14 Aug Olympic Gold medal bouquets: Booming!
Say it with flowers they did! The official title of the bouquet: “Booming.”
Leave it to a garden geek/flower freak to unearth the meaning of the bouquets bestowed upon the medalists of the Olympic games.
They are created by using 9 perfect China red roses, six leaves of fragrant plantain lilies (hostas), six pieces of ophiogon japonicus (grass), hypericum berries (St. John’s wort) and obedient plant (physostegia).
From the Bejing Review (China’s weekly English journal):
“The flower that will play the leading role is the Chinese red rose, a flower species first cultivated by the Chinese people. As red is propitious in Chinese tradition, red Chinese roses are suitable to convey the hospitality of the Chinese people,” said Lin Fengjun, Executive General Manager of the Olympic Flowers Delivery Center.
“The remaining five flowers that will play a supporting role all have unique Chinese characteristics. They represent friendship, unity and fairness, and bless the Olympic Games with great success.”
“The supporting flowers all have golden brims, to match the color of the gold medal,” explained Wang Suizhi, a florist. In the boutique, there are nine Chinese red roses, because nine is the biggest and the most honorable number in Chinese tradition. Six represents smoothness, so all the supporting plants come in batches of six flowers, bunches, or with six leaves.
There are strict requirements on the shape, size and the color scheme of each bouquet. For example, each bunch should look like a pyramid, with a height of 40 cm. The leading and supporting flowers should be compatible. The petals must not fall off easily and its branches or leaves must not prick. “The bouquets should be so standardized that they look like they were all prepared by one person,” Wang said.
A total of 6,000 bouquets will be presented at the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. Their journey from the field to the hands of the Olympic heroes should take no longer than six to eight hours. After a bouquet is created, it is refrigerated so that it will look fresh when presented to the medallist. The delivery process is strictly moderated, and each bouquet will be assigned an ID number so that the entire delivery process can be tracked.
OK, is there something I missed about the inclusion of the obedient plant? Hmmmm. Call me crazy, but I am thinking it has something to do with the Chinese people’s cultural tendency toward obedience.
For more about Floriography, the language of flowers, click HERE.