Japanese artwork and landscaping make heavy use of flowers, the delicate and exotic shapes of which lend themselves naturally to gentle and graceful forms. The Portland Japanese Garden describes the underlying philosophy of Japanese landscaping as one of celebrating the forms of nature and humankind's part in it. The forms and colours of Japanese flowers provide a palette of inspiration with which the gardener can work.
Several species of large lilies grow in Japan. The gold band lily grows palm-sized white blossoms, each with a golden stripe down the centre and dark speckles. Dark-red stamens nod at the centre of this lily. The maiden lily produces fragrant pink, trumpet-shaped blossoms with golden stamens at the centre. A native of the island of Honshu, the maiden lily grows at elevations up to 9,000 feet, according to the Pacific Bulb Society. The maiden lily grows tall, reaching heights up to 30 inches.
The egret flower is an orchid named for the flower's resemblance to a white egret in flight. Beneath the inconspicuous flower are two wide, fringed "wings" and a longer central petal, representing the wings and body of the bird, respectively. Although a native of Japan, the egret flower is popular also among orchid growers, according to the Van Bourgondien bulb company. The flower blooms following Japan's monsoon season in response to increased moisture in the soil.
The sakura, or cherry blossom, is one of the most iconic Japanese flowers. It is a central symbol in Japanese culture, according to Japan-Guide.com. Several species of cherry trees produce profusions of the delicate pink and white blossoms. Cherry blossom viewing and cherry blossom parties -- picnics held under cherry trees in bloom -- celebrate the beauty of the blossoms, which come with the arrival of spring. The most popular picnicking spots are frequently reserved hours in advance. Japanese artwork and architecture are frequently adorned with cherry trees.
Himalayan Blue Poppy
The Himalayan blue poppy includes large, blue petals and a centre bristling with golden brown stamens. The Himalayan blue poppy belongs to a group of poppies found worldwide that thrives in mountainous regions and can tolerate high elevations, according to the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden. Although flowers only bloom once, the plant spreads vigorously through vegetative reproduction.
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- Pacific Bulb Society: Lilium Oriental Section
- Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia: The Egret Flower
- Van Bourgondien: Steps to Success with the Egret Flower
- Portland Japanese Garden: The Five Gardens
- Japan-Guide.com: Cherry Blossom Forecast 2010
- University of British Columbia Botanical Garden: Meconopsis betonicifolia