Hunan Province is located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze watershed, part of the South Central China region, with Changsha City as its capital. The name Hunan literally means “south of the lake” which is referred to Dongting Lake. Xiang is short for the Province, after the Xiang River, which is the largest river in the province running from south to north through Hunan. Furong, meaning “Hibiscus mutabilis Linn” in Mandarin, has flourished in Hunan since ancient times which can be proved by the poem in the Five Dynasties period (907–960) and refers to Hunan which is known as the “Furong state”.
“Three Xiangs and Four Rivers” is its another name. The Three Xiangs refer to the Xiaoxiang, the Zhengxiang and the Yuanxiang, which are named since they are respectively where Xiangjiang River meets Xiaoshui, Zhengshui and Yuanshui when flowing through Yongzhou, Hengyang and Dongting Lake. The Four Rivers refer to the Xiangjiang, the Zijiang, the Yuanjiang and the Lishui Rivers.