The months in which most species are in flower are April and May and most of the collections on which our knowledge of the flora is based were gathered in those months.
Sources of information regarding the flora.—It may be said, in the first place, that no information of any kind has been or can be collected from Chinese sources, which could be usefully included in the kind of Flora expected by western readers. The foundation of this Flora is the Colonial Herbarium at Hongkong, to which reference has already been made. The Kwangtung material therein has practically all been collected by the European officers of the Botanical and Forestry Department and their Chinese assistants. Such records in the works enumerated below as were additional to the herbarium records have been included with them in the list. Special mention must be made of Forbes and Hemsley's "Enumeration" which has been utilised largely throughout. The Kwantung records in the herbaria of Kew and the British Museum are taken up usually on that authority alone, as no collections from the province of any importance have been added to them since the publication of the work.
There are, however, several large collections on the continent which remain to be searched for Kwangtung records. The herbarium, for instance, of the late Drake del Castillo contains many collections of Kwangtung plants. They, with the rest of his herbarium, were bequeathed to the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, but owing to want of space at the Jardin des Plantes they still lie at his house in Paris, where they can be seen on application. The Paris Herbarium itself has not been consulted: it doubtless contains much material which would add to our knowledge, of the provincial flora.
The principal books from which information was derived were
Extent of information.—The relative amount of attention that each part of the province has received may be gathered from the following comparison between the numbers of records from each, which are quoted in the following pages. Out of each 100 records, 23, on an average, are found to refer to Hongkong (chiefly from Ford, Hance, Tutcher), 15 to the New Territory (Ford, Dunn, Tutcher), 11 to the Swatow hinterland (Dunn), 10 to the Lienchow River (Ford, B. C. Henry), five each to Canton (Hance, Sampson), Lofoushan (Ford chiefly), N. River (Sampson, Ford), W. River (Hance) and Macao (Vachell), four to Hoifung (Dunn's Chinese collector), and 12 to other parts.
Character of flora.—A visitor landing on the shore of Kwangtung—the only part of the coast of China washed by tropical seas first notices that the maritime phanerogamic flora is distinctly poor, the only element perhaps of the S. China flora which does not seem remarkably rich to the European visitor. On sandy beaches a close turf usually commences from the high water line varied by patches