Informateur OPTIMA Newsletter

OPTIMA Newsletter - 30(e) / Informateur OPTIMA - 30(e)

Printed version ISSN 0376-5016 30 (1996), published by the Secretariat of OPTIMA.

N°. 30(e)



by Werner Greuter



Notices of Publications:

OPTIMA; Cryptogamae; Dicotyledones; Monocotyledones; Floras; Flower Books; Floristic Inventories and Checklists; Excursions; Chorology; Karyology; Ecology; Regional Studies of Flora and Vegetation; Ethnobotany, useful plants; Conservation Topics, Red Data Books; National parks and protected areas; Gardens; Herbaria; Bibliography and Documentation; Biography and historical subjects; Reprints; Symposium Proceedings; Abstract volumes; New Periodicals





  1. Dimitrios Phitos & Werner Greuter (ed.) – Proceedings of the VI OPTIMA Meeting, Delphi, 10-16 Sept. 1989. [Botanika hronika, 10.] – Botanical Institute, University of Patras, 1991. 987 pages, black-and-white illustrations, paper. Price: SFr 250.

96 papers on all aspects of Mediterranean botany, corresponding to the symposium lectures and poster presentations at the VI OPTIMA Meeting. Addresses, lectures and resolutions at the opening ceremony and closing session are also included. Symposium topics were: Current floristic projects; Geographical isolation and cytological differentiation; Phytogeography of lichens; Taxonomic botany, phytogeography and plant conservation in Greece; Forest management and plant conservation; Wild relatives of cultivated plants.

  1. Hüsnü Demiriz & Neriman Özhatay (ed.) – OPTIMA. Proceedings of the Fifth Meeting, Istanbul, 8-15 September 1986. – Istanbul Üniversitesi, Fen Fakültesi, Istanbul, 1993. xxxii + 797 pages, black-and-white illustrations, 4 extra plates (one in colour), 1 folded inset (graph), paper. Price: SFr 180.

78 papers on a variety of topics related to Mediterranean botany, corresponding to the symposium lectures and poster presentations at the V OPTIMA Meeting. Symposium topics were: The Mediterranean Sea, a threatened ecosystem and its plants; Biology and systematics of geophytes; Turkish contributions to taxonomic botany and phytogeography; Archaeobiology; Reproductive biology and adaptive strategies of angiosperms.



  1. Ramon Folch i Guillèn & al. (ed.) – Historia natural dels països catalans. 5. Fongs i líquens (by Xavier Limona & al.). – Enciclopèdia Catalana, Barcelona, 1991 (ISBN 84-7739-267-6). 528 pages, colour illustrations, hard cover.

The botanical part of this 15-volume encyclopaedia, comprising vol. 4-7 and begun in 1984, is now complete (see OPTIMA Newsl. 25-29: (2-3). 1991). The salient feature of the present volume, apart from its well documented and well written Catalan text, are its numerous (584) and excellent illustrations, mostly photographs, which give a balanced picture of the organismic diversity treated. This is by no means a mushroom-and-toadstool picture book, but a pictorially supported textbook of all categories of fungi, lichenized and non-lichenized, including myxomycetes. Looking for a good colour photograph of a slime mould, an oomycete, a chytrid? You will find it here, side by side with a good graphic representation of its life cycle and main morphological features. Paper and print quality are as remarkable as the illustrations and written contents.


  1. Carlos Lado – Catálogo comentado y síntesis corológica de los Myxomycetes de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares (1788-1990). [Ruizia, 9.] – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Vitruvio 8, E-28006 Madrid, 1991 (ISBN 84-00-07105-0). 142 pages, map, laminated cover.

An inventory of the Ibero-Balearic myxomycete flora, with numerous critical remarks. Taxon information, by provinces, is cited, from published and unpublished (manuscripts, herbaria) sources. Species inventories for each province form a second chapter.


  1. Giovanni Monti, Mauro Marchetti, Luca Gorreri & Paolo Franchi – Funghi e cenosi di aree bruciate. Indagine nell’ambiente del parco [naturale Migliarino-San Rossore-Massaciuccoli]. – Pacini, Via Gherardesca, I-56014 Ospedaletto, 1992 (ISBN 88-7781-068-8). 149 pages, black-and-while illustrations, colour photographs, laminated cover.

Two natural park areas along the Tyrrhenian coast, in which the pine woods had been destroyed by fire in August 1989, were studied during early vegetation regeneration with regard to their fungal flora. The main portion of the book brings detailed descriptions, with brilliant colour photographs and illustration of microscopic details, of 40 species of fungi.


  1. Giuseppe Venturella – A check-list of Sicilian fungi. [Bocconea, 2.] – Herbarium Mediterraneum Panormitanum, Via Archirafi 38, I-90123 Palermo (ISBN 88-7915-001-4). 221 pages, 1 graph, paper.

A mainly literature-based checklist of (non-lichenized) micro- and macrofungi so far reported from Sicily, including few unpublished records. The list gives highly condensed literature references of reported occurrences, by provinces, island groups or mountain massifs, as well as substratum (host) indications.


  1. Euaggelia Kapsanakê-Gkotsê – Sumbolê stên ereuna tês mukêtohlôridas tês nêsou Krêtês. Taxinomikê kai hlôridikê meletê tôn Uredinales. [Evangelia Kapsanaki-Gotsi, Contribution to the knowledge of the mycoflora of Kriti island (Hellas). Taxonomic and floristic study of the Uredinales.] – PhD Thesis, Department of Biology, University of Athens, 1986. 256 pages, black-and-white illustrations, folded map, paper.

354 rust samples collected between 1977 and 1983 mainly in W. Crete were studied and assigned to 93 taxa (90 different species). Two species and one variety are described and named as new. The treatment includes several new records for Crete, or for Greece as a whole, and indications of new host plants. Detailed study, using SEM, of the Puccinia calcitrapae and P. hieracii aggregates enabled the recognition of segregate species. The book is well illustrated by 238 micrographs on 33 plates, mostly of spores.


  1. Pier Luigi Nimis – The lichens of Italy. An annotated catalogue. [OPTIMA Commission for Lichens publication, 1.] – Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali [Monografie, 12], Via Giolitti 36, I-10123 Torino, 1993 (ISBN 88-86041-02-0). 897 pages, hard cover and dust-cover.

