Ericaceae & Musaceae


Rhododendron javanicum RBGE has long been at the forefront of taxonomy of the Ericaceae, especially the genus Rhododendron. With the publication of "Rhododendrons of subgenus Vireya" (Argent, 2006), a monographic account of all the species of Vireya, the last remaining part of the genus has an up to date treatment. Publication of "Rhododendrons of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo" (Argent, Lamb & Phillips 2007) also brings up to date the collaborative work with Sabah Parks which has been pursued for over 25 years. We have the best collection of wild origin living materials of Vireya rhododendrons which is still being used for research, education and amenity (see the Tectonics versus dispersal section of our environmental change and biogeography pages for a description of how molecular data for this group is improving our understanding of how historical factors have shaped plant distributions in Southeast Asia). Data has also been accumulating on the other genera of SE Asian Ericaceae, notably Agapetes, Costera, Diplycosia and Vaccinium.


Musella lasiocarpa Musaceae are large plants of great economic importance, poorly represented in herbaria and difficult to study without fieldwork. Experience of these plants in the field over nearly 30 years makes RBGE ideally placed to pursue studies on the taxonomy of this group, notably to produce an account of the Musaceae for Flora Malesiana and Flora Thailand.

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