PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
VOLUME 26, NUMBER 4, AUGUST, 1980
RICHARD M. KLEIN, Editor Department of Botany, University of Vermont, Burlington,
Jerry D. Davis, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, WI
Peter Heywood, Brown University, Providence, RI
Anitra Thorhaug, Florida International University, Key Biscayne, FL
Richard P. Wunderlin, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
The Plant Science Bulletin is published at the University of Vermont, Burlington,
VI 05405. Second class postage paid at Burlington, VT.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Plant Introduction and Botanic Gardens in China
BOTANIC GARDENS OF ACADEMIA SINICA
MEETINGS, CONFERENCES, COURSES
Plant Introduction and Botanic Gardens in China
C. K. Sheng
Botanic Garden of Nanking & Institute of Botany, Kiangsu
1. Plant Introduction in Old China
Nearly as old as other centers of early agriculture in the world, China introduced
and domesticated cereal crops in the Neolithic age about 7000-10,000 years ago.
l4C measurements of rice grains from an archeological site in Chekiang pushed
back the history of cultivated rice in China to 5,000 BC; wheat domestication
was ascertained to be at least 4,000 years ago. The chronology of plant introduction
in China falls into three main stages: a) Stage of domestic introduction from
the beginning of proto-agriculture to the first century A.D. This stage was
characterized by domestication of wild crop plants and plant introduction from
neighboring countries. b) Stage of introduction via terrestrial routes (134
BC - 1368 AD). This stage included the introduction of plants from middle Asia
and from near-eastern countries. c) Stage of introduction via oceanic routes
(1368-1948) from the beginning of the Ming Dynasty to the founding of the People's
Republic. This stage was characterized by the introduction of plants from Central
and South America followed by North American trees, vegetables and garden flowers.
The earliest recorded Chinese plant hunter was Chan-Chien who brought alfalfa
and grapes in 126 BC when he served as ambassador of the Han Dynasty to the
"western territory." From then on, camel caravans on the long corridor
known as the "Silk Route" carried such economic plants as persian
walnut, pomegranate, safflower, garlic, sesame, etc. By the beginning of the
first century AD, broad bean and asiatic cotton were introduced from Central
Asia as was lotus, ginger and cucumber from India and sugar cane from tropical
Another long period of plant introduction commenced from the fifth to the fourteenth
centuries. African cotton, castor oil bean and watermelon, spinach from Central
Asia and vegetable sponge from India traveled to China by various routes. Domestication
of tree paeony and chrysanthemum became of interest to Chinese cultivators during
the tenth century and numerous cultivars were obtained with special treatises
on cultivation written, published and circulated.
Plant introduction from the fifteenth to the middle of this century turned
a new page after the opening of oceanic traffic and the discovery of the new
Among the plant emigrants were maize, sweet potato, white potato, peanut, pepper,
bean, upland cotton and other plants. No one can underestimate the importance
and success of plant introductions in old China, but it took too much time and
was by no means efficient and scientific.
II. Plant Introduction in the People's Republic
Upon the founding of the People's Republic, plant introduction developed into
an organized and scientific enterprise. Since 1954, ten major botanic gardens
in different climates and vegetational regions were established under the sponsorship
of Academia Sinica. A Commission of Botanic Gardens was established under the
Academy and, according to the Rules of Botanic Gardens (1978), five functions
should be performed.
1. The exploitation of wild plant resources, introduction of indigenous and
exotic economic plants, breeding of new varieties so as to enrich the re- sources
of cultivated plants.
2. To study the new techniques and methods on plant introduction and acclimatization,
so as to improve the productivity, quality or tolerance of introduced plants.
3. To summarize the principles regulating the growth, development, adaptability,
economic characteristics and variation of introduced plants.
4. Extensive collection of plant resources, especially those of rare, threatened
and endangered species, followed by studies on their evolution, taxonomy, preservation
5. To mold a botanical garden with both pleasing landscapes and scientific displays,
to make the garden an important place to study modern botany and to popularize
botanic knowledge in the public.