A detailed inventory of Italian lichens and their distribution by provinces, with full documentation of literature sources. Ecology, general distribution, taxonomy, etc., are commented upon in notes under each taxon. This impressive inventory, the first to be published under the auspices of OPTIMA’s Commission for Lichens, has been recognized by the award of OPTIMA’s Silver Medal to its author. (Full reviews can be found in, e.g., Ann. Bot. Fenn. 31: 28; Herzogia 10: 266; and Vegetatio 116: 173; all 1994.)


  1. Pedro Pablo Moreno & José María Egea – Estudios sobre el complejo Anema-Thyrea-Peccania en el sureste de la Península Ibérica y Norte de Africa. [Acta botanica barcinonensia, 41.] – Departament de Biologia Vegetal, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, 1992. 66 pages, black-and-white illustrations, paper.

14 lichen species, belonging to four genera usually referred to the Lichinaceae, are fully treated (keys, synonymy, descriptions, specimen citations, distribution maps) and partly illustrated by micrographs; one of them belongs to a new genus, Digitothyrea, validated elsewhere by the same authors.


  1. Vrec Aršamovic Manakjan – Listostebel’nye mhi jugo-vostocnoj Armenii. [The mosses of S.E. Armenia.] – Akademija Nauk Armjanskoj S.S.R., Erevan, 1989. 313 pages, black-and-white illustrations, hard cover.

The mosses known from the three floristic provinces encompassed by S.E. Armenia (Daralagaz, Zangezur, Meghri) are treated mainly with respect to their distribution, which is given in detail both for within and outside the area covered. Numerous distribution maps are included, mostly covering Caucasia as a whole. A floristic analysis summarizes, among other things, the habitat preferences of each species. No keys or morphological descriptions are present, but in some cases figures showing anatomical details are included.



  1. Cèsar Blanché & Angel M. Romo (ed.) – Current research on the tribe Delphineae Warming (Ranunculaceae). [Also as Collectanea botanica, 19.] – Institut Botànic, Av. dels Muntanyans, E-08038 Barcelona, 1990. 160 pages, black-and-white illustrations, laminated cover. Price: US$ 20 (OPTIMA members: US$ 15).

This volume of Collectanea botanica, contrary to tradition, is devoted to a single subject and is also available as a special issue with coloured cover. 10 papers are included, dealing with various aspects related to the Delphinieae (consistently, as it seems, misspelled "Delphineae") and their genera, Aconitella, Aconitum, Aquilegia, and Consolida. Topics treated include ecology, floral biology, phytochemistry, and horticulture, apart from taxonomy and evolution.

  1. Cèsar Blanché y Vergés – Revisió biosistemàtica del gènere Delphinium L. a la Península Ibèrica i a les Illes Balears. – Institut d’Estudis Catalans [Arxius de la Secció de Ciències, 98], Carrer del Carme 47, E-08001 Barcelona, 1992 (ISBN 84-7283-194-9). 290 pages, black-and-white illustrations, paper.

This was presented as a PhD thesis in 1985 and, in 1986, was awarded the Pius Font i Quer prize, but publication was much delayed. It is an in-depth study of Ibero-Balearic Delphinium taxa, considering classical morphology as well as micromorphology of pollen, seeds and epidermis features, anatomy, and chromosome numbers. Types are newly designated for several names. As a conclusion and synthesis, a classical taxonomic revision is presented, recognizing 10 species and one additional subspecies.

  1. T. C. G. Rich – Crucifers of Great Britain and Ireland. [BSBI Handbooks, 6.] – Botanical Society of the British Isles, c/o Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, U.K., 1991 (ISBN 0-901158-20-8). [5] + 336 pages, black-and-white illustrations, laminated cover. Price: £10.75.

A practical field guide, with full (partly illustrated) identification keys, and full descriptions with analytical illustrations of the 138 species and interspecific hybrids found in the area. Many (60) of the taxa are mapped for Britain and Ireland, the maps being somewhat difficult to interpret due to excessive reduction in print.

  1. G. G. Graham & A. L. Primavesi – Roses of Great Britain and Ireland. [BSBI Handbooks, 7.] – Botanical Society of the British Isles, c/o Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, U.K., 1993 (ISBN 0-901158-22-4). 207 pages, black-and-white illustrations, laminated cover. Price: £12.

On the British Isles, Rosa is represented by 10 native and about as many naturalized species, plus a great number of interspecific hybrids. The species receive a full treatment by keys and illustrations, the hybrids are mostly just described. The principal native taxa are mapped by analogy to Perring & Walters’s Atlas of the British flora. Main diagnostic features of habit, acicles and prickles, leaves, calyx, and hips are thoroughly discussed and illustrated in the introductory part. The book will be found useful far beyond the territory it is designed to cover.

  1. Nigel Maxted – An ecogeographical study of Vicia subg. Vicia. [Systematic and ecogeographic studies on crop genepools, 8.] – International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Via delle Sette Chiese 142, I-00145 Roma, 1995 (ISBN 92-9043-240-3). [5] + 184 pages, black-and-white illustrations, laminated cover.

The subgenus comprises 8 sections and 38 species and is centred in the E. Mediterranean and S.W. Asia. This treatment is not a traditional monograph but a source book for genetic resources conservation purposes; it nevertheless includes keys to species (but not infraspecific taxa), descriptions of sections (but not series), and selected analytical illustrations. Ecology and distribution, including maps and specimen citations, are central to the account. The synonymies are somewhat awkward, with duplication when the authors, or even merely the spellings of the source, differ – obviously a side-effect of computer assistance.

  1. A. Libaniou-Têniakou – Biosustêmatikê meletê tou genous Viola sectio Viola (Violaceae) stên Ellada. [A. Livaniou-Tiniakou, A biosystematic study of Viola sect. Viola (Violaceae) in Greece.] – PhD Thesis, University of Patras, 1991. [3] + iv + 337 pages, black-and-white illustrations, paper.

