During the National Day hike between Dali and Shaxi we saw an enormous number of wildflowers: far more than I expected at this time of year. Most were small and many evidently of no interest to the editors of my Yunnan flower books, as I’ve been unable to identify some of the ones pictured below. No doubt several have also been misidentified, and so as usual I’d be grateful for any corrections. The names are in the file data, so just hover your cursor over the image or click on it to open the full gallery…

This was the most unexpected sight of the journey. I think it’s a Rhododendron decorum, which should start flowering in April rather than early October. The seasons are out of sync here – one of the pear trees in my garden also decided spring had arrived and started flowering this week. If anyone has another explanation, I’d be glad to hear it.

The fields around Shaoheng were full of flowering tobacco plants. The usable leaves had all been harvested and the plants would soon be cut down and burned or ploughed in.

There were whole fields of these Cosmos along the edge of the Fengyu Valley.

Other than being blue instead of purple, this looks exactly like a Chesneya purpureya.

Now we’re starting to get into the ones I’m really uncertain about. This looks like it might be a kind of Potentilla, though what kind I can’t imagine.

I’m assuming the two below are types of Polygonum. Any advance on that?

And from here on, I really haven’t a clue…