The Dongguan City Flower

city factsThough this cute flower will appear as a symbol on the Dongguan Metro when it opens in May, few people know of Dongguan’ city flower, the White Michelia. In fact, the flower has caused much debate. First, the Dongguan Forestry Society made a mistake about the flower’s Chinese name (bái lán) on its website, naming another flower instead (bái yù lán), which is native to the north of China. Accordingly, the wrong name is widely used by Dongguan natives. Second, some claim it should not be the White Michelia, but the Guan incense flower (Aquilaria sinensis) that should be the city flower. It is after all where Dong-Guan gets its name. Since 960 AD, Dongguan had been the main origin of Guan and shipped tons of it abroad via Hong Kong. Nevertheless, it was White Michelia that stole the limelight and got the gig as the city’s flower.