An­cient city’s pe­onies bring in a pretty penny from home and abroad

China Daily - - BUSINESS - By JING SHUIYU jing­shuiyu@chi­

Fresh-cut pe­ony flow­ers are gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity among for­eign­ers as gifts.”

Luoyang, China’s city of pe­onies, ex­ported 17 mil­lion yuan ($2.68 mil­lion) worth of the flow­ers in 2017, of­fi­cial data show.

Pe­onies from this an­cient city in Cen­tral China’s He­nan prov­ince at­tract en­thu­si­asts from around the world, and the flow­ers are be­ing ex­ported abroad at a fast pace.

Last year, Luoyang ex­ported 500,000 pe­ony and herba­ceous pe­ony seedlings, as well as 1.5 mil­lion cut flow­ers to mar­kets in­clud­ing the United States, Europe, Aus­tralia, South­east Asia and the Mid­dle East, ac­cord­ing to the cus­toms of­fice in the pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal Zhengzhou.

Luoyang has been grow­ing pe­onies for more than 1,500 years. The flow­ers are best known for their lux­u­ri­ant blos­som, which sym­bol­izes pros­per­ity and wealth. The pe­onies are in full bloom each year from mid-April to mid-May, which is the date of the an­nual Luoyang Pe­ony Fes­ti­val.

De­mand for the city’s fresh­cut pe­onies from home and abroad amounts to hun­dreds of mil­lions of the flow­ers each year. China’s pe­ony ex­ports ac­count for more than 70 per­cent of the world’s to­tal, ac­cord­ing to Pe­ony Even­ing News.

“Fresh-cut pe­ony flow­ers are gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity among for­eign­ers as gifts. Some pe­ony seedlings be­ing ex­ported were planted in lo­cal court­yards,” said Fu Zhenglin, chair­man of Luoyang Shen­zhou Pe­ony Co Ltd, a ma­jor flower grow­ing en­ter­prise.

“We have al­ready set up pe­ony ex­hi­bi­tions in Aus­tralia and the US. In the future, we will co­op­er­ate with economies par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive to es­tab­lish more pe­ony cul­tural parks, which will share pe­ony tea and other cre­ative prod­ucts with cus­tomers from more coun­tries and re­gions,” Fu said.

The com­pany has signed a deal with sev­eral Aus­tralian dis­trib­u­tors to sell 1 mil­lion pe­onies and Chi­nese herba­ceous pe­onies to Aus­tralian cus­tomers.

“In order to pass the quar­an­tine in­spec­tion of Aus­tralia, we have trans­lated Aus­tralian stan­dards and im­port reg­u­la­tions on cut flow­ers, and of­fered train­ing to flower farm­ers since last year,” Guo Xueliang, head of Luoyang’s en­try-exit in­spec­tion and quar­an­tine bureau, was quoted as say­ing by Xin­hua News Agency.

With some 33,000 peo­ple in the trade, Luoyang ex­ports about 100,000 pe­onies and herba­ceous pe­onies to for­eign coun­tries and re­gions each year. That num­ber is ex­pected to soar to 20 mil­lion in the next two to three years.

Fu Zhenglin, chair­man of Luoyang Shen­zhou Pe­ony Co Ltd

num­ber of pe­onies and herba­ceous pe­onies that Luoyang ex­ports each year

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