As I mentioned in my last post the mountains outside of Beijing are a dry arid landscape, but over the last decade of so the Chinese government has been promoting tree planting in areas all around Beijing, especially to the north and west of the city where the dry (and sometimes sandy) winds blow in off the Gobi Desert. This program has largely been successful as the Spring sandstorms that once battered Beijing are now rare and often hardly noticeable.
This past weekend I went on a corporate sponsored tree planting organized by my partner with about 100 people, including around a dozen children. We planted 500 Platycladus orientalis (or Thuja orientalis)侧柏 (ce bai) trees in previously dug holes and then went to a nearby Buddhist temple where we could marvel trees that were over 500 years old.
While on the tree planting mission I once again found my beloved Pulsatilla chinensis 白头翁 (bai tou weng), but this time it had begone to go to seed and there was enough that I felt comfortable digging up a few plants (3) to bring home to make some tincture. And make tincture I did!
And just to make the day a little brighter, as if that wasn’t enough already, I stumbled upon yet another relative of the beloved Chinese medicine, Polygala tenuifolia 远志 (yuan zhi).
Up-date: I am pretty sure this species of Milkwort is Polygala japonica 瓜子金 gua zi jin.
Below you can see the species mentioned above (Polygala tenuifolia).