Rhododendrons Of China
Synopsis for jacket cover
For over a hundred years, horticulturalists of the Western world have sought to collect the prized rhododendrons of China. Their quest began in the company of merchants, clerics, and others intrigued by this land of ancient culture. By the dawn of this century, far-ranging expeditions were venturing inland along the great rivers to find botanical treasures in the most remote areas. Fortune, Delavay, Maximovicz, Wilson, Forrest, KingdonWard, and Rock were among those who collected information along with herbarium specimens and seed, providing rhododendron enthusiasts with most of what is known today about the diverse wealth of the genus in China. In the West, botanists named and arranged while gardeners cultivated and assessed the discoveries. Missing, however, was one element - how the Chinese themselves viewed their native flora.
Rhododendrons of China provides the first English translation of a review of the genus by Chinese botanists. Under the leadership of the Beijing Institute of Botany, a team of taxonomists has taken a fresh look at rhododendrons in all parts of China, neither ignoring nor rejecting the fact that Westerners have explored their land and described their plants. Their work is in accord with international convention in arranging the genus and with the rules of nomenclature in applying recognized Latin names. Several new species have been described, others are seen from a different perspective, and 298 are integrated into the most detailed botanical key of the genus ever published. Most unique and instructive are the reproduced line drawings of 283 species, originally drawn from living material and herbarium specimens to depict specific diagnostic features.
Published in the People's Republic of China in 1974, the Rhododendron section of lconographia Cormophytorum Sinicorum, Volume III; has been translated by Judy Young and Dr. Lusheng Chong under the sponsorship of the Rhododendron' Species Foundation.
Mrs. Young, a student of the Chinese language since 1975, holds a B.S. in Medical Technology from Oregon State University. In preparation for the ICS Project she spent time in Taiwan, primarily gathering rhododendron and translation resources at the botanical library of National Taiwan University and traveling to mountain habitats of native rhododendrons. Mrs. Young is a member of the American Rhododendron Society, the Rhododendron Species Foundation, the U of W Arboretum Foundation and the Seattle Rhododendron Study Group.
Dr. Chung received his doctoral degree at the University of Washington, specializing in methodology of foreign language teaching. He is the director of the Chinese Culture Learning Center. He was a visiting Associate Professor at the University of Washington and is presently a Professor at North Seattle Community College. He is the author of Mandarin Phonetics, co-editor of Selections from Chinese Literature, and co-editor of A New Practical Chinese-English Dictionary. He has been teaching Chinese as a second language since 1956.
The translation includes the botanical descriptions of 283 rhododendron species with the Latin and Chinese names, as well as the key which can be followed from the genus level through the various subgenera and sections to individual species. The translated text has been reviewed and evaluated by a panel of noted botanists.
For the benefit of professionals and amateurs alike, Rhododendrons of China also features a unique combination of resources for study. There is a bilingual glossary defining nearly 300 terms used in the description of rhododendrons, plus a guide to the recently adopted Pinyin pronunciation of Chinese. A map of China within the front and back covers shows all provinces and prominent features from the text, while a geographic index gives the place names in Pinyin and simplified characters, along with older names and approximate locations. The extensive bibliography includes new Chinese dictionaries and maps along with modern and older botanical references used in making the translation.
Publication of the translated material, entitled Rhododendrons of China is jointly sponsored by the American Rhododendron Society and the Rhododendron Species Foundation.