While many Chinese cities are currently experiencing scorching heat, the essence of spring lingers in the Dounan Flower Market in Kunming, Southwest China’s Yunnan province. An array of blossoms, including lotuses, roses, and sunflowers, grace the scene here, ready to embark on a journey across the nation, adorning shopping malls, conference halls, wedding venues, and the cozy corners of people’s homes.
About 30 years ago, the Dounan Flower Market was just a street with roadside stalls selling flowers, but today it has become Asia’s largest fresh-cut flower trading market. Its floral beauty reaches more than 40 countries and regions, with the export value hitting 520 million yuan ($71.7 million) in 2021, ranking first nationwide. Yunnan’s fresh-cut flower growing area totaled 21,700 hectares in that year.
“This is a market for all people, where everyone can buy their favorite flowers at the lowest price,” said Shi Jinlong, a seller hailing from the northwestern Shaanxi province. The Dounan market springs to life around 5 am every day. Upon entering the bustling market, Shi starts his day by looking through the array of flowers brought by wholesalers and jotting down price details as he goes.
The wholesale trading session normally ends by 9 am. By then, retailers like Shi arrange their flowers at their stalls, waiting for buyers. A portion of Shi’s flowers had been procured from wholesalers earlier, while the remaining were homegrown.
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