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HIMALAYAN PLANT ASSOCIATION: PLANTS FOR THE CONNOISSEUR

TO SOW A SEED IS A NOBLE DEED;  PROPAGATION IS CONSERVATION (Professor Norm Deno)

THE 2017 HPA SEED EXCHANGE (seed harvested in 2016) IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS (March 2017)

Be Proud of Growing and Studying plants originating from the world's highest mountain range - along with supporting GENUINE botanical and conservation projects for Himalayan flora, becoming well-informed about the real issues.  Follow in a fine tradition (see final section at the bottom of this page covering REAL CONSERVATION and: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/sir-george-taylor-s-contribution-to-plant-hunting-in-the-himalaya ). We cater for a wide range of interests and backgrounds - all are made welcome and valued.

Meconopsis  staintonii photographed by Steve Marshall



Typical genera found in the Himalaya: PRIMULA, MECONOPSIS, ARISAEMA, GERANIUM, CLEMATIS,  IRIS, RHODODENDRON, CODONOPSIS, GENTIANA, ANDROSACE, LILIUM, SAXIFRAGA, CORYDALIS, ACER, BETULA, CREMANTHODIUM, DELPHINIUM, EUPHORBIA, ROSA, SALVIA


'Himalayan  Peony' (Paeonia  emodi) in cultivation

 

What do you get for your annual subscription to the Himalayan Plant Association?   Three LIBERALLY illustrated digital journals/year (an indication of their content can be seen below), access to the highest quality Seed Exchange (albeit modest numerically) anywhere in the world; meetings around the UK (where plant exchanges take place) and once re-established, a Display Garden of Himalayan plants, the world's smallest 'botanical' garden (close to London) available for visits by appointment plus you help support Chris Chadwell's on-going botanical research leading to scientific and conservation projects in the Himalaya

Arisaema  speciosum  photographed by Steve Marshall


Annual Subscription Rate:  £10 (payable by pay pal, [there will be a small additional amount to cover their transaction charges] by cheque [only for UK members], or cash  [£10 sterling, $14* dollars or 13* Euros] * These figures (as of July 2016) are much lower than previously, due to drop in value of sterling!  Membership of most serious societies is treble this amount.....


Primula minutissima on a wet ledge in Himachal Pradesh


 

Secretary and Editor:  Chris Chadwell      Slough, Berks  ENGLAND

 

 e-mail: chrischadwell261@btinternet.com   to receive an APPLICATION FORM.

Chris admiring a wonderful expanse of Cremanthodium decaisnei in the Western Himalaya











INFORMATION ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION


We are an informal association, (founded in 1990, with a break from 2013-2015).  Membership is world-wide, covering horticulturists, botanists (amateur and professional), hobbyists, societies and those with just a general interest in the region. Our journals are well-illustrated, produced digitally as PDFs, sent by e-mail. Through these and  events, the Association aims to bring together and spread information on plants from the Himalaya.  The association’s web presence is currently a section within this site.

 Corydalis beside a stream in Kashmir

 

CULTIVATION

 

Thought-provoking articles appear in our journals on cultivation, propagation, plant profiles, accounts of botanic and other gardens growing Himalayan plants. Chris encourages members to submit informal notes and articles.  Editors of all specialist horticultural journals are constantly on the look out for accounts of first-hand cultivation experiences – they are aware that their members have valuable knowledge. Too many articles and indeed books, are full of second-hand “know-how” just copied from other articles and books!  Unfortunately, such out-put can then be consumed un-critically, ending up as ‘conventional wisdom’ amongst gardeners.  Our Secretary, from his own efforts combined with 35 years observing hundreds of gardeners during  visits all over the UK, to many parts of North America and other countries plus corresponding with many more growers, has absorbed smarter ways of doing things that really will improve your success at growing Himalayan plants.  Association members are in an ideal position to share what they know and are actively encouraged to do so. 


Variant of  Geranium wallichianum in cultivation

 

SEED EXCHANGE

 

Our Seed Exchange (details are sent out with the March journal) is of the highest quality, both in terms of viability of seed offered and accuracy of identification - most other seed exchanges, large or small contain a high proportion of items which are misidentified; Few items have a “chilling” requirement, so seed sown in March or April can be expected to germinate well. Indeed Chris has on many occasions (due to other commitments) sown Himalayan seed as late as May or even early June and achieved good results. A Seed Exchange is dependent upon donors – so please contribute.  However, what matters is quality, rather than quality.  Chris can help check the identity of seed submitted.  Given the increasing rules and regulations which are restricting access to wild-collected seed, it makes sense to devote energy to developing seed exchanges further and contributing to their quality by learning from Chris how to more reliably identify plants being grown in our gardens.