Following in-depth study of morphological and caryological features, including morphometrical statistics of within- and between-population variation, 14 species and two additional subspecies representing 3 subsections are recognized. Two taxa, Viola oligyrtia from Peloponnisos and V. cretica subsp. glabra from Crete, are newly described and validly named. Keys, detailed descriptions, specimen citations and distribution maps are provided.

  1. Gabriel Alziar – Catalogue synonymique des Salvia L. du monde (Lamiaceae). [Biocosme mésogéen, 5: 87-136. 1988; 6: 80-115, 163-204. 1989; 7: 59-109. 1990; 9: 413-497. 1992; 10: 33-117. 1993.] – Ville de Nice. 2 maps, 22 colour photographs.

This synonymic checklist is now complete except for the reference list (if it is to be published at all) and is an important nomenclatural source for a large, subcosmopolitan genus which has one of its centres of diversity in the Mediterranean area. Although Alziar’s "Catalogue" has not as it seems been published separately but consists of a series of papers in a journal, it may be worth mentioning it in the present context (one may note that the title varies, either "L." or "du monde" being sometimes omitted).

  1. Pedro L. Pérez de Paz & Lourdes Negrín Sosa – Revisión taxonómica de Sideritis L. sugénero Marrubiastrum (Moench) Mend.-Heuer (endemismo macaronésico). [Phanerogamarum monographiae, 20.] – Cramer, Berlin & Stuttgart, 1992 (ISBN 3-443-78002-4). 327 pages, black-and-white illustrations, hard cover.

The natural group of species sometimes referred to a separate genus Leucophae has a controversial taxonomic history in view of its obvious complexity. This monograph appears to provide the final key for its understanding. The 24 species recognized (1 Madeiran, 23 Canarian) have been thoroughly investigated in every respect, their distribution established, and their relationships clarified. The treatment is profusely illustrated, and includes the description and valid naming of one new section, one species and several hybrids. Recognition of natural hybridization as one of the sources of the present complexity of variational patterns is one of the major merits of the authors.

  1. Concepción Obón de Castro & Diego Rivera Núñez – A taxonomic revision of the section Sideritis (genus Sideritis) (Labiatae). [Phanerogamarum monographiae, 21.] – Cramer, Berlin & Stuttgart, 1994 (ISBN 3-443-78003-2). x + 640 pages, black-and-white illustrations, hard cover.

A major monograph of one of the most critical Mediterranean (almost exclusively Ibero-Maghrebine) plant groups, recently honoured by the award of the OPTIMA Silver Medal to its authors. It is based principally on the study of herbarium specimens and uses classical morphological characters in the first place. Many of the 69 species recognized are further subdivided into subspecies (up to 11, in Sideritis hyssopifolia) or varieties, reflecting their natural polymorphism. They are assigned to 16 subsections and several series, all newly described – and (mis)named, with epithets in the singular mostly in need of correction. Many novelties are included, some previously described by the same authors. All taxa are illustrated by drawings and sometimes indumentum micrographs.

  1. Petra-Andrea Hinz – Etude biosystématique de l’agrégat Digitalis purpurea L. (Scrophulariaceae) en Méditerranée occidentale. [Reprints from Candollea 41:339-368; 42: 167-204, 693-716; 43: 223-247, 587-643; 44: 147-174, 681-714; 45: 125-199. 1986-1990; with common title, introductory part and indexes, [7] + [9] pages.] – PhD thesis, Université de Genève, & Conservatoire & Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève, 1990.

This in-depth biosystematic study of a critical complex of four W. Mediterranean species and several infraspecific taxa was awarded the OPTIMA Silver Medal at the Borovec Meeting in 1993. While not easy to use due to the piecemeal way in which it was published, it has the merit of clarifying the taxonomy and evolution of a difficult and much confused complex of considerable horticultural and pharmaceutical interest.

  1. Ourania N. Geôrgiou-Karabata – Biosustêmatikê meletê tês omadas Anthemis tomentosa (Asteraceae) stên Ellada. [A biosystematic study of the Anthemis tomentosa group (Asteraceae) in Greece.] – PhD Thesis, University of Patras, 1990. [5] + 299 pages, black-and-white illustrations, 1 folded map, 2 folded tables, paper.

A polymorphic complex of littoral annuals has been investigated, and the riddle beautifully resolved by the recognition of four vicarious species with several infraspecific taxa (some of the latter being new, and newly named). The criteria used are mainly flower and fruit morphology, presented in great detail. Chromosome number and morphology are virtually uniform in the group. The observed distributional patterns, with one amphi-Adriatic, one peri-Aegean and two Aegean insular species, are excellent case studies for phytogeographical analysis.

  1. Hermann Meusel & Arndt Kästner – Lebensgeschichte der Gold- und Silberdisteln. Monographie der mediterran-mitteleuropäischen Compositen-Gattung Carlina. Band II. Artenvielfalt und Stammesgeschichte der Gattung. [Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse, Denkschriften, 128.] – Springer, Wien, 1994 (ISBN 3-211-86558-6). 657 pages, black-and-white illustrations, 32 extra plates of colour photographs, paper.

This superbly illustrated and richly documented second half of Meusel & Kästner’s Carlina monograph (see OPTIMA Newsl. 25-29: (73-74). 1991, for a review of the first volume) is made to the gusto of both the taxonomist and general biologist. The new classification here presented and amply documented recognizes 5 subgenera and several sections and subsections, 28 species and many subspecies and varieties, most of the supra- and many of the infraspecific names being new or newly combined here. Each taxon is seen in its natural coenotic context, illustrated by vegetation relevés, and in a biogeographical frame, represented by maps of similar distributions. Growth form, habit and habitat are described and profusely illustrated by photographs and drawings. The classical aspects of a taxonomic monograph are in no way neglected. Cladists and non-cladists will be equally interested in the juxtaposition of a computer-generated and a more intuitively designed cladogram. A monument indeed, and a useful tool in the same time!

  1. Walter Huber † –Biosystematisch-ökologische Untersuchungen an den Erigeron-Arten (Asteraceae) der Alpen. – Geobotanisches Institut der ETH, Stiftung Rübel [Veröffentlichungen, 114], Zürich, 1993. 143 pages, black-and-white and colour illustrations, laminated cover. Price: SFr 58.

