Although the vegetation of Sikkim is as well
known as that of any part of India, comparatively
little attention has been paid to the area now
known as the Kaiimpong Sub -Division of the Darjeeling
The territory, though originally part of the
Sikkim state, was annexed by the Bhutanese in 1706
and until 1865 it remained in their hands. Under
the Senchula Treaty of 1865 it became part of British
India and was added to the Darjeeling District.
Although both Sikkim and Bhutah were explored by Dr.
Griffith and Sir Joseph Hooker early in the nineteenth
century, little attention was paid to this
The most complete accont of the vegetation of
Kalimpong which has hitherto been written was published
by the late Mr. J.S.Gamble in the Indian Forester
in 1875, in an article entitled "Darjeeling
Forests ", and yet in this article Mr. Gamble describes
the area east of the Tista, which is the Kalimpong
Sub -Division, as "practically unexplored ".
Before leaving the District finally in 1882 Mr. Gamble
had visited a considerable part of this area and
noted the prevalence of certain plants in various - localities. These he recorded in his "List of the - Trees, Shrubs and Climbers of the Darjeeling District.
Uf subsequent publications relating to Darjeeling
or Sikkim the most important have dealt
with the Alpine Flora of tue higher levels in - Sikkim proper or with plants of a particular family
only. Nothing more than notes of cursory tours
in this area have appeared. The District is included
in the Flora of British India but not in Prain's
Bengal Plants, and for many years Gamble's List has
been the only convenient Forest Flora of the District.
This List was revised by myself and my wife in 1925
and is now being published under the title "The 'frees
of Northern Bengal:'
Altogether Three Forest Working Plans for the
Kalimpong Forest Division have been published. The
Third Working Plan was published by myself in 1924
and is the only plan which contains a detailed description
of the forests. The data given in the present
work were collected mainly from 1922 -1924 during
the preparation of the Third Forest Working - Plan and part of the material has already been published
in a different form in the Plan itself. It
has now been supplemented by further observations
made in 1926 and it is believed that the account of
the forest climax communities is fairly complete although
much work still remains to be done before our
knowledge of the herbaceous communities reaches the
same standard. The study of the cryptogamic plants
has only just been begun.