Almost all varieties of the major plant species that grow throughout the Northern Hemisphere also grow in China's widely disparate environment of frigid, temperate and tropical temperatures. In total, over 7,000 varieties of woody plants, 2,000 types of edibles and 3,000 kinds of medicinal plants live in the country.
Peony, also known as "king of flowers," is indigenous to China, and is one of its national flowers. Plants produce large blooms in bright colors, with the blossoms categorized as single, semi-double, double, Japanese and anemone flowered. Plants grow best in cooler climates, as they require a period of cool dormancy. Flowers bloom in spring, and their tall stems may require staking.
Peony plants prefer growing in full to partial sun, and in a well-draining soil rich in organic material. They require regular watering for best growth and blooms. Peonies are difficult to transplant and grow best if left undisturbed in their particular site. They grow well in perennial flower gardens, borders and as specimens.
Bougainvillea, also known as paper flower, grows throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of China, preferring warm, sunny climates. It has a variety of cultivars producing flowers ranging in colors of red, pink, purple, orange, white, yellow and bi-colors. Plants bloom year-round and are trainable as vines, hedges, large shrubs or specimen plants.
Bougainvillea prefers growing outdoors in full sun in soil that drains well. Plants can reach 30 feet in height at maturity. Bougainvillea is drought tolerant once established and is salt tolerant.
Celosia, also known as cockscomb, is native to Asia, and is adapted to growing in warm, tropical and subtropical climates. In warmer regions, the plant acts as a perennial. Cooler regions should treat celosia as an annual. The two types of celosia, plumed and crested, produce colorful flower plumes in yellow, orange and red, blooming in late spring throughout summer and early fall.
Plant can reach 1 to 4 feet in height and prefer growing in full to partial sun conditions. Celosia has average water needs, and grows well in flowerbeds or containers. Considered a medicinal plant, celosia treats burned skin.
The rose plant goes back many centuries in Chinese history, with references in the Imperial Chinese Library during the time of Confucius. Some species were first cultivated in the country, and the flower is the representative of love. Roses are broken into four categories: species, old garden, modern and hybrids. Plants range in size, with petite miniatures rarely growing over 1 foot in height, to sprawling climbers reaching up to 2 feet in height.
Roses prefer growing in full sun and in well-draining soils primarily made up of clay. Flowers range in a vast array of single and multiple colors, as there are many cultivars. Plants require regular watering and should be pruned back severely in early fall.