A very complete revision, covering a variety of topics from typification and nomenclature through traditional morphology to ecology, phytosociology and chromosome studies. Over 200 populations have been studied, representing the 9 Alpine Erigeron taxa (8 species and one newly named subspecies), each illustrated by a colour photograph. The key extends to all Central European representatives of the genus, and to potentially confusable species of Aster and Conyza as well.

  1. Robert Vogt – Die Gattung Leucanthemum Mill. (Compositae-Anthemideae) auf der Iberischen Halbinsel. [Ruizia, 10.] – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Vitruvio 8, E-28006 Madrid, 1991 (ISBN 84-00-07161-1). 261 pages, black-and-white illustrations, laminated cover.

Of the c. 70 species of the genus, 19 occur on the Iberian Peninsula, representing all three sections. Of all but one of the 26 taxa (species or subspecies) recognized, living material was available for study, originating from no less than 350 different localities. Chromosome studies as well as investigation of fruit anatomy are among the main data sources on which Vogt’s classification (which includes one new section, four new species and several novelties at subspecies rank) is based. The work, generously illustrated by drawings of habit and details as well as maps, was distinguished by the award of the OPTIMA Silver Medal to its author, in 1993.



  1. Juan Antonio Devesa Alcaraz (ed.) – Las gramíneas de Extremadura. – Universidad de Extremadura, Badajoz, 1991 (ISBN 84-7723-094-3). 358 pages, drawings, laminated cover.

A regional monograph and field guide for identification of the 175 grass species (209 taxa) of W. Spanish Estremadura. The 83 full-page drawings, by A. Cadete, of plant habit and analytical details contribute essentially, along with the careful descriptions and keys, to the practical value of the book.

  1. Juan Antonio Devesa Alcaraz (ed.) – Anatomía foliar y palinología de las gramíneas extremeñas. – Universidad de Extremadura, Badajoz, 1992 (ISBN 84-7723-129-x). 397 pages, graphs, black-and-white photographs, laminated cover.

The companion volume to N° 25 (above) describes in its first part the gross leaf morphology, cross section and abaxial epidermis microstructure for all 209 grass taxa known from Estremadura. A key permits the identification of non-pooid genera. Significant examples are illustrated on 19 plates of micrographs. An ordination by Principal Component Analysis is presented, using 94 characters. The pollen of 178 taxa has been studied, and the quantitative data thus obtained are presented in tabular form.

  1. M. W. van Slageren – Wild wheats: a monograph of Aegilops L. and Amblyopyrum (Jaub. & Spach) Eig (Poaceae). – Wageningen Agricultural University [Papers, 94(7)], Wageningen, and ICARDA, Aleppo, 1994 (ISBN 90-6754-377-2). xiii + 512 pages, black-and-white illustrations, laminated cover.

A phenomenal achievement, both taxonomically and nomenclaturally, designed to set new bases for the classification of the larger part of the secondary gene pool of bread wheat. As to taxonomy the approach is synthetic, leaving a mere 22 species (plus five varieties) in Aegilops, a single one in the redeemed split Amblyopyrum, 7 intergeneric nothospecies (including one artificial hybrid) in ´ Aegilotriticum, and a foreshadowed total of 6 species in the not yet fully treated Triticum. The treatment is very comprehensive, with ample space being allocated to, e.g., distributional, ecological and other notes, and extensive specimen citations. The illustration, too, is exemplary, including habit and analytical drawings, habitat photographs, and distribution maps. The author concedes to have spent inordinate amounts of time on nomenclatural matters, reducing the 1015 extant (c. 700 validly published) names to a mere 38 accepted ones and typifying all of the latter (even the nothogeneric name, although being a formula it has by definition no type!), yet not all nomenclatural questions are as yet definitely resolved (e.g. in the case of A. caudata, for which a conservation proposal is still pending). Perhaps the most critical part of this revision is the chapter on taxonomic limits, where the author opts for a pragmatic approach suiting the breeder and familiar to most users, yet in blatant conflict with the requirement of monophyletic taxonomic units. (For those thinking of taxonomy in evolutionary terms, Stebbins’s 40-years-old statement is still true, that "the maintenance of Triticum and Aegilops as separate genera becomes an absurdity".)

  1. Uwe Schippmann – Revision der Europäischen Arten der Gattung Brachypodium Palisot de Beauvois (Poaceae). [Boissiera, 45.] – Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques, Ville de Genève, 1991 (ISBN 2-8277-0061-1). 250 pages, black-and-white illustrations, laminated cover. Price: SFr 75.

Even including the Canarian endemic Brachypodium arbuscula, the number of European species of this genus is merely 8, plus a single additional subspecies. To reach this conclusion, extensive investigations of, e.g., leaf micromorphology and anatomy, chromosome numbers, vegetative plasticity and overall variability (partly using numerical methods such as Principal Component Analysis) have been necessary, taking into account several thousand herbarium specimens and hundreds of live plants observed in the field and often cultivated. The fully investigated synonymy is particularly impressive and, for several species, occupies four to six pages. The taxonomic treatment is very thorough and includes illustrations of both macroscopic and microscopic features, as well as dot maps. A model revision, appropriately distinguished by the award of an OPTIMA Silver Medal in 1993.

  1. Robert Portal – Bromus de France. – Portal, Av. St-Christophe, F-43750 Vals. 111 pages, drawings, ring brochure.

A privately published compendium of brome-grasses indigenous or occasionally introduced in France. 35 taxa (species or subspecies) are described in detail, each being illustrated by a full page of original drawings (habit and details); 6 further taxa, doubtfully present, are more briefly treated but also illustrated. Carefully built and generously illustrated identification keys as well as a synonymic index are provided. The author is a gifted botanical artist and a keen specialist in the same time, being familiar with the old and recent literature, and with the plants themselves. A hidden treasure.

  1. José Luis Pérez Chiscano, José Ramón Gil Llano & Fernando Durán Oliva – Orquídeas de Extremadura. – Fondo Natural, Apdo. 142, Avila, 1991 (ISBN 84-86430-19-4). 223 pages, black-and-white illustrations and colour photographs, laminated cover.

