The flora of China is astonishing in its diversity. With 32,500 species of vascular plants, over fifty per cent of which are endemic, it has more botanical variety than anywhere else in the world and provides unbroken connections to all its landscapes - from tropical to subtropical, temperate and boreal forests. This book tells the story of the plants of China: from the evolution of the flora through time to the survey of the bioclimatic zones, soundly based on chapters with information on climate, physical geography and soils. The history of botany and its study are also examined, with chapters dedicated to forestry, medicinal plants and ornamentals, with the changing flora, aliens, extinction and conservation also discussed. An essential read for years to come, The Plants of China shows that an understanding of the flora of China is crucial to interpreting plant evolution and fossil history elsewhere in the world.
Hong De-Yuan is Professor of the State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany at the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. In 2012 he was awarded the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Lachlan Macquarie Medal, in recognition of his outstanding achievement in helping protect plant biodiversity. Stephen Blackmore CBE FRSE is Queen's Botanist and Honorary Fellow at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, where he was previously the Regius Keeper. Before that he was Keeper of Botany at the Natural History Museum in London. His research has concentrated in the area of palynology, microscopy and systematics and his achievements have been recognised by three Linnean Society medals.