The cultivation of Chinese cymbidiums has a long history in China dating back to more than a thousand years ago. Chinese cymbidiums are commonly known as "Lan" (兰) or "Guo Lan" (国兰) in China.
Lan has a special appeal and meaning to the Chinese as it symbolizes integrity, modesty and nobility. Confucius praised Lan as the "Gentleman of Noble Virtue" (君子之风) and "King of Fragrance" (王者之香). The love and appreciation for and the growing of orchids have, in fact, become an integral part of Chinese culture known as the "Lan Culture".
The book starts with the history of Lan and its association with Chinese culture and traditional customs, literature and the arts. This is followed by a description of the biology of Lan and the cultivation practices of the past and present. Finally, the prospects and future of Lan are presented and discussed.
- History of Chinese Cymbidium
- Origin and Meaning of "Lan"
- Literature on Cultivation of Chinese Cymbidium
- Chinese Cymbidium and Chinese Culture
- The Lan Culture
- Lan in Ancient Chinese Literature
- Lan in Ancient Chinese Paintings and Calligraphies
- Lan and Traditional Chinese Customs
- Lan as a Cultural Symbol
- Five Common Chinese Cymbidium Species
- Biology of Chinese Cymbidium
- Structure and Characteristics of Plant Parts
- Flower Art, Leaf Art and Fragrance
- Physiology and Biochemistry
- Cultivation of Chinese Cymbidium
- Past Horticultural Practices
- Present Horticultural Practices
- Prospects for Chinese Cymbidium
- Commercial Cultivation of Chinese Cymbidium
- Conservation of Chinese Cymbidium Species
Hew Choy Sin (丘才新), a former Professor of Botany from the National University of Singapore (NUS), is a leading authority on the physiology of tropical orchids, an area that he had been involved in for more than 35 years. Prof Hew has published 3 books and more than 150 scientific papers. In 1997, Prof Hew was awarded the Singapore National Science Award (the highest honour for a research scientist in Singapore) for his outstanding contribution to placing Singapore at the forefront of global orchid research. In addition, he was formerly the Director of the Institute of Natural Sciences, Head of the Biology Department of Nanyang University in the 1970s, and Deputy Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies at Nanyang Technological University Singapore for 5 years. Prof Hew had previously served as an advisor to Guangzhou Scientific Technology Exchange Centre (China) on horticultural production. He was a Visiting Professor at multiple academic institutions including Nanjing Agricultural University, Xiamen University, South China Normal University, Taiwan National Cheng Kung University, and a Visiting Scholar at the University of South Australia and the Department of Scientific and Research (DSIR) in New Zealand.
Madam Wong Yik Suan (王玉霜) was a former Senior Librarian at the National University of Singapore before her retirement in 2010. She obtained her BSc in Biological Sciences at Nanyang University in 1971. She started as a librarian at Nanyang University, and later at the National University of Singapore. She obtained her Postgraduate Diploma in Librarianship (UK) in 1982 under an NUS Staff Development Scholarship.
"I highly recommend this book to readers who wish to learn more about the Chinese Cymbidium orchid. The knowledge of Chinese Cymbidium orchid will enrich our appreciation for its beauty and the virtues it symbolizes into our real life."
– Professor Wong Sek Man, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore