Qing Cheng Hou Shan
Part 2 (early June)
June 11, 2005

Greetings from Qing Cheng Hou Shan

What an ideal setting this is, at mid level in Qing Cheng Shan in the cool
morning mountain air in an empty outdoor patio, hearing the chirps of birds
signaling the new day. This is my "me" time. My two assistants are just
waking up and I told them to meet me for breakfast in about one hour so
they can continue to rest after our long day hike yesterday up the back
mountain scouting for new plant species for my project.
It was quite a productive day yesterday. Being that this was the first time I’ve lead
and organized a “expedition”, I certainly learned a lot about how I do my work
and what is necessary to do when I have help and assistant so work is efficient yet
also fun. I’ll admit I’ve always loved doing this work on my own since the
landscape and plant species I find are very close to my heart, but over the years, I’
ve learned to share this experience no matter how personal it is to me. To see the
enthusiasm of my company motivates me to carry on and whenever I’m in the
mountains scouting for plants, I feel like it’s my territory and it’s hard to describe
this feeling of being “one with nature”.Hhhaahahha. I guess what I’m most amazed
with is, it feels like a personal garden. Just looking out into the distance, I can
indentify plants that I’ve grown and/or have growing in my garden in Shoreline.
The stands of Magnolia officinalis just one month past since it was in magnificent
bloom are showing follicles about to expand and ripen into seed this fall (see a
photo below from the cable car of these magnificent plants).
My hope of finding the grand Cardiocrinums I
witnessed last time I was here ended in disappointment
as I found specimens already chopped down and the
few that weren’t decapitated where already forming
seed pods. I had a photo taken to express this
disappointment, but oh well.
My most exciting finds yesterday were all herbaceous
and certainly caused some excitement among my
assistance as I gasped and raved about these finds.
Along a dry stream under the shade of Cornus
controversa was a patch of plants that looked very
familiar. The half meter stand of glabrous, leather like lily
leaves were striking by themselves, but as I examined the
axils of the foliage, a row of 1 inch deep yellow flowers
densely spotted in brown made my jaw drop. As I bent
down to examine the flowers, a light sweet fragrance
filled my nostrils. Now, I haven’t grown too many of
these Polygonatum type plants b4, but this would be a
welcomed addition into my garden or any garden. Being
not to familiar with the genus, I don’t know the species,
but I’m certainly hoping it’s one that’s garden worthy.
Further up the mountain around 1500m in elevation, I've
been keeping my eye out for those illusive Podophyllums.
Hiking past the Twin Waterfalls I looked up into a deeply
shaded woodland and kept my eye out for large circular
foliage and low and behold, I found a small patch of two
plants of these lovely Mayapples, but as I scaled the
slippery and muddy slope, I also encountered Paris. Not
just one, but whenever you turned to see out other plants,
you’d encounter others in bloom. I found two distinct forms
with broad and linear foliage with apricot orange ovaries
and another one with pale purple ovaries with contrasting
yellow stamens.
“Hiring help” has certainly has had its ups and downs, but I’
m glad to say that it’s been mostly up. It’s been amazing
what Winco and Ben have been able to do for me. From
hiring a vehicle to the mountain to avoid the entrance fee to
carrying supplies, the plant press, and taking notes as I
feely explored the area and simply collected and dictated
information for Ben to write down while Winco carried on
checking the elevation, carrying supplies and chatting with a
friend via SMS whenever I was off in some remote ravine
scouting.

Oh, Ben’s yelling from our room window asking what I’m
doing.....

Hao de, xian zai women chi zaofan. Jintian xiawu qu
Chengdu hui lai.

Zai jian!

Lu Tao
Heading down from the mountain after a long day of hiking. With
my two assistants grabbing the same car down, I was stuck with
a resident of the mountain; one who could barely speak standard
Chinese to discuss where I was from, the work I was doing, and
out accommodations for the night....ugh, that was painful.
Magnolia officinalis grows in the wild and it is also farmed
in large stands where it's grown for medicinal use.
Unknown
Unknown
A member of the Rutaceae
Aralia sp.
Dichroa febrifuga
Cunninghamia lanceolata
Heuchera sp.
Unknown
Tetrapanax papyrifera
Viburnum sp.
Unknown. Magnoliaceae?
Actinidia sp. ?
Just when you think nothing could be more exhausting than collecting plants on the mountains, try
living up here and having to carry up these materials each day!
Photographs and Site Contents Copyright © Rizaniño H. Reyes. All rights reserved