The orchidaceous flora of Estremadura comprises 34 species and two hybrids, representing 11 genera. Following a general introductory part, each taxon is illustrated by one or more colour photographs (89 in total), then described and mapped. The most noteworthy among them is the endemic Serapias perez-chiscanoi (S. viridis Pérez-Chisc., non Vell.), whose name commemorates its original discoverer and senior author of this book, a well-known member of the OPTIMA Commission for mapping the orchids of the Mediterranean area.

  1. Giorgio Perazza – Orchidee spontanee in Trentino-Alto Adige. Riconoscimento e diffusione. Fotoatlante con chiavi analitiche e carte di distribuzione per la provincia di Trento. [Pubblicazioni dei Musei Civici di Rovereto, 87.] – Manfrini, Calliano (Trento), 1992 (ISBN 88-7024-476-8). 183 pages, black-and-white illustrations and colour photographs, hard cover.

The book is far more than an inventory of the orchid flora of the Trento province (with corresponding grid distribution maps), plus an outlook on the Alto Adige: it is a superb iconography of the 63 species (27 genera) present in the area, including some of the most gorgeous and superbly reproduced full-page colour close-ups of native European orchids presently on the market (which is a major achievement indeed). A partly illustrated identification key and indications on habitat etc. are a useful corollary.

  1. Hans R. Reinhard, Peter Gölz, Ruedi Peter & Hansruedi Wildermuth – Die Orchideen der Schweiz und angrenzender Gebiete. – Fotorotar, CH-8132 Egg, 1991 (ISBN 3-905647-01-0). x + 348 pages, black-and-white illustrations and colour photographs, hard cover.

Much rather a scientific textbook on Swiss orchids (68 species) than one more among the plenty of beautiful picture books in the orchidaceous field, although the quality and variety of its colour photographs is remarkable and ranks high among its many merits. The introductory portions are thoroughly written and very informative. The chapters on habitats, conservation status, morphology (especially of the vegetative parts) and development include a wealth of data not or not readily available elsewhere. The text on floral biology, with several dozens of close-ups of pollinators caught in the act, is unique among documentations of its kind. Even ethnobotanical aspects have been covered. The central species-by-species treatment, headed by tables on flowering phenology and altitudinal range, occupies just over one half of the total book and includes profuse illustrations and distribution maps.

  1. Giannês Th. Kalopisês – Ta orheoeidê tês Elladas. Apografê kai episkopêsê. [Yannis Th. Kalopissis, The orchids of Greece. Inventory and review.] – Mouseio Krêtikês Ethnologias, Kentro Ereunôn, GR-70200 Bôroi, 1988. 40 + [68] pages, black-and-red distribution maps, laminated cover and dust-cover.

The Greek orchidaceous flora encompasses 130 taxa of specific or subspecific rank, one quarter of which are endemic (23) or subendemic (9) to the country. This publication presents a synthesis of our knowledge on their distribution, as per 1988, and is based on 25 years of the author’s own field experience and on the numerous contributions by others which, in recent times, have been busy with mapping the Greek orchids in the frame of the relevant OPTIMA project.



  1. Adalbert Hohenester & Walter Welss – Exkursionsflora für die Kanarischen Inseln mit Ausblicken auf ganz Makaronesien. – Ulmer, Stuttgart, 1993 (ISBN 3-8001-3466-7). 374 pages, drawings, 24 extra plates of colour photographs, hard cover. Price: DM. 68.

A very condensed and therefore handy although complete excursion Flora which, contrary to presently available guides, covers endemics and aliens alike. The whole Flora consists of an extensive dichotomous key, with indications of distribution, endemism and ecology (habitat or plant communities) under each terminal taxon. Related taxa found on other Macaronesian islands (Azores, Madeira, Salvage and Cap Verde Islands), or in neighbouring mainland areas, are often intercalated in smaller print. Drawings of details aiding identification are scattered throughout the text, whereas the 96 colour photographs of characteristic species form a compact block. An English translation would be welcome.

  1. Santiago Castroviejo & al. (ed.) – Flora iberica. Plantas vasculares de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares. Vol. III, Plumbaginaceae (partim)-Capparaceae. Vol. IV, Cruciferae-Monotropaceae. – Real Jardín Botánico, C.S.I.C., Madrid, 1993 (ISBN 84-00-07375-4 & 84-00-07385-1). liv + 730, liv + 730 pages, map and drawings, cloth with dust-cover.

Extensive reviews of this Flora were written when the two first volumes had been published (OPTIMA Newsl. 20-24: (22-23). 1988; 25-29: (22-23). 1991), and the enthusiastic comments then made remain fully valid for the present volumes. This is, and will remain for a long time, the standard work on the flora of the Iberian Peninsula. Major genera treated in volume 3 include Limonium, postponed from vol. 2, with 107 numbered species, Viola (28 species), Hypericum (26), Helianthemum (24), and Salix (24), most of which are also notable by including a large number of interspecific hybrids (enumerated at the end without comment) and by having their main centre of diversity in the Flora’s territory. Most of volume 4 is devoted to the Cruciferae, which include several critical genera somewhat unequally treated by either pronounced splitting (e.g. Erigeron) or lumping (e.g. Biscutella), always as it seems for excellent reasons; Resedaceae, Ericaceae, and a couple of minor families make up for the remainder of the text. Several nomenclatural novelties are validated in each volume, including the names of two new taxa, a section of Halimium in vol. 3 and a species of Alyssum in vol. 4. The excellent and abundant illustration by original drawings of plant habit and analytical details is a particularly valuable and appreciated feature of this Flora.

  1. Josep Nuet i Badia & Josep M. Panareda i Clopés – Flora de Montserrat, 1-3. [Biblioteca Abat Oliba, sèrie il·lustrada, 7-9.] – Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, Apartat 244, E-08013 Barcelona, 1991-1993 (ISBN 84-7826-274-1 [whole work], -246-6 [vol. 1], -247-4 [vol. 2], -403-5 [vol. 3]). 341, 311, 205 pages, black-and-white illustrations, hard cover and dust-cover.