Rhododendron  lepidotum in cultivation photographed by Steve Marshall



DISPLAY GARDEN

 

At one time Chris’ small town garden operated as a  mini-botanical garden (dedicated the P.N.Kohli), built up over a period of 30 years, containing species introduced from the Himalaya (many used in Tibetan Medicine).  It was featured on BBC Gardeners’ World in 1995 (one of the final efforts of Geoff Hamilton). Unfortunately, at present, there is no garden as such – though a limited number of shrubs and perennials survive.  Due to difficulties, his garden was largely “raised to the ground” in 2014 in expectation that he would move, realising that his neighbours’ did not appreciate what was there!  Chris’ intention is to restore it.  He would welcome donations of plants of known Himalayan provenance to speed up the process, such that he can open it to visitors once again and continue to pay tribute to Prem Nath Kohli.



A 'Blue-poppy' in cultivation

 

CONSERVATION

 

We highlight GENUINE conservation issues relating to the flora of the Himalaya. Chris established the FLOWERS FIT FOR A DALAI LAMA Plant Conservation Project in 2010.  He currently would like to pursue further initiatives such as: helping turn Ladakh’s high-altitude deserts green; planting of Giant Himalayan Stinging Nettles to aid soil stabilisation in Nepalese Villages; planting of trees native to bordering districts, rather than unsuitable ‘alien’ trees, in borderlands of Western Tibet.  Our Secretary NEEDS the support and encouragement an active association brings.


Chris Chadwell with a Ladakhi family

PLANT HUNTING and local heroes

 

Articles on the adventures of plant hunters past and present appear in our journals – as do accounts of people from the Himalaya, whose expertise and contributions were not always acknowledged, let alone fully appreciated in the past.  


 Dr Walter Koelz with Thakur Rup Chand photographed in the US

 
TRAVEL

 

Chris is happy to advise members on exploring for plants in the Himalaya – whether as independent travellers or within an organised group.  During the 1980s he escorted a number of ‘botanical tours’ in the Western Himalaya and is now very much an “old hand” as to travelling in most parts of the Indian sub-continent.  So take advantage of his exceptional knowledge to get the best out of such visits.  Or “look back on” and “relish” your trip by sending Chris images of plants seen, so he can name them for you – maybe then sharing your experiences by being encouraged to submit an article describing your travels in the Himalaya in our journal.  This is a way you can contribute to the association.

Primula  capitata in cultivation

 


KOHLI MEMORIAL GOLD MEDALS

 

This Association has been recognising both individuals (including posthumous awards) and Institutions from countries in the Himalaya, along with Westerners, who have made a significant contribution towards the study, cultivation or conservation of Himalayan flora.  The Kohli Memorial Gold Medal honours Prem Nath Kohli – an Indian forestry officer turned horticulturist and conservationist.  Recipients to-date:  Urvashi Suri, (India); Ghulam Rasool Beigh (Kashmir, India); Narsim (Naryanswamy Ashram, Kumaon Himalaya, India); Thakur Rup Chand (Lahoul, India); Wangyel & Richen Gialtsen (Lahoul, India), Prem Singh Bodh (Himachal Pradesh, India); Amchi Tsewang Smanla (Ladakh, India); Materia Medica Department (Dalai Lama’s Tibetan Medical & Astrological Institute, Dharamsala, India); Botany Department (University of Kashmir, India); Walter Koelz (University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, USA); Ole Olsen (Norway); Alastair McKelvie (Scotland).

'Royle's Inula' (Inula royleana) photographed in Kashmir

 

BOTANY

A plant identification service is offered – whether of specimens in cultivation of known Himalayan origin or photographed in Himalaya. Chris has helped botanists access plant material in cultivation of known Himalayan provenance – an under-utilised resource, as taxonmic revision can be based upon scrappy, inadequate herbarium specimens. Chris has recently set-up a FLOWERS OF THE WESTERN HIMALAYA web-site – this represents the beginnings of a PHOTOGRAPHIC REFERENCE and IDENTIFICATION GUIDE to the flora of the region, in the form of a digital ‘herbarium’. 


