历史上的很长一段时期，全世界都一致认为茶的原产地是中国。瑞典科学家林奈在1753年出版的《植物种志》中，将茶树的学名定为Camellia sinensis L.，“sinensis”在拉丁文中的意思就是中国。
For a long time in history, the world agreed that the origin of tea was China. In 1753, a Swedish scientist named Camellia sinensis L. in the flora of plants published by Swedish scientist Linnaeus, which means China in Latin.
However, in 1824, Bruce, an Englishman, discovered the wild tea plant in sadiya, Assam, India. There were four opinions on the origin of tea
(1) Tea is native to China. Starting from the natural classification of plants written by French scholar ganive in 1813, the following American scholar Walsh’s the history and secret of tea, the British scholar Willison’s travel notes to southwest China, plant science, on the evolutionary factors of wild tea plants, and the Japanese tea origin research association, etc., all believed that tea plants originated in China.
(2) Tea is native to India. In 1824, Bruce discovered a large tea plant in Assam, and in 1838, he reported the discovery of a large wild tea plant in 108 places in India, thus claiming that the tea plant originated in India. Later, British scholars in Assam’s tea, tea merchant’s guide, tea and the Japanese dictionary in 1911 all believed that tea trees originated in India.
(3) Tea is native to Southeast Asia. The reason is that the natural conditions in eastern Myanmar, northern Thailand, Vietnam, Yunnan of China and Assam of India are very suitable for the growth and reproduction of tea trees.
(4) Dualism of tea origin. Represented by Indonesian scholar C. Stuart, it is believed that the large leaf tea originated from Sichuan, Yunnan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and India in China, while the small leaf tea originated in the East and southeast of China.
Despite the controversy, most people believe that the tea plant originated in China. In 1922, Wu juenong discussed the use of tea as medicine by Shennong family, the cultivation and utilization of tea plants in Chinese dynasties, and the distribution of modern tea plants. It was suggested that tea plants originated in China. And firmly declared: “no one can deny that China is the origin of tea.”
After the founding of the people’s Republic of China, the scientific research and analysis of tea plants provided a more reliable and convincing basis for the origin of tea plants in China.
(1) China is the first country to utilize and cultivate tea. Tea was used as a sacrifice more than 2000 years ago. Lu Yu recorded in the book of tea that there were eight tea areas in the Tang Dynasty, and there were large-scale tea gardens. There were 35 states in the Northern Song Dynasty and 66 states in the Southern Song Dynasty.
(2) Camellia is the most abundant plant in Southwest China. According to statistics, there are more than 380 species in 23 genera of Theaceae in the world, and more than 260 species in 15 genera in China. In Yunnan, Guangxi, Guangdong and Guizhou, there are a large number of Camellia plants on both sides of the 25 degree north latitude line, which is an important symbol of the flora of the origin.
(3) The wild tea plants were discovered in China. As early as 1700 years ago, large wild tea plants were found in China. According to incomplete statistics, more than 200 wild tea plants have been found in more than 10 provinces and cities (districts). In Yunnan Province, there are more than 10 large tea trees with trunk diameter more than 1 meter.
(4) The genetic diversity of tea germplasm resources in China is the most abundant.
(5) Yunnan has the most species and varieties, and has the closest relationship with Theaceae. Yunnan tea plants have various types of phylogeny from primitive morphological structure to evolutionary secondary morphological structure, forming continuous variation, such as tree shape, height, leaf morphology, flower organ, etc. There are 21 species and 3 varieties in Yunnan, accounting for 66.7% of the total tea species. At the same time, Yunnan’s geographical environment is relatively special, with the climate of cold zone, temperate zone and tropical zone, known as “plant kingdom”.
It is further inferred that Yunnan is the center of geographical origin and cultivation origin of tea.