Bead Tree (Adenanthera pavonia)

Bead Tree

Bead tree grows in South China
It shoots up in the Spring
Many people want to collect their seeds
They are the things arouses lovesickness

This is a poem written by a famous ancient Chinese poet, Wang Wei; it was passed down generation after generation to the present and is still read by people of today. The Chinese people regard it as a perfect poem. 

China has lovesick birds, lovesick trees and lovesick beans. The story goes: there was a young wife in ancient China. She missed her husband who went out for battles. She often cried under the tree in front of her gate; her tears dried up, and blood came out of her eyes. The blood dyed the roots of the tree into red; afterwards, small and red beans began to grow on the tree, and the beans were bead tree.

Bead Tree

Bead tree mainly grows in Canton, Guangxi, and Xishuangbanna of Yunnan etc. Of them, the bean with a black speck in one end of the bean is called the peacock bean, which is a vine plant; the beans appear round or heart-shaped are called bead tree, which is a wood plant. They abloom in May of each year and their seeds become ripen in October. 

Bead tree is red and bright and never fades in color. It looks like a heart-shaped gem. If one looks at it carefully, he will find that its red color gradually deepens from the outer edge towards the center; and the central part is the reddest in color and heart-shaped; there are larger hearts outside small hearts; like what a Chinese proverb says: "hearts are linked together". Therefore, bead tree is called the "bean of missing", and is deemed as the symbol of love and friendship. However, the significance of bead tree has now exceeded its original meaning; President Jiang Zemin planted an bead tree in Xishuangbanna Tropical Plant Park personally in 1989, and this expressed the care of the party and the government for the people in the frontiers.