This charming and handy book printed on excellent paper, with its numerous clear pictures of well-known Malayan plants, reminds one in many ways of Merrill’s “Plant Life of the Pacific World” (MacMillan 1946, New York), which has perhaps served Prof. Holttum as an example. Its size being only slightly smaller than Merrill’s book and the area covered being very considerably smaller, its descriptions of plants are naturally more detailed; the more so as only a choice has been made, in which the special interests of the author — ferns, orchids, gingers — are evident though not predominant. The plants described are not regionally arranged. The 17 chapters are rather headed by names of life-forms, striking organs, and special habitats. As is pointed out in the Preface, the book is “intended primarily for the Malayan resident who wishes to begin a study of Malayan plants”. In this purpose the book will doubtless prove to be a success: the reader is gradually taught quite a bit of botany of various fields, morphology, anatomy, ecology, hybridisation, etc. These are demonstrated at plants which are within easy reach of the ordinary layman for which it is destined. Short opening and concluding chapters deal with general features of tropical plants and with the Malayan forest. Since the author is a well-known expert and the Malayan flora as here described is a very good example of any flora between, say, Calcutta and Fiji, it may well be useful to residents of many other countries as well.
|Journal||Blumea: Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants|
|Rights||Released under the CC-BY 4.0 ("Attribution") License|
Lam, H.J, Barkman, J.J, van Ooststroom, S.J, & van Soest, J.L. (1954). Reviews. Blumea: Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants, 7(3), 622–624.