2015 Expedition to Sichuan
Following on the heels of the 2015 North America-China Plant Exploration Consortium (NACPEC) expedition (which focused on Acer griseum), Curator of Living Collections Michael Dosmann spent time exploring the botanical diversity of northern Sichuan, particularly the area inside and around Huanglong National Nature Reserve. This work occurred in advance of the signing of a tri-lateral agreement between the Reserve, the Chengdu Institute of Biology, and The Arboretum. Located in Sichuan’s Aba Prefecture, not far from the town of Songpan (a favorite locale of Ernest Henry Wilson), the Reserve is known for its geological features, wildlife (including giant panda and snub-nosed monkeys), and of course diverse flora. Accompanied by Prof. Gao Xinfen of the Chengdu Institute of Biology, Michael made a dozen collections including five different species of rose (the unusual four-petaled Rosa omeiensis being one of them), as well as Sibiraea angustata, a shrubby member of the rose family not in the Arboretum’s living collections.
At the end of the trip, before the signing of the tri-lateral agreement on the 28th of September, Michael was joined by Arboretum Director Ned Friedman. Eager to get out into the field, the two (this time accompanied by CIB’s Prof. Yin Kaipu and Mr. Li Meng, a graduate student of Prof. Gao’s) visited Longchi National Forest Park, about an hour north of Chengdu, on September 27. It was here that the team made several more collections, including a collection of seeds from the dove tree, Davidia involucrata. All told, this excursion to northern Sichuan yielded 14 different collections of unique taxa.