April 8, 2021

Kaido (Malus halliana) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Kaido (Malus halliana) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Kaido (aronia) is a small garden tree native to China, which produces numerous five-petaled, dark pink flowers in spring. The flower stalk of Kaido is slender and its elegant flower looks downward gracefully as if to be dozing off.

This flower has been praised in China since ancient times and, together with plum and peony flowers, it is considered one of the "three outstanding flowers of spring."

In China, it is also called a "sleeping flower" after Yang Guifei in the Tang Dynasty. 

According to legend, when Emperor Xuanzong summoned Yang Guifei, she appeared with a tipsy and sleepy face, which let him murmur "the sleep of my beautiful Kaido flower is not enough yet." Yang Guifei herself is said to have loved the flower of Kaido. 

In China, this flower has been loved along with plum and peony flowers traditionally, and is often depicted as a subject in Chinese poetry and paintings.

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