Friday, 18 December 2009

Exploring the Upper Dulong River



Yesterday's post brought a kind gift from Michael Wickenden of Cally Gardens, a nicely produced report (illustrated above) on a seed collecting expedition made in 2008 to the Upper Dulong River, Yunnan. This venture took a team of plant enthusiasts from the UK (Michael Wickenden & Michael Lear) to this seldom-visited part of far western China, in company with several Chinese colleagues, notably Prof. Dao Zhiling from the Kunming Institute of Botany: the expedition had the blessing of the Institute and RBG Kew. Seed and herbarium specimens collected on the trip were deposited at the Kumning Institute of Botany and the expedition seems to have been a model of cooperative collaboration.

The report mostly takes the form of a diary of the expedition, copiously illustrated in colour throughout and showing not only scenes and specimens from this trip, but flowering plants from Michael Wickenden's previous visits, when more plants were in flower. It's the sort of report that makes one wish one had been there - so many good plants in a fascinating place. The highlight of the expedition was evidently the 'discovery' of a large forest patch containing an excellent population of Davidia involucrata as well as many other magnificent specimens of other species. Long may they survive!

The report is available from Cally Gardens (www.callygardens.co.uk)

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