Photographic Flora of 'Land of the Thunder Dragon' (Bhutan)

I have observed how unreliable the identifications are within web-sites, blogs, articles, books etc. about Bhutanese flowers - other than the volumes of 'Flora of Bhutan' (but this is too botanical, having hardly any illustrations and those mostly line-drawings, which are beyond the comprehension of most).  This concerns me deeply, as others copy and replicate the misidentifications, leading to an even greater muddle.

As there currently is no site offering an ACCURATE & RELIABLE identification service for Bhutanese plants, despite all the other demands upon my time, I feel compelled to begin one.  Hopefully, my eldest son, Matthew, will shortly set-up a separate 'site', as he did for Flora of the NW Himalaya.

My expertise lies in mountain plants, so I shall limit myself to these - you will have to go elsewhere for lower-elevation species but hopefully my example may inspire someone else to take on the low-altitude plants, though whether there is anyone out there with the necessary expertise (and if so, the willingness to work hard for free), remains to be seen.

It is fitting that I undertake this fresh project, as I was appointed a consultant to The Royal Government of Bhutan, as a 'High-Altitude Agronomist' on 'The Cultivation of Medicinal Plants for Traditional Medicine Project in the 1990s.

SO, I INVITE BHUTANESE RESIDENTS AND THOSE WHO UNDERTAKE TREKS IN BHUTAN, TO SEND ME IMAGES OF THE FLOWERS THEY TOOK; I WILL NAME THEM AS BEST I CAN, BUILDING UP A REFERENCE COLLECTION OF THE FLORA.  I WILL BE OFFERING ADVICE ABOUT WHAT SORT OF PHOTOS I AM LOOKING FOR, BECAUSE THE TYPICAL SINGLE, GENERAL IMAGE, DOES NOT ALWAYS PROVIDE DETAILS OF DIAGNOSTIC CHARACTERISTICS - NO MATTER HOW 'PRETTY' IT MIGHT BE.  AND IT DOES MATTER TO CORRECTLY IDENTIFY PLANTS - UNLESS ONE DOES, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CONSERVE THEM PROPERLY.

I AM CURRENTLY WORKING ON DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHIC GUIDES TO THE FLOWERS OF KASHMIR, LADAKH, LAHAUL & SPITI, HIMACHAL PRADESH. PERHAPS, IF THIS PROJECT ATKES OFF, IN THE COMING YEARS, SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR THE MOUNTAIN FLOWERS OF BHUTAN MAY BE FEASIBLE.  DIVIDING BHUTAN UP INTO REGIONS MAKES SENSE, PERHAPS STARTING WITH LINGSHI, AS THIS IS BEST KNOWN FOR PLANTS UTILISED IN TIBETAN MEDICINE.


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