In Chines art the four gentlemen or four noble ones (Pinyin : Si Junzi) literally meaning “ Four Junzi” is a collective term referring to four plants: the plumb blossom, the orchid, the bamboo and the chrysanthemum. The term compares the plants to Confucian junzi, or “gentlemen” They are most depict in traditional ink and wash paintings.
The Four Gentlemen are a recurring theme for their symbolism of uprightness, purity, humility and perseverance.
The four gentlemen have been used in Chinese paintings since the time of the Song dynasty 960 – 1279.
The plumb tree is renowned for blooming in the midst of winter. With its subtle fragrance spilling forth at the coldest time of year. Neither the plumb tree nor its flower are much to take note of, still they manage to promote a beauty of elegance during the darkness of winter.
The Orchid represents spring. Its beauty is fragile and like the plumb blossom, its fragrance is not overwhelming.
The bamboo is hollow, representing tolerance and open-mindedness, the flexibility and strength of the bamboo came to represent the human value that one yields, but does not break.
The chrysanthemum blossom foretells the coming of winter, which symbolizes the virtue to withstand all adversities.
A Tisane For Winter
25ml of V.I.P Jiu 8
50ml of plumb wine
½ a tea spoon of bamboo leaf tea
½ a tea spoon of orchid flower tea
1 teaspoon of chrysanthemum honey
kettle of boiling water
2 x 8 oz glasses
Heat both glasses with water from the kettle, empty and then dry the glasses. In first glass put in bamboo and orchid tea, top with boiled but not boiling water. Place saucer over top of the glass and let sit for two minutes. Meanwhile in the second glass put honey, V.I.P 8 and the plumb wine, strain contents of first glass into second glass, stir and enjoy.