Chinese 500: Genre and Method
Biology I: Botanical Sources
(This site is still under construction: it is online as a temporary tool for translation practice)
I. Traditional Works
II. Modern Works
- Bernard Read, Chinese Medicinal Plants from the Pen Ts'ao Kang Mu 本草綱目 A.D. 1596. 3rd. edition of a Botanical, Chemical and Pharmacological Reference List. Beijing: Natural History Bulletin, 1936. Rep. in Chinese Medicine Series, Taipei: Southern Materials Center, 1977. This is a very useful tool that can give you alternate Chinese names, Latin names, and common English and Chinese names for plants. It is arranged as follows:
- There are a substantial list of references at the beginning of the book. This was a pioneering work in the 1930's. This same format is followed for his other works Other useful works on botanical sources are found in Read's
- Famine Foods Listed in the Chiu Huang Pen Ts'ao (救荒本草) Giving Their Identiry, Nutritional Values, and Notes on Their Preparation (Shanghai, 1946) Rep. in Chinese Medicine Series, Taipei: Southern Materials Center, 1977.
- Ephedera (麻黃) The Botany of Mahuang (Shanghai, 1939) Rep. in Chinese Medicine Series, Taipei: Southern Materials Center, 1977.
- G. A. Stuart. Chinese Materia Medica (Shanghai, 1911) Rep. in Chinese Medicine Series, Taipei: Southern Materials Center, 1977.
- Berthold Laufer. Sino-Iranica (Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History, 1919) Rep. in Chinese Medicine Series, Taipei: Southern Materials Center, 1977. A detailed study of plants introduced into China from Persia and the middle east. Laufer was a brilliant linguist and anthropologist. You will find a lot of information on the foreign origin of Chinese names for plants, textiles, aromatics, precious stones, etc.
III. Internet Resources
- USDA National Plant Data Base
- Provides a look up data base utilizing Latin names. Serves as a handy guide for information on plants native or common both to the United States and China.
- Australian New Crops: Listing of Useful Plants of the World.
- Around 4200 edible crops are listed here, including such things as Euryale ferox, and other Chinese edible plants. Includes references, which are quite comprehensive. The common names are much more up-to-date than those provided in Read and Stuart (see I, above).
- This is a very good site. Look at the menu on the left, under 中草藥篇. Compare it's entry on Euryale ferox. It also has sophisticated search capabilities for its own website.
- Herbarium, Institute of Botany, Academia Sinica
- A collection of databases for plants native to Taiwan. Also good for southeastern China.
- Acta Botanica Sinica. A journal sponsored by the Botanical Society of China, and Institute of Botany, The Chinese Academy of Sciences
- "Acta Botanica Sinica, sponsored by Botanical Society of China and Institute of Botany, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, is a leading Chinese journal on plant science distributed monthly to 37 countries. The Journal covers all the major areas of plant science and publishes full-length research papers, rapid communication and review. Since founded in 1952, we have been keeping our readers up to date with the latest science and technology.
- Database coverage includes totally 44 different overseas index systems, such as Chemical Abstracts, SCI-Search, Biological Abstracts, CAB Abs., Biosis Previews, etc. and 19 in China, such as CSTPC and CSCI, etc. It has been a journal of the top rank among all the scientific and technical periodicals of the biological sciences in China since 1997 in terms of impact factors and total cites, respectively."
- A good place to look for scientific articles on plants
- Flora of China
- Mirror site at Harvard University . This is a bit technical, but has wonderful photographs, a search system that uses both pinyin and character input. Primary Resources include:
- Chinese and Pinyin
- Citing eFloras.org
- Flora of China Checklist
- Flora of China Web
- FOC complete family list
- Hu Card Index
- Interactive Key for Families of Chinese Angiosperms by Xiangying Wen