An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Chahuapu 茶花譜

Mar 11, 2022 © Ulrich Theobald

Chahuapu 茶花譜 is a book on camellia (Camellia japonica) written during the late Qing period 清 (1644-1911) by Li Zuwang 李祖望 (died c. 1880), courtesy name Binyu 賓嵎, from Jiangdu 江都, Jiangsu. Li was an excess-quota tribute student (zeng gongsheng 增貢生) and was famous for his literary talent. His collected writings are called Qiebushezhai wenji 鍥不舍齋文集.

The preface of the Chahuapu is included in Li's writings, but the date of publication is unknown. It was finished in 1846. The text is divided into two fascicles, the first of which explains different names and designations for camellias and describes the appearance of flowers in detail. The second part is dedicated to methods of cultivation and care.

Another, 3-juan-long book with the same title was written in 1719. Its author is called Pujingzi 樸靜子 "Master of simplicity and quiescence". The preface says, this person was a public servant in Zhangzhou 漳州, Fujian, but his identity is unknown. Camellia flowers of Fujian had their own special taste and were exported to Japan. The first fascicle describes 43 types of Fujian camellias. The language of this part is in many parts unclear and abstract. The second part records 67 poems about camellias, and the last one provides methods of camellias cultivation and care.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1870.
Wang Yuhu 王毓瑚, ed. (1964). Zhongguo nongxue shulu 中國農學書錄 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), 269.