Forest Vines to Snow Tussocks: The Story of New Zealand Plants
Forest Vines to Snow Tussocks is the first general review of the distinctive features of New Zealand native plants since Cockayne's New Zealand Plants and their Story, now long out of print.
The plant communities, from dense lowland forest to alpine tundra, provide the book's framework, and within this many interesting and often puzzling aspects are considered: vines, epiphytes and parasites of the forest; the many peculiar shrubs with minute leaves and densely interlaced twigs; and the dense cushion plants, or 'vegetable sheep', of the high mountains.
Although more than 80 percent of New Zealand's native plants are found nowhere else our flora does not stand alone, so comparisons are made with the plants of other southern lands. In the last chapter an attempt is made to reconstruct the history of the New Zealand flora over geological time.
Forest Vines to Snow Tussocks fills an important gap in New Zealand's botanical literature — a fascinating and invaluable book for student and general reader alike.
John Dawson was born in 1928 in Eketahuna, where his interest in plants began. He was educated at Victoria University and the University of California at Berkeley, and since 1957 has taught in Victoria University's Botany department. He has a long standing interest in the characteristics, history and relationships of New Zealand plants, and has conducted detailed research into a family of alpine plants (Umbelliferae). For the past 25 years he has also been involved in studies of the New Caledonian flora, with detailed research, soon to be published in two volumes, of the family Myrtaceae.
Cover: the golden Spaniard (Aciphylla a[gap — reason: illegible] Bathans, Otago. Photo: J. W. Dawson.