Himalayan peaks in Central Nepal
 

 

MEETINGS and PLANT EXCHANGES

 

These are an important aspect of the association, allowing members to meet fellow enthusiasts.  Chris makes an effort to arrange these all over the UK.  Numbers attending are modest, typically 6-10, enabling a special atmosphere to develop, never possible with larger group outings – the association has often been able to secure privileged access “beind-the-scenes”.  Chris usually gives a digital presentation about plants seen on his Himalayan travels, bearing in mind the interests of those present.  Often there is a second presentation by another member, lunch and either a tour of the host’s garden or a visit to a nearby botanical garden or specialist nursery. Venues for our gatherings have included: Threave School of Gardening, Hergest Croft and Samye Ling Tibetan Monastery plus several members private homes and gardens – combined with visits  to nearby places of interest such as Kew, Savill Gardens, Wisley, Sheffield Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh Botanics.  There is also the opportunity to exchange any excess plants with those attending. We all have different tastes and succeed in raising some specimens but not others – so this is an ideal way to enrich members' gardens. 


You don't have to only or primarily, grow Himalayan plants to be a member of the association - there is plenty of interest within the journals and other aspects of being a member for any CONNOISSEUR of plants, now matter where they come from!




 SO WHY NOT JOIN TODAY - YOU ARE SUPPORTING A WORTHWHILE CAUSE!


Contact Chris for an APPLICATION FORM by e-mail on: chrischadwell261@btinternet.com  - if you choose to pay using pay pal, he will send YOU a payment request, so do advise him if you have a separate e-mail/account for such payments.

BACK-COPIES OF HIMALAYAN PLANT ASSOCIATION JOURNALS

The front cover illustration of the March 2016 Journal was the 'West Himalayan Blue-poppy' (Meconopsis aculeata)

The March 2016 Journal honours the contribution of Mrs Urvashi Suri, daughter of Prem Nath Kohli, who took over from her father as Proprietor of P.Kohli & Co.; Choice & Rare Seeds offered for sale from Kashmir in the 1930s; Early colour photos of Kashmir plants; thoughts of 'Valley of Flowers' author F.S.Smythe: "You must have a garden before you know what you are treading on" and "Conditions of Success" (for mountaineering expeditions); Part I of an account of an expedition to Zangskar;  Some Kashmir Primulas; Part I of a series about the first plant collectors in Kashmir & the Punjab covers William Moorcroft, the first to explore in the region, leading to several species being named after him such as Saxifraga moorcroftiana and Salvia moorcroftiana; Scutellaria prostrate is described in detail, whilst Delphinium brunonianum is profiled photographically.


The front cover illustration of the July 2016 Journal was 'Hooker's Iris' (Iris hookeriana)


The July 2016  Journal pays tribute to Dr Ralph Stewart, 'The Father of Pakistan Botany', with the award of a posthumous Kohli Memorial Gold Medal;  there is information on the progress of the first donations to help restore the Kohli Memorial Botanical Garden; we feature Victor Jacquemont, a young Frenchmen who was the first botanist to visit Kashmir in 1830, leading to a number of plants being named in his honour, best known of which is the pure-white barked birch Betula jacquemontii; there is the final part of an account of a botanical expedition to where the BBC 'World About Us' Series in the 1980s described as the 'Last Place on Earth'; Phlomis cashmeriana is described in detail, whilst Aconitum violaceum is profiled photographically; experiences of germinating seed are shared, whilst Saxifraga chadwellii - reportedly 'new-to-science', is investigated;  new sections on SCENERY,  PEOPLES OF THE HIMALAYA and Human Geography of Ladakh are begun

The front cover illustration of the November 2016 Journal was the 'Kashmir Creeping Primula' (Primula reptans)

Our November 2016 Journal contains further information about germinating Himalayan seed along with some comments on seed sowing and growing conditions along with advice to be patient when waiting for signs of germination; the final part of the series on Plants of Horticultural Value from Kashmir & the NW Himalaya; a new section covering Conservation begins with an explanation of what the grossly and falsely over-used 'Critically Endangered' category actually means; a series on Medicinal Plants of the Himalaya starts with Saussurea costus; Part I of an account of an expedition to East Nepal; Vigne & von Huegel are covered in the First Plant Collectors in Kashmir & the Punjab; Delphinium vestitum is described in detail whilst Ephedra gerardiana is profiled photographically; the series on Scenery, Peoples of the Himalaya and Human Geography of Ladakh continue.

