Chinese Plant Diversity and Its Modern Literature
From about 1550 to 1750 contact between Chinese and Western plant collectors amounted to cultural coexistence, but with the adoption elsewhere of the Linnean approach, slowly but surely a similar trend developed here. Since, with almost no exceptions, the plant families of China are shared with regions elsewhere, any alternative system could have had, at best, limited appeal. The flora of China has now been subject to Linnean systematics for more than two centuries, the 20th century including an increasing input from Chinese botanists. Many institutions maintain herbaria and any Western taxonomist could feel at home among rows of cupboards, presses and piles of newspapers interleaved with drying specimens.