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  • Author or Editor: Xiao-Xian Li x
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Northwestern Yunnan is situated in the southern part of the Hengduan Mountains, which is a complex and varied natural environment. Consequently, this region supports a great diversity of endemic plants. Using field investigation in combination with analysis of relevant literature and available data, this paper presents a regional ethnobotanical study of this area. Results indicated that northwestern Yunnan has an abundance of wild ornamental plants: this study identified 262 endemic species (belonging to 64 genera and 28 families) with potential ornamental value. The distinguishing features of these wild plants, their characteristics and habitats are analyzed; the ornamental potential of most plants stems from their wildflowers, but some species also have ornamental fruits and foliage. Among the endemic genera, Pedicularis and Rhododendron have particularly high numbers of ornamental wild species, while Aconitum, Gentiana, Corydalis, Silene, Delphinium, Cremanthodium, and Saussurea also contain significant numbers of wild ornamental species. It is suggested that cultivation of these species may be beneficial, both commercially and to help conserve endangered endemic plant species.

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Single-slope, energy-efficient solar greenhouses in China use solar energy as the sole source of light and heat for winter crop production in the region between latitudes 32°N and 43°N. The use of solar greenhouses has greatly reduced energy demand and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Solar greenhouses are the best structure for growing winter horticultural crops in China, and have been adopted by countries such as Japan, Korea, and Russia. Increased proliferation of efficient solar greenhouses in China may contribute to solving worldwide problems such as the energy crisis and global climate change. This article summarizes the structure, function, application, and ecological benefits of energy-efficient, single-slope solar greenhouses in China, based on 20 years of systematic studies. We hope this technology can be applied to regions of similar climate to help reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

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