The front cover illustration of the March 2017 Journal was the 'Nepalese Lily' (Lilium nepalense)

Our March 2017 contains further germination records, flowering of Irises in a Welsh garden and the start of a series on general Cultivation Tips for Himalayan plants, covering Arisaema; Correspondence with Dr R Stewart; View of Kanchenchunga Himal from Darjeeling; Attributes required to botanise in the Himalaya; Medicinal Plants of the Himalaya: Inula racemosa; Final part of account of Expedition to East Nepal; Human Geography of Ladakh, settlement types & religious structures; Wild Flowers of Kashmir: Androsace muscoidea; Geranium lambertii is profiled photographically; more images of Himalayan mountains and peoples; First Plant Collectors in Kashmir: Falconer & Thomson.



REAL CONSERVATION

In these days when there is so much TALK about 'conservation', the REAL issues are often missed altogether.  Given his experience in the Himalaya and of the study, propagation and conservation of its flora, the association's Secretary is in a unique position to inform and enlighten members about such important considerations - along with sharing his knowledge of and concerns for the flora, the peoples of the Himalaya and the region's environment. It is worth noting, e.g. that it was the passion of specialist gardeners, like current association members, for Primulas, Meconopsis, Rhododendrons, along with other horticultural specialities from the region, which drove plant exploration all along the Himalaya during the 1920s to the 1950s - not botanical curiosity, regional governments or international conservation bodies!  Western gardeners have, as a by-product, enabled the flora of Nepal and Bhutan to be better and more RELIABLY known botanically than that of the Western (Indian) Himalaya. Whilst the efforts of American Dr Ralph Stewart resulted in Pakistan's flora also being better known than India's, despite a fraction of the resources. And following this, it has very much been the continuing involvement of Westerners, along with a willingness of certain countries to collaborate Internationally, which have resulted in some parts of the Himalaya to be studied much better than others since the end of WWII.  Unless plant species are CORRECTLY identified and have been surveyed for extensively in the first place, by knowledgeable and skilled field-botanists, to work out ACCURATELY which are abundant or rare, it is IMPOSSIBLE to CONSERVE the flora of the Himalaya!  It is ESSENTIAL for botanists working in Himalayan countries to enlist the help and expertise of foreign botanists - whether those working for a botanical garden or on a freelance basis, like Chris Chadwell. Botanists in Himalayan regions cannot become experts unless they are active "in the field" and have access to up-to-date, trustworthy, records for the floras of bordering states and countries, not to mention the world as a whole.


 So CONTINUE to enjoy growing Himalayan plants and learning about them, helping to disseminate accurate, reliable, information - which can then contribute towards the botanical study of Himalayan flora and REAL conservation projects....


THERE IS VERY MUCH A ROLE AND INDEED A NEED FOR SUCH SPECIALIST SOCIETIES AS THE HIMALAYAN PLANT ASSOCIATION. THE INCREASINGLY SMALL NUMBER OF PROFESSIONAL BOTANISTS* WORKING ON HIMALAYAN PLANTS - WHETHER IN THE WEST AND JAPAN OR COUNTRIES WHICH CONTAIN PARTS OF THE HIMALAYA WITHIN THEIR TERRITORY (BE IT INDIA, PAKISTAN, NEPAL or BHUTAN) OR COUNTRIES BORDERING THE HIMALAYA, COMBINED WITH AN EQUALLY SMALL NUMBER OF BOTANIC GARDENS SPECIALISING IN HIMALAYAN PLANTS, DO NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT RESOURCES ALONE TO STUDY ITS FLORA TO AN ACCEPTABLE LEVEL - LET ALONE CONSERVE IT! THEY NEED THE HELP OF SPECIALIST GARDENERS AND PLANT ENTHUSIASTS, SUCH AS HIMALAYAN PLANT ASSOCIATION MEMBERS AND SHOULD BE ACTIVELY ENCOURAGING THEIR INTEREST/INVOLVEMENT - JUST AS THE GOVERNMENTS AND POPULATIONS OF INDIA, PAKISTAN, NEPAL and BHUTAN SHOULD WELCOME THE ACTIVITIES OF THE HIMALAYAN PLANT ASSOCIATION.  THEY REALLY DO NEED OUR HELP. 


 *The numbers of botanists working in botanical gardens and other botanical institutions in the West have been decimated since the 1980s - yet since this time, fresh international rules and regulations have been endorsed, which far from HELPING protect endangered flora, will actually HARM efforts.  It is time those in senior positions stood up and challenged this FALSE situation - which makes no sense, indeed is a NONSENSE!  IF they really cared, like Chris Chadwell does, they would act NOW and SUPPORT and ENCOURAGE Chris' activities.....




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