|Cinnamonum cassia; Guangxi Autonomous Region (abbrev.)||
flower; blossom; to spend (money, time); fancy pattern
|simp. and trad.
- Min Nan
- sweet osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans)
- 樨 (xī)
|Kanji in this term|
- 桂華 (rare)
*/kweːkwa/ → /keːkwa/ → /keːka/
The term 桂花 is generally reserved for compounds. The tree and the flowers are usually distinguished within Japan between the white-blossoming 銀木犀 (ginmokusei, “silver osmanthus”) and the orange-blossoming 金木犀 (kinmokusei, “gold osmanthus”), with the latter being more popular.
- 金木犀 (kinmokusei): gold osmanthus
- 銀木犀 (ginmokusei): silver osmanthus
- 木犀 (mokusei): Osmanthus fragrans in general
From a Chinese legend that the phases of the moon were caused by 桂 trees (kei in Japanese: general name for Lauraceae and other fragrant trees), which would bud, blossom, then drop their flowers and leaves again as if in accelerated seasons. Literally, “kei flower”, likening the phases of the moon to the budding and blooming of the trees.