Designs on porcelain incorporating flowers in a basket or jardinière, first seems to appear on Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644) porcelain, and continued to be used throughout the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The design initially only appears on blue and white porcelain, later also in coloured enamels.
Flowers are considered very auspicious by the Chinese, because their profusion of blooms. The individual flowers and plants also often have a specific significance. The Chinese customarily decorate their homes with blossoms and flowers (hua) during the New Year, as they are thought to bring prosperity. Fresh flowers, or the depiction of flowers - particularly when combined with other auspicious symbols - bless the owner, his house and his family, generally wishing good health, prosperity and an abundance of male offspring.
The basket itself is also an auspicious motif, as they are capable of holding many items and therefore represent abundance and riches. Identifying the flowers held in the basket can be useful as it can further strengthen the auspiciousness of the design. Though often the free interpretation of the artist makes it difficult to identify the species of the flowers. A flower basket is also the attribute of Lan Caihe, one of the Daoist immortals who represents longevity.