J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1958, Vol. 7 ›› Issue (1): -.

• Research Articles •    

A Commentary on Chi Han's Nan Fang Ts'as Mu Chuang, “An Account of the Flora of Southern Regions”

Wu Tê-lin   

Abstract: "Nan Fang Ts'ao Mu Chuang", published A.D. 304 during the Chin dynasty, is the earliest regional flora written in any language so far as can be ascertained. The author Chi Han (A.D. 263–306), then prefect of Hsiang Yang prefecture, died at the age of forty-three by the hands of murderers. This untimely death ended the life of an upright official and talented writer. Altogether 380 species, chiefly from Kwangtung and Vietnam, were described under four classes of herbs, forest trees, fruit trees, and bamboos in this pioneer botanical treatise. Though limited in number, the plants chosen fully reflected the characteristic features of subtropical flora and were written up in an exquisite literary style. The commentary sketches the life and work of Chi Han and attempts to identify the plants discussed in accordance with modern botanical nomenclature.

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