May 8, 2011
Spring Botan (peony) flowers in Kencho-ji
A Haru-Botan (spring-peony) flower is very large (about 15-20 cm in diameter) and have great beauty and splendor in shape and color. Because of its overwhelming grace, this flower is traditionally called the king of flowers in China and Japan.
The royal purple petals of these flowers appeared to be made of brightly-colored silk paper and were trembling peacefully in the light breeze of May.
Botan is said to have been imported into Japan from China in the 8th century as a herbal medicine in connection with the introduction of Buddhism.