Order in which the parts of the guides will be published.

These four digital guides to Wild Flowers of Ladakh, Kashmir, Lahaul & Spiti, Himachal Pradesh will be completed in parts in alphabetical order by genus and species (covering all species recorded, qualifying them as floras of sorts - certainly a major progression on Stewart's 'Flora of Ladakh' published a century ago; back in 1983 Chris Chadwell flew out to California to meet Dr Stewart, to speak about his plans to publish an up-to-date flora for Ladakh, which 35 years later is coming to fruition but he is not just producing one flora but four - no mean achievement for a freelance botanist, not attached to any institution, without financial support). The first, essential step in properly studying and conserving the plants of any region of the world is to enable the correct identification of species, along with their distributions and abundance or rarity.  Instead of trustworthy assessments, false claims of species being 'endangered' or 'critically endangered' in the NW Himalaya have been made for decades by Indian botanists, then submitted to international bodies such as the IUCN and CITES - it is time this stopped with serious and extensive field surveys  undertaken by skilled and dedicated field-botanists, who enjoy plant explorations in the mountains, like Chris has - even under arduous conditions.  You cannot discover, truthfully, which species are rare, sat in an office or a herbarium consisting mainly of 19th or early twentieth century pressed specimens!  Chris Chadwell, despite personal attacks and in dire financial circumstances, has not given up, setting an example for others to follow. Fingers crossed, the copyright of the photos in these guides will not be abused, as has happened with images being 'stolen' from his web-sites.... He continues to care deeply about the plants, environment and peoples of the Himalaya. Why not help him by purchasing the CDs shown below and submitting digital images of plants taken in the NW Himalaya, to enrich what material he currently has for reference purposes or be inspired to prepare treks into the wilds to photograph species that Chris has no images of at all or improve upon the images of species he already has?

Part I - Genera A & B including: Acer, Aconitum, Allium, Anaphalis, Androsace, Aquilegia, Arenaria, Arisaema, Aster, Astragalus, Berberis, Bergenia, Bistorta.




Title pages of the four guides to the wild flowers of the Northwest Himalaya



Part 3 - Genera E, F, G, H, I, J including: Epilobium, Erigeron, Euphorbia, Fraxinus, Gaultheria, Gentiana, Geranium, Hedysarum, Impatiens, Iris, Jasminum.

Part 4 - Genera K, L, M, N, O including: Leontopodium, Ligularia, Lilium, Lindelofia, Meconopsis, Morina, Myricaria, Nepeta,Orobanche,  Oxygraphis, Oxytropis.

Part 5 - Genera P, Q, R including: Pedicularis, Phlomis, Pleurospermum, Potentilla, Primula, Prunus, Pseudomertensia, Ranunculus, Rheum, Rhodiola, Rosa.

Part 6 - S, T, U, V, W, Y, Z including: Saussurea, Saxifraga, Senecio, Silene, Sorbus, Swertia, Thalictrum, Valeriana, Veronica, Viburnum, Viola, Waldheimia.

Part 7 - Orchidaceae of the NW Himalaya including: Calanthe, Cypripedium, Dactylorhiza, Habernaria, Herminium, Satyrium, Spiranthes (I may be able to enlist a collaborator/co-author, in which case I would include lower-elevation, epiphytic orchids), otherwise, given the modest number of genera & species found at medium to higher elevations in the NW Himalaya, it would be more appropriate to include Orchidaceae within Part 4 e.g. there are only 5 orchids recorded from Ladakh. 

As to a time-table, ambitious targets are set:  summer to autumn 2018 for completion of Part 1; autumn to winter for Part 2; winter to spring 2019 for
Part 3; spring to summer 2019 for Part 4; summer to autumn 2019 for Part 5; autumn to winter 2019 for Part 6.  2020 for Part 7 and completion of
any outstanding parts.  Chris is also working on digital guides to individual genera of the NW Himalaya, which go into even more detail for each known species.  He has completed a substantial part of Primulas and then will move on to Arisaema, Androsace, Saxifraga, Clematis, Iris and perhaps some others. Much will depend on the level of interest shown, and response to his guides for Ladakh, Kashmir, Lahaul & Spiti and Himachal Pradesh.  He is a one-man show, with major health issues (although only 60 as of June 2018) - Stewart lived to 102 but he cannot expect to get anywhere near that but remembers Stewart, after retiring from Pakistan, took up a new post at Ann Arbor, Michigan, aged 70!

IF things go well and Chris is comfortable with the results, then there are other regions of the Himalaya he is in a position to prepare guides to. There remains a considerable need, to make up for decades of neglect since partition of India and this would mean he continues to put to good use, his hard-won expertise. It really is time to take advantage of what the wonders of digital photography have to offer (using modest digital cameras) in terms of improving plant identification - which both professional and amateurs are able to contribute.

At present he is intending to exclude Poaceae (Gramineae), Cyperaceae, Juncaceae and perhaps a few other similar families, as currently hardly any photos of these families are available, due to being particularly poorly studied; he himself has, not had the time to focus on them properly.  IF this situation changes, which would require major inputs by others including specialist taxonomists, Chris might consider a Part 8 to cover these neglected families of plants, though would still be worth compiling basic checklists of them, as best as he can.  Much the same applies to the ferns of the NW Himalaya.
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