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Plants in the Wild: Mongolia

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Started by: Susan Read

Go to latest contribution by Susan Read, 15 February 2013, 14:28. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Susan Read 24 January 2013, 16:41top / bottom of page

A friend visited Mongolia in the latter part of August and we have been trying to identify some of the plants she photographed. The gentians were spectacular and I guess this could be G. atuntiensis. Any comments?

Next, seems to be a primula, similar to P.cuneifolia

Lomatogonium cf cuneata

Delphinium sp

Dianthus ?chinensis

There are a few more to follow if there is any interest, especially if the cold weather here continues!

The area she visited was east of the Altai and west of Ulaan Baatar.

Contribution from Tim Ingram 24 January 2013, 21:29top / bottom of page

I tend to think of Mongolia as semi-desert and the origin of Genghis Khan! (Partly because of reading a very good book by John Man). It's very nice to see some of the plants - the only one I could comment on is the Gentian which tallies well with description of G. atuntsiensis in Josef Halda's 'The Genus Gentiana'.

Contribution from Susan Read 25 January 2013, 17:55top / bottom of page

Tim, I do not have Halda's book but have looked at Flowers of Western China (C Grey-Wilson) and came to the conclusion that it was probably one in that group (4). Another specimen is shown below with slightly different characteristics.

The area is steppe and low mountains and some interesting plants seem to be growing in sand/gravel so I will try to find some of those.


This looks familiar but I am not quite sure what it is. Possibly this is dry gravel but could still be a river bed! The secong picture I have also been lazy about so any id's please.

Contribution from Susan Read 25 January 2013, 20:00top / bottom of page

Having the time to sit in front of the computer I have found (actually Google has found) some Floras of Mongolia. Now I wonder if the gentian is G. decumbens. I am not sure how useful Flowers of Western China (C Grey-Wilson and P Cribb) is for the area visited.

Contribution from Susan Read 28 January 2013, 15:58top / bottom of page

A few more plants and time for a photo credit (Norma Blamires, whom people would have known on the last AGS trip to Tibet). Next picture seems to be Gentianopsis cf paludosa and then a Gentianella sp.

I believe the above were taken in an area known as the great White Lake, presumably not a dry habitat.

Contribution from Tim Ingram 28 January 2013, 17:41top / bottom of page

Yes I think you are probably right Susan - having looked again at Halda, atuntnensis is found in Tibet and Yunnan and decumbens much more widely in N. China, Mongolia, Russia and Siberia. The former also looks to have rather more open flowers on rather shorter stems, and they are described as 'purplish'. The trouble with leafing through Halda's really beautiful book on Gentians is realising how many of of these rather wonderful plants there are! I like the Lomatogonium too, a very crisp looking plant. Is the white herb likely to be a salvia; I can't quite make it out from the photo. Are there any more photos?

Contribution from Tim Ingram 28 January 2013, 17:58top / bottom of page

Another possibilty for the gentian is dahurica, which is in cultivation but I have always thought was a squinny plant with smallish flowers; this has the same distribution as decumbens. In cultivation in the past it has been confused with G. kurroo from much further west in the Himalayas (!) which shows how confusing and difficult it often is to put names to plants accurately, even with the best will in the world.

Contribution from Susan Read 29 January 2013, 10:51top / bottom of page

Here are a few more, mostly the genus ia obvious though not to me of the first one.

The next possibly Myosotis or even Eritrichium.

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