The Montserrat is a mountain of Palaeogene conglomerate rocks, 1236 m high, situated N.W. of Barcelona in Spanish Catalunya. A famous Benedictine monastery is built on its flank, whose old botanical and pharmaceutical tradition has made Montserrat one of the source areas for the botanical knowledge of the entire province. The authors have studied the old and recent herbarium documents, literature and manuscript sources conserved mostly at Barcelona but also at the Montserrat Abbey, and have thoroughly explored the area for many years. They now present a new inventory of 1040 species of vascular plants, numbered in the sequence of Flora europaea, having eliminated almost 200 old but unconfirmed records. The treatment includes keys but no descriptions, distribution maps for each numbered species using a 1 km × 1 km mapping grid, notes on the distribution, ecology, literature sources, etc., and in many cases drawings or black-and-white photographs of live plants or herbarium specimens. The first two volumes treat the pteridophytes, gymnosperms and dicots, the final, third volume includes the monocots, an extensive bibliography and a general index.

  1. Bernard Girerd – La flore du département de Vaucluse. Nouvel inventaire. – Barthélemy, Avignon, 1991 (ISBN 2-903044-89-9). 391 pages, black-and-white maps and drawings, 16 extra plates of colour photographs, hard cover and dust-cover.

The vascular flora of the Vaucluse Department, according to this inventory, comprises 1686 species. Each is briefly (non-diagnostically) characterized as to its salient features, habitat and occurrence in the area. No keys are provided, but a few drawings and 24 colour photographs of characteristic plants (including the endemic, still somewhat controversial Leucoium fabrei) are included. For almost 100 of the rarer species, the local range is mapped on one of the 20 distribution maps.

  1. Daniel Jeanmonod & Hervé Maurice Burdet (ed.) – Compléments au Prodrome de la flore corse. Scrophulariaceae, par Daniel Jeanmonod & Jacques Gamisans. – Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques, Ville de Genève, 1992 (ISBN 2-8277-0809-4). 234 pages, black-and-white illustrations, laminated cover. Price: SFr 32.65.

This series of family treatments for the island of Corsica aims at filling the gaps due to the non-achievement of Briquet’s and later Cavillier’s Prodrome de la flore corse (see earlier reviews in OPTIMA Newsl. 20-24: (25-26). 1988; 25-29: (25-26). 1991). By the present instalment, one of the three large families still wanting has been taken care of (what now remains to be done are essentially the Rubiaceae and Compositae, plus a few minor families). The treatment is remarkably thorough and critical, and includes description of almost half-a-dozen infraspecific taxa new to science, in the genera Chaenorrhinum, Scrophularia, Verbascum, and Veronica. Black-and-white photographs, notably micrographs of the diagnostically important seeds, are used to a much larger extent than in previous fascicles.

  1. Jost Fitschen – Gehölzflora. Ein Buch zum Bestimmen der in Mitteleuropa wildwachsenden und angepflanzten Bäume und Sträucher, mit Früchteschlüssel. Ed. 10, by Franz H. Meyer, Ulrich Hecker, Hans Rolf Höster & Fred-Günter Schroeder. – Quelle & Meyer, Heidelberg & Wiesbaden, 1994 (ISBN 3-494-01221-0). [806] pages, drawings, hard cover.

This popular manual for the identification of woody plants native or cultivated out-of-doors in Central Europe now reaches its tenth edition, again improved and enlarged. It includes separate generic keys based on vegetative, floral, and fruit characters, respectively, and well over one thousand drawings of analytical details. Hybrids are given full treatment, and important cultivars are mentioned. A practical and reliable field guide, improved through feedback from generations of users. The awkward pagination system, starting anew for each family, may be found irritating by those not used to it.

  1. David Aeschimann & Hervé Maurice Burdet – Flore de la Suisse et des territoires limitrophes. Le nouveau Binz. Ed. 2. – Griffon, Neuchâtel, 1994 (ISBN 2-88006-506-1). lxxi + 603 pages, drawings, hard cover. Price: SFr. 48.

The success of this pocket Flora is demonstrated by the fact that, five years after its publication, the original edition was already out of stock. The present, second edition has been improved in many details but was not substantially changed. One has sometimes blamed the authors for having disrupted the monolithic tradition established among Swiss field botanists by Binz’s Schul- und Exkursionsflora through its many editions. The fact is that the French and German versions of the standard Swiss school Flora have lately been drifting apart, with the former following Cronquist’s system of classification and, at the lower levels, the taxonomy and nomenclature of Flora europaea and Med-Checklist, and the latter opting for Ehrendorfer’s sequence and delimitation of families and holding a rather traditional line for genera and species. Both are very carefully edited and utterly reliable, and neither is particularly well illustrated (the Nouveau Binz being rather cumbersome to use in this respect, having all its drawings grouped together on 17 consecutive pages).

  1. Miloje R. Sari& (ed.) – Flora Srbije. – Srpska Akademija Nauka i Umetnosti, Beograd, 1992. xv + 429 pages, black-and-white maps and drawings, hard cover.

Mladen Josifovi6’s Flora SR Srbije was published in ten volumes, including two volumes of supplements, between 1970 and 1986, and is rightly considered one of the basic critical Floras for the Balkan countries. As stated in the (English and Serbian) preface, if not on the title page, the present volume is the first of its second edition. The progress made since 1970 in the knowledge of the Serbian flora is perhaps best reflected by the number of pages which, while the coverage is unaltered, has increased by well over one hundred. The illustrations were newly drawn and unfortunately reduced in number (from 55 to 21 plates), which is compensated by 20 new grid distribution maps, each for several species.

  1. Kiril Micevski – Flora na Republika Makedonija. Vol. 1(2). – Makedonska Akademija na Naukite i Umetnostite, Skopje, 1993. Pages [4] + 153-394, paper.

The first instalment of this critical Flora was published in 1985 under a slightly different title (see OPTIMA Newsl. 20-24: (26-27). 1988). The present, second part of volume 1 comprises the treatments of the Berberidaceae, Papaveraceae, Fumariaceae, Platanaceae, Ulmaceae, Moraceae, Cannabaceae, Urticaceae, Fagaceae, Betulaceae, Juglandaceae, Phytolaccaceae, and Caryophyllaceae. The latter family alone accounts for about three quarters of the text, being one of the larger and more critical groups in the Balkans. The index provided, curiously, covers only the second part, the first one remaining unindexed for the time being.