For close to 30 years, Chinese botanic gardens and arboretums have worked to
fulfill these aims. Their major accomplishments might be briefly summarized:
1. Field surveys of plant resources, exploration for wild ancestors and related
2. Exploitation, introduction and utilization of indigenous wild species of
timber trees, medicinal plants and garden plants.
3. Introduction and acclimatization of exotic economic plants.
4. Introduction of plants for special purposes, e.g., desert, aquatic, forage
ground covers, salt tolerant, seashore, etc. plants, plants as food adulterants,
5. Selection and breeding of woody plants.
6. Insect and disease control measures.
7. Studies on principles and methods of plant introduction including physiology
of cold resistance, seed physiology, tissue culture, surveys of flora, etc.
8. Investigations on precious, threatened and endangered species.
9. Phytochemical studies, compilation of floras, experiments on artificial plant
communities and study of the history of plant introduction in China.
Although plant introduction in China has had a history of thousands of years,
the institutions responsible for such matters were started less than 50 years
ago. We have to accumulate experience on problems of planning; construction
and management of efficient botanic gardens, study methods of plant introduction
and conduct scientific research. We also urgently need to study the experiences
of corresponding institutions abroad with the hope that botanic gardens in China
will progress faster and make more contributions to plant introduction and the
welfare of the people.
BOTANIC GARDENS OF ACADEMIA SINICA
Hsip-Saungpana Botanic Garden - Mung Lun, Hsip-saungpana, Yunnan
Director: Prof. S. T. Tzai. Area: 86 ha.
Taxa: local and exotic tropical forest trees, fruit trees, woody oil plants,
medicinal plants, palms, bamboos
Garden: economic plants, artificial plant communities, tropical rain forest
Publications: catalog of plants, research papers
Kunming Botanic Garden - Kunming, Yunnan
Director: Prof. Y. Y. Wu Area: 40 ha.
Taxa: 2000 trees and shrubs of Yunnan
Garden: greenhouse, garden of ornamentals, systematic garden, olive Publications:
Index Seminum, Yunnan camellias, research papers
Kweilin Botanic Garden - Kweiling, Kwangsi
Director: S. R. Yi Area: 150 ha.
Taxa: 2000 fruit trees, medicinals, plants for rocky hills
Garden: Timber trees, woody oil plants, ornamentals, medicinals, bamboo Publications,
Kwantung Botanic Garden - Gouanzhou, Kwantung
Director: Prof. F. H. Chen Area: 300 ha.
Taxa: 3200 south sub-tropical and tropical trees, medicinals, ferns
Garden: displays, Ting-Hu Mountain Natural Reserve
Publications: Index Seminum, research papers
Lushan Botanic Garden - Lushan, Kiangsi
Director: not given Area: 290 ha.
Taxa: 3000 plants of sub-tropical mountains, conifers, alpine herbaceous
Garden: greenhouse, alpine flowers, arboretum, pinetum, rock garden, tea Publications:
Index Seminum, research papers
Nanking Sun Yat-Sen Botanic Garden - Nanking, Kiangsu
Director: C. K. Shen Area: 120 ha.
Taxa: 2000 plants of north and central sub-tropics, timber, ornamentals
Garden: greenhouse, systematic garden, pinetum, medicinals, ornamentals Publications:
Index Seminum, Plant Introduction & Acclimatization, Domestication of Plants,
Fast-Growing Trees, Introduction of Olive
Peking Botanic Garden - Peking
Director: D. T. Yui Area: 58 ha.
Taxa: 3000 economic trees of northern provinces, garden trees, grapes
Garden: greenhouse, displays of economic and garden plants
Publications: Index Seminum, newsletter, research papers
Sian Botanic Garden - Sian, Shensi
Director: not given Area: 48 ha.
