QBARS - v30n1 Rhododendrons Grow Wild at the "Top of the World"

Rhododendrons Grow Wild at the "Top of the World"
Frank J. Anderson

R. thomsonii candelabrum
R. thomsonii candelabrum , 16 to 20 feet,
3-inch bell-shaped pink flowers. Blooms
when an "old" plant.
R. fulgens
R. fulgens is a small rhododendron, only
8 feet tall; bell-shaped flowers are 1½
inches across, 4-inch leaves.
R. barbatum
R. barbatum grows to 60 feet, has deep red,
bell-shaped flowers 1½ inches across; leaves
7 inches
R. hodgsonii
R. hodgsonii grows to 20 feet. Has pale
purple, broad bell-shaped flowers 2 inches

One of the treasures of the N Y B G Library, The Rhododendrons of Sikkim-Himalaya (1849) brings together four great figures of Nineteenth Century botany. Now part of a collection of scarce folios of the last century, our copy was donated by the noted American botanist, John Torrey, to whom it had been given by Sir William Jackson Hooker, Director of the Royal Gardens of Kew. About 15 by 20 inches, the book's pages give ample scope for the thirty beautifully detailed, hand-colored lithographs made by that splendid botanical artist, England's Walter Hood Fitch, from the descriptions and field drawings of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (son of Sir William), who explored the borders of Nepal, Tibet, and Northern India in the years 1848-49. So accurate was Hooker's work that it drew great praise from the British Lhasa Expedition of 1903. Equal tribute might be given the book itself, a milestone in botanical art, as you can see from the four pictures above.