Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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(914 words)

Among a number of words listed in the first Chinese dictionary, the Shuowen jiezi (121), two are directly related to horticulture: yuan, "a site for the cultivation of plants and fruit trees", and pu, "a site for the cultivation of vegetables and fruit trees". Regrettably, there are no descriptions for these two types of gardens from ancient times. The only external characteristic can be inferred from etymological analysis: both of these Chinese characters include the element for 'border' or 'delimitation', which suggests that …

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Henning, Karl, “Horticulture”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 08 February 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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