Plum - Prunus - (Hawthorne) (Symbolism Chinese-Japanese) - Symbol of Winter, corresponding to the month of January. One of the "Three Friends of Winter" which is the emblem of beauty, purity and longevity. In modern China Prunus is the National Flower. The five petals signifying the five peoples of China: Han, Manchu, Mongol, Mohammedan and Tibetan. The "plum" in Chinese art is botanical Prunus mume or mei and more closely related to the Apricot then the Plum. Prunus mume is a deciduous tree, native to China and southwestern Japan that is very resistant to freezing.