Guide to the Flowers of Western China
China's rich flora is unrivalled in temperate latitudes of the world, with 30,000 species of plants. Nowhere is this floral richness better seen than in the west of the country. With its diverse scenery, lush forests, huge rivers and massive mountains, western China has been the centre of plant exploration for two centuries, giving rise to Clematis, Gentiana, Primula, Rhododendron and hundreds of orchids, Meconopsis, camellias, peonies and roses. Our gardens, parks and botanic institutes are full of trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs of Chinese origin.
Today much of China is open for travellers to enjoy the amazing variety of scenery and the vast, rich flora. This exceptional pictorial flora to western China describes and illustrates over 2,400 plants, and while providing a field guide to many of the commoner and colourful elements of the flora, it also includes many endemics and plants of great rarity. With the arrangement of the plant families following the latest DNA-based classification, it will meet the discerning needs of plant scientists.
Phillip Cribb is a leading specialist on the taxonomy and conservation of orchids. He was Deputy Keeper of the Herbarium and Curator of the Orchid Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, until his retirement in 2006.
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