Taxa: 1200 plants of Ching-Ling, aromatics, medicinals
Garden: garden of evolution of plants Publications: research papers
Shenyang Botanic Garden - Shenyang, Liaoning
Director: not given Area: 24 ha.
Taxa: 200 Populus, Salix, Picea, non-legume N-fixers
Garden: greenhouse under construction
Publications: catalog of plants, research papers
Wuhan Botanic Garden - Wuhan, Hupeh
Director: T. T. Shan Area: 60 ha.
Taxa: Economic plants of Central China, fresh-water plants, medicinals
Garden: greenhouse, aquatics, arboretum, bamboos, medicinals
Publications: Index Seminum, research papers
Desert Botanic Garden - Mingching, Kansu
Medicinal Garden - Hangchow, Chekiang
Medicinal Plants - Academia Sinica Medicinalis, Peking
Sub-Tropical Forestry - Fujan, Chekiang
Arboretum - Fuchow, Fukien
Garden - Hangchow, Chekiang
Forest Botanic Garden - Harbin, Heilongjiang
Hwangshan Arboretum - Shihsien, Kweizhow
Kweizhou Botanic Garden - Kweiyang, Kweizhou
Kwantung Institute of Tropical Crops - Hainan Island, Kwantung
Nanning Botanic Garden - Nanning, Kwansi
Pingyang Institute of Sub-tropical Crops - Pingyan, Chekiang
Pingtung Tropical Botanic Garden - Pingtung, Taiwan
Shanghai Botanic Garden (under construction) - Shanghai
Shongyae Arboretum - Shongyae, Liaoning
Tapei Botanic Garden - Tapei, Taiwan
Tropical Crops Experiment Station - Tzanchiang, Kwantung
Dr. Umesh C. Banerjee has been appointed Director of the Benjamin Harris Herbarium
of North Texas State University in Denton. A graduate assistantship is available
in areas of plant taxonomy, botanical electron microscopy, palynology and protoplasm
fusion of winged beans and Parthenium.
An assistant professorship for tissue culture is available 1 September 1980
in the Dept. of Horticulture, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM. The
Ph.D. in biology, biochemistry, horticulture or related fields is required with
training in tissue culture. The successful candidate is expected to initiate
and conduct a tissue culture research program related to the needs of New Mexico
agriculture. The position involves research, consulting and assistance to other
faculty and graduate students. Contact Dr. Fred B. Widmoyer, Dept. of Horticulture,
Box 3530, Las Cruces, NM 88003.
The Civil Service Commission announces openings for a Plant Physiologist, GS-0435
and an ecologist, GS-0408 for service at the Johnson Space Center; a Plant Physiologist,
GS-434-l4 at BARC, Plant Genetics and Germplasm Institute, Tobacco Laboratory
in Beltsville, MD; a Plant Physiologist GS-435-ll/l2 (temporary) at the Southern
Weed Science Laboratory in Stoneyville, Mississippi; and a Research Geneticist
(Plant) GS-440-l3-l5 in Cereal Genetics Research, Columbia, Mississippi. Information
and applications should be sent to the Special Examining Unit, Science and Education
Administration, U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, 6505 Belcrest Rd., Hyattsville,
The Plant Science Bulletin is missing from its archives Volume 11, #2,3,4.
Members willing to let us photocopy these issues should contact the Editor,
Richard Klein, Dept. of Botany, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405.
Paul B. Conant, President of Triarch, Inc., a supplier of microscope slides
since 1926, has asked that members of the Botanical Society write to him to
assist in the decisions relating to the continuation of the firm. The squeeze
between rising costs and reduced educational budgets has placed the company
in the position where it is unable to meet increased salary requirements. Mr.
Conant would like to hear from members as to their needs for prepared slides
in years to come and other information on the problems associated with Triarch.