  1. N. Andreev, M. Ancev, S. Kozuharov, M. Markova, D. Peev & A. Petrova – Opredelitel na visšite rastenija Bblgarija (plaunoobrazni, hvošcoobrazni, papratoobrazni i cvetni rastenija). – Nauka i Izkustvo, Sofija, 1992 (ISBN 954-02-0055-5). 788 pages, drawings, hard cover.

This key to the c. 3800 species of vascular plants of the Bulgarian flora, which was awarded the OPTIMA Silver Medal in 1993, is basically a concise field guide for identification purposes, but also provides an updating of the published volumes of the big national Flora, the Flora na NR Bblgarija (with 9 volumes published so far) and a preview of the volumes yet to come. Its main part consists of indented, sparingly illustrated keys to the genera, species and subspecies, in landscape disposition. Contrary to the contents, the typographical layout will meet with justified criticism from the users’ side: the lack of lexical page headers is a serious shortcoming in a book in which the families and genera are arranged alphabetically, more so since the Latin plant names, neither italicized nor consistently placed, are difficult to spot. To find their way, users are supposed to know offhand the family assignation of all genera. The numbering system employed (independent alphabetical runs for genera, species and, curiously, subspecies) has no obvious use. Many new combinations, mostly of subspecific rank, are validated in the ‘Addenda’, where a list of additional taxa is also to be found.

  1. Arne Strid & Kit Tan (ed.) – Mountain flora of Greece. Vol. 2. – Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 1991 (ISBN 0-7486-0207-0). xxv + 974 pages, black-and-white illustrations, hard cover and dust-cover. Price: £90.

This second volume completes a basic manual on the vascular plants found growing in Greece at or above the timber line (c. 1800 m a.s.l.). The first volume has been reviewed extensively in this Newsletter (20-24: (27-28). 1988). The present one, slightly bulkier owing to the larger number of species treated, comprises contributions by no less than 34 different authors, including the editors, and brings about substantial improvements of our knowledge of critical plant groups of the southern Balkan Peninsula. About one third of the taxa are either new additions to the Greek flora, or have had their name and/or taxonomic disposition changed with respect to the corresponding Flora europaea treatments. Apart from the 58 new names and combinations validly published here, many more such novelties were included in a series of precursor papers in the journal Willdenowia. The illustration consists of 43 plates of drawings, partly original and partly reproduced from recent published sources, 3 plates of scanning micrographs showing details of Taraxacum cypselae, and an outline map. Altogether, a major achievement!

  1. Ralf Jahn & Peter Schönfelder – Exkursionsflora für Kreta. – Ulmer, Stuttgart, 1995 (ISBN 3-8001-3478-0). 446 pages, graphs and maps, 24 extra plates of colour photographs, hard cover. Price: DM 68.

What had started of as a co-operative effort of students preparing an excursion, pieced together into a xeroxed Prodromus by their professor (see OPTIMA Newsl. 25-29: (27). 1991), has undergone a major metamorphosis and is now available as a nicely printed, thoroughly edited field guide. I have been genuinely impressed by the exhaustive coverage of even the most recent literature that is apparent from the text. Some of the species keyed out are yet to be validly named (in Limonium and Ophrys, in particular), four new combinations are validated in the introduction. The 101 colour photographs all portray endemic or subendemic taxa seldom if ever illustrated elsewhere. The coverage of the Flora, contrary to what the title indicates, includes the Karpathos island group: species found only there are given full treatment although they appear in smaller print. This book is a most welcome addition to the literature on the flora of Mediterranean islands.

  1. Deryck E. Viney – An illustrated flora of North Cyprus. – Koeltz, Königstein, 1994 (ISBN 3-87429-364-5). Pages iii-xxix, 2-697, drawings, coloured frontispiece, laminated cover. Price: DM 58.

This Flora, dealing with the spermatophytes (but not pteridophytes) of the Turkish-Cypriot sector of the Island, is the work of a "journalist-turned-botanist", as the cover text has it. About 1100 species are treated in a quite professional manner, each being illustrated by a drawing of the habit and sometimes of a detail. These plain and unpretentious drawings are astoundingly faithful portraits and are, together with the keys, an excellent help for plant identification. The book will be a good companion in the field and is a worthy little brother of Meikle’s two-volume critical Flora of Cyprus.

  1. A. A. El-Gadi (ed.) – Flora of Libya. Parts 148-150. – [Koeltz Scientific Books on behalf of] Department of Botany, Al-Faateh University, Tripoli, "1990" [1992] (ISBN 3-87429-309-2). [3] + 3 + [1] + 3 + [1] + 4 pages, drawings and map, paper. Price: DM 20.

I erred when (in OPTIMA Newsl. 25-29: (21-22). 1991) I stated that Flora of Libya was complete with part 147 plus the two unnumbered fascicles on pteridophytes and gymnosperms. The magic number 150 had apparently to be attained, by three families (Sambucaceae, by A. A. El-Gadi; Cannabaceae, by F. B. Erteeb; Flacourtiaceae, by M. A. Siddiqi) each consisting of a single, non-native (cultivated or casual) species. While the original drawings may have been fine, the print is execrable. The printed date (1 Oct 1990) is as false as usual; availability through Koeltz dates from 12 Mar 1992.

  1. Karl Heinz Rechinger (ed.) – Flora iranica. Flora des iranischen Hochlandes und der umrahmenden Gebirge. Persien Afghanistan, Teile von West-Pakistan, Nord-Iraq, Azerbaidjan, Turkmenistan. Lfg. 168, Dipsacaceae (by K. H. Rechinger & H. W. Lack; 67 pages, 60 extra plates; "Apr" [28 Jun] 1991; Price: öS 620). Lfg. 169, Violaceae (by A. Schmidt; 29 pages, 24 extra plates; "Nov 1992" [8 Feb 1993]; Price: öS 272); Lfg. 170, Liliaceae III (by K. Persson; 40 pages, 14 extra plates, of which 8 in colour; same dates; Price: öS 272); Lfg. 171, Ranunculaceae (by M. Iranshahr, K. H. Rechinger & H. Riedl; 249 pages, 276 extra plates, of which 8 in colour; same dates; Price: öS 2596 ). – Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, Graz (ISBN 3-201-00728-5, the whole work). Paper.

