Viewing Sweet Osmanthus in Autumn Hangzhou

Sweet osmanthus has grown in Hangzhou for over 1,600 years and was chosen to be the city flower in 1984. It’s no exaggeration to say that one can find sweet osmanthus almost in every corner of Hangzhou.

Autumn is the best season to view sweet osmanthus. In autumn when sweet osamnthus is in full blossom, the whole city is beautifully decorated with its tiny yellow flowers, and the air is heavy with its sweet scent. As the gentle breeze blows, the tiny yellow flowers heavy with dew drop like rain drops. It’s rather poetic.

Where to go:
Sweet Osmanthus Rain at Manjuelong Village (满陇桂雨公园)
There is no better place to view sweet osmanthus than “Sweet Osmanthus Rain at Manjuelong Village”. Since the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), the park has been known for its most flourishing sweet osmanthus. In 1985, it was listed as one of the “Top Ten Scenes of West Lake”(西湖十景).

In addition, the location of the park in a valley of low temperature and high humidity provides a perfect growing environment for sweet osmanthus. Every year, sweet osmanthus trees in this park are always the first to blossom. Also, the West Lake Osmanthus Festival (西湖桂花节) is held in this park annually from mid September to late October.

Address: No.60, Hupao Road, Hangzhou (杭州虎跑路60号)
Tel: 86-571-87981970
Lingyin Temple (灵隐寺)
It’s said that Lingyin Temple is the first place where sweet osmanthus trees were grown. As the legend goes, at a middle-autumn night, the moon shined full and bright in the sky. A monk in Lingyin Temple called Deming (德明) accidentally saw numerous pearl-like objects falling from the moon. Those objects are as big as beans, and of different colors. From his master, Deming the monk learned those objects are auspicious sweet osmanthus seeds from the moon1. Later, Deming the monk planted them on the hills around Lingyin Temple. Since then, Lingyin Temple has been surrounded by colorful sweet osmanthus. And the hill next to the temple was even named “Yuegui Hill” (“Yue” refers to the moon, and “gui” means the sweet osmanthus). The highlight of the sweet osmanthus here is not just about the flower itself, but also the mysterious features Chinese folklore endowed it with.

Cultural Note:
According to Chinese folklore, there live two people on the moon: Chinese goddess of the Moon-Chang’e (嫦娥) and Wu Gang (吴刚) who was punished to cut down a self-healing Osmanthus tree endlessly.

Address: No.1, Fayun Alley, Lingyin Road, Hangzhou (杭州市灵隐路法云弄1号)
Tel: 86-571-87968665

Hangzhou Botanical Garden(杭州植物园)
Hangzhou Botanical Garden is also a good place to view sweet osmanthus. Different from the two other places, Hangzhou Botanical Garden is widely known for its various species of sweet osmanthus. Right now, there are over 30 species of osmanthus trees in the garden and most of the trees are over 50 years old. Among them, the over-ten-meter-tall “the King of Orange Osmanthus”(丹桂王) whose diameter is 1.05 meters is definitely highlighted.

Address: No.1, Taoyuan Ridge, Hangzhou (杭州市桃源岭1号)
Tel: 86-571-87961089