Aquilegia rockii

Aquilegia rockii

Aquilegia rockii ranges from southeastern Tibet to northwestern Yunnan and southwestern Sichuan. Joseph Rock collected the type specimen at 11,000ft. on Mount Siga in what used to be known as the Muli Kingdom, where he enjoyed royal hospitality (moldy cheese, etc — see "The Land of the Yellow Lama," National Geographic, April 1925). J.R.'s collection note (swiped from the herbarium sheet at the National Herbarium):

Rock 17935

Rock provisionally identified this collection as A. vulgaris, but P.A. Munz, upon analysis of the type specimen, in his 1946 treatment of the genus Aquilegia (Gentes Herbarum vol. 7) determined it to be a new species and named it after Rock. A. rockii populations intergrade with A. oxysepala var. kansuensis where their ranges overlap, resulting in individuals, such as our specimen, which are hard to place.

May 15, 2004 in Rockiana | Comments (0)

Devotional Books

Joseph Rock, in National Geographic, March 1922:

Very interesting are the libraries in every temple compound. They are the repository of Buddhist scriptures written by some devout hand with brass or iron stiles on the leaf segments of the Talipot palm. These palm-leaf scriptures are carefully wrapped, usually in yellow cotton cloth or silk, and placed in these libraries as a meritorious act. They are read only rarely and on special occasions. Like the temples, the libraries are rarely repaired.

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Caption: Among the Siamese of Chiengmai the only merit in books is in their writing. The tomes are placed in libraries which might more properly be termed literary mausoleums, for the volumes are seldom, if ever, read.

February 23, 2004 in Rockiana | Comments (0)

Ex Libris

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Joseph Rock explored western China in the 1920's and '30s, collecting plants for the Arnold Arboretum and writing articles (ten in the years 1924-35) for National Geographic. He spent some of his last years in Seattle and, short on funds, sold a collection of his books to the University of Washington for $25,000. Pratyeka hosts 600+ of his photographs from 1924-1926.

February 17, 2004 in Rockiana | Comments (0)