of King Xiang of Chu, and the court of Emperor Cheng of the Han Dynasty. The third song returns to reality, pointing to the north of the Chenxiang Pavilion in the Tang Palace. The first spring breeze and the third spring breeze echo each other from afar.

In the first sentence of a poem, when you see clouds, you will think of the imperial concubine's neon clothes and feathers, and when you see peony flowers, you will think of the imperial concubine's jade appearance. In the next sentence, Revlon further dyes the peony flowers to look delicate and charming in the crystal dew, making the face more energetic. The next two sentences imagine ascending to the world of immortals such as Qunyu Mountain, Yaotai, and Moon Palace where the Queen Mother lives. These scenery can only be seen there. In fact, Yang Concubine is likened to a celestial girl descending to earth.

The second song points out that King Chu Xiang is heartbroken for the goddess, and that is the peerless beauty in front of him. Besides, Zhao Feiyan, the empress of Emperor Cheng of the Han Dynasty, had to rely on new makeup. There was no need for makeup and powder, and she was all natural and beautiful. Here, the Goddess and Zhao Feiyan are lowered to raise Concubine Yang.

The first and second sentences of the third one integrate the three persons of Peony, Concubine Yang and Xuanzong into one. The beauty of the country should refer to Concubine Yang, and the word "spring breeze" in the third sentence is the pronoun of the king.

Tang Xuanzong was very satisfied with this poem. Later generations fabricated that Gao Lishi thought he was humiliated because of Li Bai's order to take off his boots, so he slandered Concubine Yang. It is unreliable to have an affair with Chifeng and ridicule Concubine Yang's palace disorder.