Author(s): LANCASTER ROY
In 1971 a small group of botanists and horticulturists organised a three month expedition to the Upper Arun Valley region of eastern Nepal. Their aim was to collect seed and specimens of ornamental and economic plants both wild and cultivated in a remote comer of this landlocked kingdom. This book, originally published in 1981, chronicles the travels and activities of the three-man horticultural team. The journey, which took the expedition to the Tibetan border and back, often followed little known tracks through some of the world's most dramatic and loneliest mountain terrain. During this time it either camped or enjoyed the hospitality of Tibetans in their isolated villages, sharing in their ceremonies, their meals, their dances even. The native vegetation was still relatively undisturbed and the team enjoyed the thrill of walking through mixed woods rich in species including cream-barked birch and silver fir. Elsewhere it crossed alpine pastures sprinkled with blue gentians and the golden rosettes of Himalayan poppies. On one occasion, at 17,000 feet, the botanists wandered on the so-called 'Roof of the World'. Among the many unusual plants they encountered was a trio of high altitude curiosities and rarities - the Snowball plant, the Noble Rhubarb and the Golden Edelweiss. In the twenty-two years since it was first published, this book has been treated as an essential guide by visitors and trekkers to Nepal - especially those heading for the famous mountains of the Everest and Makalu regions, as well as being highly acclaimed by gardeners. Out of print for several years, this new edition has been thoroughly revised in respect of nomenclature whilst much new information has been incorporated. A new chapter 'Back to the Milke Danda' has been added describing a follow-up trek in spring 1973 when the magnificent rhododendrons were seen flowering. Most important of all, however, are the illustrations which make this book a visual treat as well as an exciting record of modem plant hunting.
'Full of excitement, humour, a good smattering of sheer magic and of course plants, it is an absolute must.' Daily Express.