O. fragrans is considered to be one of the four famous traditional flowers in China, and has been cultivated in China for over 2000 years. The book Xijing Zaji ("Miscellanies about West Capital") recorded sweet O. fragrans growing in Hanwu Emperor's Shanglin Gardens (about 11 BC). Similar records can also be found in other ancient Chinese books, such as Sanfu Huangtu and Shanglin Fu. Between the Han and South-and-North Dynasties in China, O. fragrans became a very famous flower. O. fragrans was introduced to Europe in the middle of the 19th century by the French botanist Jean Marie Delavay (Zang & Xiang, 2004). The flower is used in perfumery and foods, such as sweet Osmanthus wine, tea, sugar, juices, cakes and sauces (Wang et al., 2009).
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