The Association of Systematics Collections, with funding from the National
Museum Act is undertaking an interdisciplinary survey and study of the use of
computers in management of collections. Further information can be obtained
from Lenore Sarasan, Survey Director, 2808 Sheridan Place, Evanston, IL 60201.
The Weed Science Society of America announces the publication of the revised
4th edition of the Herbicide Handbook. The paperbound text can be obtained for
$7.50 from the Weed Science Society, 309 Clark St., Champaign, IL 61820.
A special conference on fumigants for museum and herbarium collections was
held under the direction of the Association of Systematic Collections. The final
conference report will be available from Dr. Stephen R. Edwards, Museum of Natural
History, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KA 66045.
The Plant Collectors of Mexico by Irving W. Knobloch is available from the
Latin American Study Center, International Programs, Michigan State University
for $3.00. A Check List of the Crosses in the Gramineae by Irving W. Knobloch
is available from Lubrecht & Cramer at a special price of $5.00. Pteridophyte
Hybrids by Irving W. Knobloch is obtainable from the Museum, Michigan State
University for $2.50.
MEETINGS, CONFERENCES, COURSES
The National Association of Biology Teachers is hosting a conference on Molecules
and Ecology on 23-26 October 1980. Contact the Association at 11250 Roger Bacon
Drive Reston, VA 22090.
The Second Midwest Conference on Population Biology sponsored by the Department
of Biological Sciences, NSF and the RIAS Program will be held at Purdue University
on 12-13 September 1980. Contact Dr. Morris Levy, Dept. of Biological Sciences,
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
Propagation of Higher Plants Through Tissue Culture is the title of a conference
organized by the University of Tennessee. Contact Dr. Karen Hughes, Dept. of
Botany, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37916.
The Fifth International Congress on Photosynthesis will be held in Greece on
7-13 September 1980. Contact Dr. George Akoyunoglou, Nuclear Research Center
"Demokritos" Aghia Paraskevi, Attiki, Greece.
A Symposium on Mangrove Environment in Asia will be held 25-29 August 1980
in Kuala Lumpur. Contact Prof. A. Nawawi, University of Malaya, SAM 1, Kuala
An International Meeting on Conservation of Threatened Natural Habitats will
be held in Cape Town, South Africa on 10-16 September 1980. Contact Ecosystems
Programmes, CSIR, P. o. Box 395, Pretoria 0001, South Africa.
Dr. Olga K. Lakela, retired curator of the Herbarium at the
University of South Florida died 17 May 1980. The family requests that donations
be made to the USF Foundation, Olga Lakela Research Fund, Office of Development,
Tampa, FL 33620.
Dr. Arde Jan Haagen-Smit, retired from the California Institute
of Technology, died early this year.
Dr. Franklin M. Turrell, Professor Emeritus of the Department
of Biochemistry, University of California, Riverside, died in May 1980.
LAETSCH, WATSON H. Plants. Basic Concepts in Botany. Little, Brown & Co.,
Boston. 1979. 510 pp. $17.95.
Intended as an introductory textbook for science or non-science majors, Plants
contains familiar examples to illustrate concepts from classical and applied
botany. The 15 chapters contain many vivid and attractive color photographs;
the black and' white photographs are generally instructive and interesting.
An excellent historical
perspective pervades the text. Part I covers concepts of biosphere energy transfer,
ecosystems, food webs and a chapter on the agricultural revolution and food
production. The relationship of botany to the agricultural aspects are especially
well done. Part II presents a history of classification, review of the plant
kingdom, and lucid descriptions of special crop plants. Part III covers structure
and function, plant growth and development, regulation, metabolism, mineral
nutrition and transport systems. Part IV treats plant evolution, genetics reproduction,
horticultural propagation and ends on an ecological theme.
Drawings and illustrations are of high quality and are direct and clear. Short
supplements follow most chapters drawing attention to more technical information
and highlighting special topics such as Medicinal Plants, Soil, and Continental
An instructor's manual contains objectives, lecture and laboratory suggestions,
discussions, and examination questions.
