Much interest in importing 'Cathay' tulip

Updated: 2014-03-25 18:57


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Several botanical gardens and flower-themed parks in Shanghai and Beijing are committed to importing and planting a newly cultivated variety of tulip from the Netherlands, after the flower was blessed with a new name by China's First Lady Peng Liyuan, according to local papers Metro Express in Shanghai and Beijing-based Legal Evening News on Tuesday.

On Sunday, Peng, during a state visit with her husband President Xi Jinping to the Netherlands for the Nuclear Security Summit, poured champagne to bless the tulip and named the plant Cathay, or in Chinese guotai, at the invitation of the Dutch Queen Maxima.

The name, Cathay, is both an old name for China in the Netherlands and means "prosperous country" in Chinese.

"As long as the new variety is available for sale in the Netherlands, we would consider buying it and having it cultivated in our park," Wei Yu from the gardening department of the Beijing Botanical Gardens told Legal Evening News.

Wei's counterparts in the capital city's Zhongshan Park and Shanghai's Botanical Garden and Flower Port expressed similar interest and intention in importing the cultivar.