1. Grape 葡萄
Originating in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, the grape entered China from Dayuan, during the reign of Emperor Wu of Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 220). Dayuan was an ancient country in Ferghana valley in central Asia, which was famous for grapes, alfalfa, and ferghana horses.
2. Pomegranate 石榴
The pomegranate(读音['pɑm.ɡrænət]) originated in the region of modern-day Iran, and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region and northern India. The fruit was introduced to China during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), and was considered an emblem of fertility and numerous progeny.
3. Walnut 核桃
4. Garlic 蒜
Garlic is native to the region of southern Europe and central Asia. During the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24), Zhang introduced the species in the onion genus, Allium, to China. During ancient times in China, foreign tribes were referred to as "Hu troops", so garlic was originally referred to as "Hu garlic".
5. Coriander 香菜
Coriander(读音[ˌkɒriˈændə(r)]), known as cilantro(读音[sɪˈlæntroʊ]) or Chinese parsley, is native to the regions spanning from southern Europe to central Asia. Zhang brought the seeds of coriander into China, according to The Compendium of Materia Medica, an ancient Chinese book on herbology, which was written during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) by Doctor Li Shizhen.
6. Cucumber 黄瓜
Cucumber is originally from South Asia, on the southern foot of the Qomolangma Mountain. However, in Zhang's time, the cucumber was known as the "Hu melon".
7. Alfalfa 苜蓿
The alfalfa(读音[æl'fælfə]), also called lucerne(读音[luˈsɚn]), is an important forage crop in many countries around the world. According to the Records of the Grand Historian, by historian Sima Qian of the Han Dynasty, alfalfa was introduced into China from Dayuan following Zhang Qian's embassy.
8. Eggplant 茄子
Eggplant, originally domesticated in India and Southeast Asia, was brought into China during the Han Dynasty, and became a common vegetable in the Jin Dynasty (AD 265-420).
9. Sesame 芝麻
Sesame, introduced into China by Zhang, has many species, with most being wild and native to sub-Saharan Africa. Sesame indicum, the cultivated type which is edible, was originated in India.
10. Hyacinth bean 扁豆
The hyacinth(读音[ˈhaɪəsɪnθ]) bean was originally grown in India, and brought into China between the Han and Jin dynasties.
11. Date palm 椰枣
A farmer collects dates from a palm tree at a date palm orchard during harvest in Abul Khassib, a town near the southern Iraqi city of Basra, September 5, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]
The date palm was cultivated for its edible sweet fruit.
12. Jackfruit 菠萝蜜
The jackfruit is native to parts of South and Southeast Asia, and is believed to have originated in the southwestern rain forests of the Western Ghats in the Indian subcontinent.
13. Black pepper 黑胡椒
Black pepper is native to ancient Persia, the Arab world, and South India. Throughout the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), black pepper was introduced into China by merchants on the Silk Road, and became a popular spice for meat dishes among Tang people.
14. Pistachio 开心果
The pistachio(读音[pɪˈstæʃiəʊ]), a member of the cashew family, was brought into China by the Arabs during the Tang Dynasty.
15. Spinach 菠菜
Spinach is thought to have originated in ancient Persia. The earliest available record of the spinach plant was recorded in Chinese, stating it was introduced into China via Nepal.
16. Carrot 胡萝卜
Carrots were originally cultivated for its leaves and seeds. The plant was first introduced into the western parts of China, and then Dunhuang of West China's Gansu province. It was then introduced into the central plains during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).
17. Watermelon 西瓜
A vendor stands behind watermelons displayed for sale in Kfar Tebnit village, southern Lebanon, August 18, 2016.
Watermelon, which originated in the desert of Africa, was brought along the Silk Road to western China and Ouigour – located in today's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region – in ancient China. It appeared in Xinjiang during the early Tang Dynasty, and in China's inland between the Five Dynasties, Ten Kingdomgs (AD 907-960) and Liao Dynasty (916-1125).
18. Lettuce 莴苣
A lettuce is pictured at Kajodlingen farm in Gothenburg, Sweden, September 28, 2016.
Lettuce originated from the Mediterranean coast, and appeared in China around the Sui (AD 581-618) and Tang dynasties.
19. Luffa 丝瓜
The luffa(读音['lʌfə]), which originated in India, was introduced into China during the late Tang Dynasty and became a common vegetable in the Ming Dynasty.
20. Cabbage 卷心菜
Photo from pixabay.com
Cabbage, a leafy green or purple biennial plant, was domesticated in Europe before 1000 BC. It travelled through the western China before arriving in China by the Hexi Corridor, a part of the Silk Road in Gansu province.