October 24, 2020

Kinmokusei (Osmanthus fragrans) flowers: Engaku-ji

Kinmokusei (Osmanthus fragrans) flowers: Engaku-ji

According to a Chinese legend, Kinmokusei has been considered to be the sacred tree of the heavenly realm, which purges evil spirits and provides eternal youth and longevity. 

The moon is regarded to be the origin of this sacred tree, and the full moon shines in gold because golden Kinmokusei flowers are in full bloom on the moon.

This plant of fragrant flowers is dioecious, but only male plants were introduced to Japan from China in the 18th century as a garden plant and were propagated throughout Japan by cutting. 

Therefore, all Kinmokusei trees grown in Japan are male plants. These male flowers send out their sweet perfumes as if to silently sing ballads that express their unfulfilled longing of love in the midst of this gentle season.

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