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Yunnan - Land of the Southern Cloud (9)


By AndrewR


All good things come to an end, and we had reached the last day of our trip. The bad weather we had endured earlier was just a memory

There was still time to find rhododendron racemosum

And a tree hosting the parasitic scurrula elata

Did I mention we’d seen a stunning little gentian? Gentiana haynaldii does not appear to be in cultivation

We found another primula – P. involucrata subsp yargongensis

We had not seen many ‘new’ plants on our last day, but the tour leader promised one last treat. It was thermopsis barbata

There was just time to look over the fence into a nearby field

Where we found a stunning meadow of wild flowers. Can I fit this into my garden somewhere?

China is a vast country and we barely scratched one corner of it. The main threats to the native plants are the frenetic redevelopment of the country, and the digging up of plants for Chinese medicine. We can only hope the authorities realise what they might be destroying before it is too late.

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This has been a wonderful series of blogs Andrew - great memories of an unforgettable trip!

30 Aug, 2017


That's a beautiful gentian, Andrew : very tempting!

I have made. a note of quite a few plant names.

(In the Bristol Uni gardens there were lots of plants from China all used for medicinal purposes. Fascinating!)

30 Aug, 2017


such a great account of your journey. this is one set I will keep re reading in the future.

lets hope the conservationists get involved before its too late.

31 Aug, 2017


A very worthwhile journey, Andrew, your tour leader was very knowledgable. I wonder how he keeps track of all those special plants & which are flowering to show you. The gentian is especially stunning, hard to believe it's not being cultivated.
Are you aware of The International Rock Gardener, There is quite some info about China's gentians there:

31 Aug, 2017


I've enjoyed this series very much Andrew. Imagine being able to travel at will. Did they tell you what pictures you could take? China has been closed to the western world for so long.
Thermopsis barbata is delightful.. the silvery, hairy foliage and that delicious purple flower! WoW! a great way to end a visit of discovery.

5 Sep, 2017


Lori - there were no restrictions on photos although we were careful not to go close to any sensitive areas. The only 'problem' was on the first day when our leader took us into a Nature Reserve without the necessary paperwork, and we were stopped by a Park Ranger. We were subsequently told that two packets of cigarettes changed hands.

5 Sep, 2017


Whew! always take extra cigs!

7 Sep, 2017


What a wonderful experience. Thank you for sharing you journey with us. Some wonderful plants. Hope it's not Last chance to see! Considering the Chineses impact on rhinos, believing their horns to have medicinal properties, I think their flora will suffer the same destruction.

12 Sep, 2017


I've enjoyed each and everyone of your blogs,( added to favourites to browse at my leisure) must have been the trip of a lifetime, how wonderful to see all the Alpines and Rhododendrons in their natural surroundings, the scenery, in fact everything,even the bleak towns, must have been an eye-opener, not forgetting the breakdown and road that disappeared, I'm sure I would have balked at the bridge across that rather dangerous looking, fast flowing river, even sharing the one and only toilet, lol, the memories will stay with you for ever.
Thankyou for sharing with us, taking the time to name all the plants and shrubs, it must have taken you hours loading all the photo's and writing all the blogs, its very much appreciated....

12 Sep, 2017

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