Inhaling the sweet scent of Osmanthus and the soothing aroma of autumn is a ritual familiar to everyone living in Hangzhou. If you happen to come near Manjuelong Village these days, you will know firsthand the refreshing fragrance of Osmanthus flower. Manjuelong Village has a tradition of making Osmanthus sugar from dried flowers and because of this, the whole village is propelled into a motivated work mode at this moment to supply the earliest Osmanthus sugar in the year.
The recognition of Manjuelong as an ideal destination for Osmanthus viewing in the broader West Lake area dates back to the Ming Dynasty. Here, Osmanthus can be found under every roof, on hillside, on either side of the road, in clusters, in swathes, one layer after another. Along the trails that stretch past Manjuelong scattered more than 7,000 Osmanthus trees, with the oldest one living past 200 years’ mark.
Located in Osmanthus Rain at Manjuelong, one of the new top ten scenes of the West Lake, Hangzhou Children’s Park is a famous Osmanthus viewing site praised for its richness in Osmanthus flower. In fact, a “Star” Osmanthus inhabits here, known as the harbinger of Osmanthus bloom since the branch of which traditionally brings forth the first Osmanthus flower in a year. This year, the flowering season came half a month later compared to the year before due to scorching temperatures. Nevertheless, all the 60 species and varieties are now in full bloom, screaming the best time for viewing.
Aside from Manjuelong Village, Hangzhou Botanical Garden is another spot that caters to the Osmanthus-loving community. Roaming around the garden in autumn means you will likely run into the intoxicating sweetness of Osmanthus at every corner. With each breath of wind, the scent spreads, wafts up over the red carpet of spider lilies, across landscaping in the garden and touches the tip of your nose. Inside the Botanical Garden’s north entrance stands the Osmanthus Garden. It covers an area of 3.6 hectares and was officially completed and put into operation in 1958. The garden is currently home to more than 2,000 Osmanthus trees and contains upwards of 20 different species and varieties, such as Golden Osmanthus, Silver Osmanthus and Orange Osmanthus. According to the staff, the garden has just announced its first Osmanthus competition in which the local high-birth variety called Early Silver Osmanthus lost the contest with Teal Tip, its Silver Osmanthus peer. When you embark on the journey looking for the sweet scent of Osmanthus, you may as well look for an Orange Osmanthus dubbed “The King of Orange Osmanthus” or “The Most Precious Treasure of the Garden”. The tree is over 10 meters high and 1.05 meters in diameter. Every time the Osmanthus bursts into flowers, the whole garden will be packed with its blossom and overflowing with its fragrance.