Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/288

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ALPINE VEGETATION.

of currant (Ribes pulchellum and another), raspberry (Rubus Idæus), and the climbing Atragene alpina.

The commonest herbs were the red lily (Lilium tenuifolium), French honeysuckle (also found in the lower alpine meadow-land), several kinds of astragalus, violets, several varieties of pedicularis, including one conspicuous for its pink flowers, Rhaponticum uniflorum and Polygonatum Sibiricum. Where the ground was moist we observed a greater variety of herbaceous plants; valerian, meadow-rue, the willow herb (Epilobium angustifolium), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), columbine (Aquilegia viridiflora), wormwood, Silene repens, Rubia cordifolia, and Sanguisorba alpina, often growing in patches in the alpine meadows. The vegetation of the tree-belt is richer than either of the others, although far less luxuriant than that of Kan-su.

The alpine region, which begins at an elevation of 10,000 feet, is of comparatively small extent, more limited even than that of the Munni-ula range. Here we saw the beautiful caragana, covered with white and pink blossoms early in July, the meadow-sweet, the white kurile tea (the same we had seen in the forests), and a low kind of willow.

In the lower alpine belt, besides many of the flowers we have already enumerated, we observed ranunculus, larkspur, beautiful carnations (Dianthus superbus), onion, and corydalis. On the higher ground bushes cease altogether, the caragana being the only one to appear up to the very summit of Mount Bugutui; but here its proportions are dwarf-