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1927 Map of the Arboretum

2015: Expedition to Sichuan

Meconopsis integrifolia, the yellow poppy that was the focus of E. H. Wilson’s second trip to China for Veitch Nursery, blooms in Sichuan’s mountains. Michael S. Dosmann, 2015.
Yellow-flowered poppy

Plants collected on this Expedition

Plant ID Accession Date Received As Origin Source

Expedition Stats


Event Type
Collection Type
Germplasm, Herbarium Specimens
Arnold Arboretum Participants
Michael Dosmann, Ned Friedman
Other Participants
Gao Xinfen1, Li Meng1, Yin Kaipu1
Other Institution(s)
1Chengdu Institute of Biology; Huanglong Nature Reserve
Photograph of leaders signing collection agreement
Collaboration between the United States and China is key to the Arboretum’s goal to strengthen the conservation and study of plants. On September 28, 2015, the Huanglong Nature Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Chengdu Institute of Biology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Arnold Arboretum established a memorandum of understanding that sets guidelines for cooperation in the documentation, conservation, and preservation of plants native to China’s richly biodiverse Sichuan Province. The trilateral agreement was signed in Chengdu by Huanglong Nature Reserve Director Qi Ling (left), Arnold Arboretum Director William (Ned) Friedman (center), and Chengdu Institute of Biology Director Xinquan Zhao (right). Yin Kaipu

Following on the heels of the 2015 NACPEC expedition in search of paperbark maple (Acer griseum), Arnold Arboretum Keeper of the Living Collections Michael Dosmann spent time exploring the flora of northern Sichuan, particularly the area inside and around the spectacular Huanglong National Nature Reserve. This expedition occurred in advance of the signing of a tri-lateral agreement between the Huanglong reserve, the Chengdu Institute of Biology (CIB), and the Arboretum.

Located in Sichuan’s Songpan County, not far from the town of Songpan, the Huanglong reserve is known for its diverse flora, geological features, and wildlife (including the giant panda and the Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey).

Accompanied by Professor Gao Xinfen of the CIB, Dosmann made a dozen collections including five different species of plants in the rose family. Notable finds were the unusual four-petaled, Mount Omei rose (Rosa omeiensis), as well as zhai ye xian bei hua (Sibiraea angustata), a shrubby rosaceous plant.

Near the end of the trip, before signing the agreement on September 28, Arboretum Director William (Ned) Friedman joined Dosmann in Sichuan. Eager to explore in the field, the two, accompanied by CIB’s Professor Yin Kaipu, and Li Meng, a graduate student of Professor Gao, visited Longchi National Forest Park, about an hour north of Chengdu. There the team made several more collections, including seeds from the dove tree (Davidia involucrata).

Back in Boston

This excursion to northern Sichuan yielded 14 different collections of unique taxa Taxon: In biology, a taxon (plural taxa) is a group of one or more populations of an organism or organisms seen by taxonomists to form a unit. .

Dig Deeper

The rose plant family is large and contains more than just flowers! Learn about the Arboretum’s Bradley Rosaceous Collection and our extensive holdings.