China truly is a plantsman's paradise: it is so rich in variety that there are upwards of 3,000 native plants on a single mountain in China - compared to around 2,000 in the whole of the British Isles. And, in the province of Yunnan alone, there are 137 species of oaks and oak relatives - in Britain we have just 2!
This book successfully combines a most enjoyable and detailed account of the well-known author's many journeys through China. First and foremost, Travels in China
provides a practical assessment of the Chinese plants that are either of ornamental merit or botanical interest to gardeners in the West. Roy Lancaster follows in the footsteps of the great Victorian plant hunters and describes, in this, his magnum opus
, some 1,000 different plants in their natural habitat. He provides an eminently readable account of a fascinating country, its people, and the plants that have done so much to enrich the gardens of Europe and North America. Nearly 1,000 of Lancaster's own attractive and colourful photographs illustrate the text, showing the wealth of Chinese plants in the wild and in Western cultivation: the rare, the exotic and the surprisingly familiar. The informative text is interspersed with fascinating descriptions and anecdotes from his travels.