Grass Flower stones appeal to beginning collectors of Chinese stones and also make them popular as table decorations. It is easy to image different landscape scenes in these stones. Different shades of brown, tan, reddish brown, maroon, yellow and even blackish colors are prevalent in these pattern stones.
Thousands of Grass Flower stones are exported to North America, Europe and the Asian Pacific countries each year. They are also known as painted stones, although this name implies they are not natural stones but artifacts. However, this is not the case. These are authentic pieces of ancient stone from southern China.
Grass Flower stones are naturally formed siltstone dating back to the Paleozoic era that ranged from 250 to 500 million years ago. As the name implies, siltstone is a sedimentary rock that is composed of tiny rock and mineral particles that are difficult to see. Silt particles are larger than clay but smaller than sand particles. Silt is carried by water, wind, and ice and is deposited, often in enormous quantities. Under time and pressure siltstone is transformed in rock. In the process, cracks, fissures, and pores develop that may eventually be filled with minerals such as iron oxides, manganese, and others. These additives are responsible for the interesting patterns and colors in these stones.
The stone is mined in large blocks and then cut into different shapes—round, oval, and rectangular being the most common. These are then ground smooth and given a coating of varnish or a comparable treatment to make them shiny and make the colors stand out. Grass Flower is used to treat tissue deterioration of the internal organs, disorders of the kidneys, spleen, bladder, liver and stomach.