Awards shine spotlight on peony culture

By Liu Chuan| (| Updated : 2023-05-17

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Chinese peonies are a symbol of wealth, prosperity and good fortune. The Chinese Peony Culture Series, a book mainly compiled by Song Xinli, provides a new window for a panoramic understanding of peonies and won the "Golden Peony Award" in peony-related literature.

The award is a part of the efforts of Heze city to honor individuals and teams who have made outstanding contributions in such fields as peony cultivation and breeding, cultural and artistic creation and industrial innovation.

As the first masterpiece of the Chinese peony culture, the book takes literature as the main genre and depicts peonies in a comprehensive manner, covering history and culture, industrial development, poetry, legends, calligraphy, painting, photography, literature, famous gardens and maps.

Heze, a city in East China's Shandong province, is known as the "Peony Capital of China". "The city has a long history of peony cultivation and boasts a strong cultural atmosphere", said Zhang Lun, Party secretary of Heze, at the prize-giving ceremony of "2023 China Peony Capital (Heze) Outstanding Contribution Awards and Peony Awards" on April 27.

This year, the event set up seven awards focusing on the peony industry and cultural and artistic categories and received more than 13,000 entries from 31 provinces and cities in China, as well as foreign countries including Japan and Malaysia. A total of 184 works received awards.

The peony research and development team led by Li Xiaoqi was granted the "Outstanding Contribution Award" in the industrial development category during the event. The team has accelerated the innovative development of the peony industry in planting, processing, cultural and artistic creations, exports, seed breeding and technology promotion. 

"The honor not only marks a milestone for our team, but also encourages countless innovators and pioneers. We will explore more areas and achieve greater results to give back to our hometown," said Li, who has led more than 150 households of farmers to work in the peony industry for decades.

Heze has more than 1,500 years of peony flower cultivation experience and the city currently has a peony planting area of about 26,667 hectares, and 1,280 varieties of peonies. Its peony-related products have been exported to more than 30 countries and regions around the world.