Skip to content

Bretschneidera sinensis on the verge of extinction?

August 29, 2010

In Thailand, the fantastic Bretschneidera sinensis (Bretschneideraceae) is only known from one mountain in the Nan province. The information given there is that this tree may be extinct elsewhere. It was previously reported from Southern China and Vietnam. During my trip to the Hunan province, I was taken to the Heng Shan national park, visited by the Chinese in great numbers (but no westerners) to admire Qing dynasty Taoist and Buddhist temples. As it turned out, there is both a herbarium and an arboretum here, and using a Chinese colleague as an interpreter, we realised Bretschneidera sinensis occurs here! The herbarium keeps collections from the 1980’s, the curator collects seeds, and when I asked if I could see the trees, they took us to two places where we actually saw it! At one place, most of the mountain had been devastated by logging, now only being covered by bamboo, but at the fringe, there were two remaining large specimens of Bretschneidera, and numerous seedlings on the ground! Spectacular! 

Eric Danell

Bretschneidera sinensis with fruits, Heng Shan National Park, Hunan, China, August 20th, 2010.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: