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Tuatara: Volume 21, Issue 3, April 1975

The Mountain Flora of Java

The Mountain Flora of Java

The 57 handsome colour plates illustrating 456 species, which form the core of this book, were completed by the artists Amir Hamjah and Moehamad Toha, just before World War II. A provisional text was prepared towards the end of the war, but it required the stimulus of Professor van Steenis' retirement to finally bring about publication of the work.

The text was entirely rewritten in the year prior to publication. It provides a very readable, interesting and informative account of the mountain plants of Java and their environment, covering topics such as climate, volcanism, altitudinal zonation, vegetation types with emphasis on growth forms, and the origins and relationship of the flora. The vegetation types are illustrated by 71 well selected black and white photographs.

The colour plates are visually very attractive and although I do not know the species the drawings appear to be botanically correct.

page 132

Of particular interest to New Zealand botanists are illustrations of species of such familiar genera as Podocarpus, Weinmannia, Elaeocarpus, Gaultheria, Dianella, Leptospermum, Coprosma, Nertera and several others. In addition there are illustrations of certain species regarded as common to New Zealand and Java and elsewhere Dodonaea viscosa, Microtis unifolia, Pratia angulata (as Lobelia), Wahlenbergia gracilis (as W. marginata) and Haloragis micrantha.

This book can be recommended both as a collector's item and as valuable botanical reference.