The glossary seems too brief and word derivations are lacking although occasionally
cited in the text. There is disappointingly little on plant diseases. My overall
impression of the text is highly favorable. Introductory botany teachers seeking
an alternative to a comprehensive text should seriously consider this book.
Charles R. Curtis University of Delaware
UNDERWOOD, L.S., L. L. TIESZEN, A. B. CALLAHAN, and G. E. FOLK (eds.). Comparative
Mechanisms of Cold Adaptations. Academic Press, N.Y. 1979. 379 pp.
This book is the result of a symposium and a workshop held at the AIBS meetings
in August 1977 to discuss "Mechanisms of cold adaptation in the Arctic,"
(Chapters I-X) and research support facilities above the Arctic circle (Chapter
XI), and to present recommendations for further research (Chapter XII). Attention
is confined to homeo-thermic animals hibernating in the hypothermic but unfrozen
state, and plants, which due to their poikilothermy are of necessity in the
frozen state during winter months in the Arctic. Unfortunately, although processed
by "Rapid Manuscript Reproduction," it did not appear in print until
1979. The hope expressed by the editors, that this book "will summarize
our current knowledge", is not realized. The authors emphasize that no
real attempt was made to cover all aspects of cold adaptation, nor all literature
pertaining to their specific topics. The main purpose of the symposium was exploratory
-- to open lines of communication between the relatively few small groups of
investigators whose work may apply to Arctic animals and plants. Nevertheless,
anyone in the more general field of cold adaptation outside the Arctic is sure
to find something of interest in this book.
J. Levitt, Carnegie Institution of Washington
JONES, SAMUEL B., JR. and ARLENE E. LUCHSINGER. Plant Systematics. McGraw-Hill
Co., N.Y. 1979. 388 pp.
This book is for an undergraduate course in taxonomy and it is a thorough,
somewhat sketchy review of the field. The arrangement of chapters reminds one
of Lawrence's now classic text (Taxonomy of Vascular Plants, 1950) with an introduction
followed by historical background, discussions of nomenclature, principles of
plant taxonomy, and sources of taxonomic evidence. The authors bring up-to-date
information pertaining to the origin and phylogeny of the flowering plants in
particular and evolution in general. In a short appendix, the authors review
available to the researcher in systematics. The last half of the book begins
with a fleeting glance at the Pteridophytes and GYmnosperms~ followed by a look
at 100 of the more important flowering plants. Experienced taxonomists might
consider this volume woefully incomplete in its treatment of the taxonomy of
vascular plants. Yet, the economy of detail and the numbers of plant families
treated makes this a very readable text for an introductory course.
Donald Hudson, Indiana University
METZNER, H. (ed.). Photosynthetic Oxygen Evolution. Academic Press, London.
1978. xvi + 532 pp.
The book contains all 31 papers presented at the 1977 Tubingen Symposium on
aspects of Photosystem II, the water oxidizing system of green plants. However,
a random pick from the more-than-a-hundred similar papers appearing each year
would have resulted in a similar collection. Six of the contributions deal with
non-biological systems; their relationship to the subject of the book generally
is rather superficial. Several papers discuss general aspects of photochemistry,
but it is doubtful that it is our ignorance about the detailed characteristics
of photo-oxidized chlorophyll which limits our progress toward understanding
the unique chemistry of biological water oxidation. A valuable concept, bi-nuclearly
bound peroxide as oxygen precursor, has emerged from studies of manganese complexes
discussed by Harriman, et al. and by Renger. There are some excellent papers,
especially "fluorescence and absorbance changes in Tris-washed chloroplasts"
by Van Gorkom et al. and the Akoyanoglous' treatment of the development of PS
II in greening leaves. Although the book's disorganization and imperfection
limit its use as a text, by containing information not published elsewhere,
it is valuable for specialists.
B. R. Velthuys, Martin Marietta Laboratories