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Peonies to flower all year long: scientists

IT has taken more than 1,000 years but the Chinese now say they can make peonies bloom any time of year.

Scientists in Luoyang, the "city of peonies," Henan Province, said yesterday that they can also increase the flowering time of peonies - a symbol of prosperity in imperial times - from three to five days to nearly a month.

"There will be blooming peonies at any festival, whether it's the national (founding day) holiday in October or the Spring Festival" that marks the end of winter under the lunar calendar, said Ma Zhuohua, vice director of the Luoyang Peony Research Institute, which boasts the country's largest peony gene bank.

"We use both physical methods, such as the control of temperature and light, and chemical methods such as spraying chemicals on the flower buds and leaves," said Fan Peirong, an engineer with the institute.


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