Saturday, 9 May 2009

More from Hooker's Himalayan Journals

Page 25
On the hill above Choongtam village, I gathered, at 5000 to 6000 feet, Rhododendron arboreum and Dalhousiae, which do not generally grow at Dorjiling below 7,500 feet.

* I collected here ten kinds of rhododendron, which, however, are not the social plants that they become at greater elevations. Still, in the delicacy and beauty of their flowers, four of them, perhaps, excel any others ; they are, R. Aucklandii, whose flowers are five inches and a half in diameter : R. Maddeni, R. Dalhousiae, and R. Edgeworthii, all white-flowered bushes, of which the two first rise to the height of small trees.


On the following morning they met us as we were departing for Chola pass, bringing large presents in the name of the Rajah, and excuses on their and his part for having paid us no respect at Tumloong, saying, that it was not the custom to receive strangers till after they had rested a day, that they were busy preparing a suitable reception, &c.; this was all false, and contrary to etiquette, but there was no use in telling them so. Campbell spoke firmly and kindly to them, and pointed out their incivility and the unfriendly tone of their whole conduct. They then desired Campbell to wait and discuss business affairs with them ; this was out of the question, and he assured them that he was ever ready to do so with the Rajah, that he was now (as he had informed his Highness) on his way with me to the Chola and Yakla passes, and that we had, for want of coolies, left some loads behind us, which, if they were really friendly, they would forward. This they did, and so we parted; they (contrary to expectation) making no objection to Campbell's proceeding with me.

A long march up a very steep, narrow ridge took us by a good road to Laghep, a stone resting-house (alt., 10,475 feet) on a very narrow flat. I had abundance of occupation in gathering rhododendron-seeds, of which I procured twenty-four kinds* on this and the following day.

* These occurred in the following order in ascending, commencing at 6000 feet—1. R. Dalhousiae; 2. R. vaccinioides ; 3. R. camelliaeflorum ; 4. R. arboreum. Above 8000 feet:—5. R. argenteum; 6. R. Falconeri; 7. R. barbatum; 8. R, Campbelliae; 9. R. Edgeworthii; 10. R. niveum ; 11. R. Thomsoni; 12. R. cinnabarinum; 13. R. glaucum. Above 10,500 feet :—14. R. lanatum; 15. R. virgatum; 16. R. campylocarpum ; 17. R.ciliatum; 18. R. Hodgsoni; 19. R. campanulatum. Above 12,000 feet:—20. R. lepidotum; 21. R. fulgens; 22. R, Wightianum ; 23. R. anthopogon; 24. R. setosum.

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