This bee in the magnolia flower (Magnolia Stellata Rosea) confirmed that Spring has arrived. This was the first flower to open on the tree! The orchid in the lower half of the picture is indoors but equally as lovely.
Both magnolia flowers and orchids are listed in the Chinese Materia Medica. Flos Magnoliae is known as Xin Yi Hua, there are several species of magnolia trees and flowers, they are generally grown in Henan, Anhui, Hubei and Sichuan provinces in China. Xin Yi Hua is in the herbal category of warm, acrid herbs that release the exterior, it is often used in formulas with other herbs to unblock the nasal passages, relieve headaches and sinus conditions.
Shi Hu, Herba Dendrobii, is an orchid that is used to tonify yin. There are several species of this lovely orchid that are employed in designing formulas.