One might be led to believe that Flora iranica is so-to-say holding its breath in view of the final assault toward completion, with "only" four issues published within as many years. The truth, I suspect, might rather be that preparing the bulky and important treatments yet to come takes quite some time and energy. However this may be, the progress to date is far from negligible: the Liliaceae (sensu lato) at last completed (see also the last review, in OPTIMA Newsl. 25-29: (30-31). 1991), plus three other families including a major one (Ranunculaceae); which leaves us with, principally, the pteridophytes, Chenopodiaceae, Cyperaceae, Rubiaceae, and the huge genus Astragalus yet to come. The Dipsacaceae treatment, except for recognition of the fancy genus Scabiosiopsis, is quite conservative, ignoring much of the recent progress in understanding the evolution of Scabiosa s.l. Fasc. 169, devoted to the genus Viola (23 species), is the only among the present four not to include nomenclatural novelties. Karin Persson’s account of Colchicum (including Merendera; 17 species) has the merit of being based on live material to a large extent, so that characters of both the flowering and fruiting plant could be accounted for. By far the largest morsel are the Ranunculaceae, mostly as it seems due to Rechinger and Iranshahr (the role of Riedl as co-author of Ranunculus and sole author of several minor genera remains somewhat mysterious, since obviously his own results as laid down in the but slightly earlier Flora of Pakistan account [see below] are only partly taken care of, due to "difficulties in co-ordination"); this volume is particularly rich in newly described species belonging to several genera, the larger of which are Ranunculus s. str. (excl. Batrachium, Ceratocephala, Halerpestes, and Ficaria; 88 species) and Delphinium (excl. Consolida; 53 species). Of the generously supplied illustrations – mostly photographs of selected herbarium specimens – the original drawings deserve special mention: 3 plates of professionally executed drawings of Scabiosa diaspores, by I. Reimann; 6 plates of fruiting Colchicum, by K. Persson; and no less than 40 plates of flower analyses of Delphinium and Consolida, by M. Iranshahr. The splendid colour photographs in fasc. 170 (19, by K. Persson and P. Wendelbo) and 171 (16, by S.-W. Breckle and P. Wendelbo) are a welcome extra. Botanists look forward to the next volumes of this extraordinary, really monumental work.

  1. M Assadi, M. Khatamsaz, A. A. Maassoumi & [except for Nos 6-8] V. Mozaffarian – Flora of Iran. N° 4, Ulmaceae (by M. Khatamsaz; 25 + [2] pages; 1991). No 5, Violaceae (by M. Khatamsaz; 50 + [2] pages; 1991). No 6, Rosaceae (by M. Khatamsaz; 352 + [2] pages; 1992). No 7, Zygophyllaceae (by Kh. Akhiani; 49 + [2] pages; 1993). No 8, Dipsacaceae (by Z. Jamzad; 109 + [2] pages; 1993). No 9, Resedaceae (by M. Nowroozi; 54 + [2] pages; 1993). No 10, Juncaceae (by Zh. Taheri; 77 + [2] pages; 1993). – Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands, [Tehran]. 7 brochures.

Since this national Flora was started (see OPTIMA Newsl. 25-29: (31-32). 1991) it keeps making good and steady progress without losing any of its initial qualities. It is interesting to compare, e.g., the Dipsacaceae treatment with that (duly quoted) published shortly before in Flora iranica by Rechinger & Lack: the discrepancies are perhaps few but by no means negligible, with several additional species and one genus (Knautia, with two species) newly recorded for Iran, and with examples of splitting (Cephalaria procera, C. microcephala) but also lumping (Scabiosa olivieri, S. flavida). Clearly, more research is needed in these instances. Names of new taxa are not validated in the flora but in precursory papers, often in the Iranian journal of botany. The copious full-page drawings are among the major qualities of the work; as to possible shortcomings, one might mention the rather incomplete synonymies. The habit of restarting at 1 the numbering for doubtful species, at the end of the corresponding genus, is somewhat confusing.

  1. S. I. Ali & Y. J. Nasir (ed.) – Flora of Pakistan. N° 191, Boraginaceae (by Y. J. Nasir; [2] + 200 pages; hard cover; "25 Aug 1989"). N° 192, Labiatae (by I. C. Hedge; [2] + 310 pages; hard cover; "31 Dec 1990"). N° 193, Ranunculaceae (by H. Riedl & Y. J. Nasir; [2] + 164 pages; hard cover; "15 Feb 1991"). N° 194, Nelumbonaceae (by M. Qaiser; [2] + 4 pages; paper; "10 Aug 1993"). N° 195, Nymphaeaceae (by M. Qaiser; [2] + 10 pages; paper; "12 Aug 1993"). N° 196, Lentibulariaceae (by T. Ali; [2] + 8 pages; paper; "14 Aug 1993"). – Department of Botany, University of Karachi.

The six new issues of Flora of Pakistan presented here consist of three tiny fascicles devoted to water plants and three sizeable volumes covering as many largish families of the country’s flora. The quality of text and illustrations is as high as before (see OPTIMA Newsl. 25-29: (32-33). 1991). Vol. 193 raises a problem of authorship citation, the statement that three specified genera were "revised by Yasin J. Nasir" being quite ambiguous: does it mean that treatments of these three genera are by Riedl & Y. Nasir and the others by Riedl alone (as authorship of a new species and a new combination would seem to imply)? or that Y. Nasir alone is responsible for the three genera, and the other ones are authored jointly (as one would conclude from the authorship on the title page)? Accepting the title-page statement at face value, for the whole book, is probably the least arbitrary answer. New combinations, or more rarely new taxa, occur sporadically in each volume, and indexers would certainly be grateful to the editors for considering inclusion of a corresponding separate index, in future issues.


Flower books

  1. Ingrid Schönfelder & Peter Schönfelder – Kosmos-Atlas Mittelmeer und Kanarenflora. Über 1600 Pflanzenarten. – Kosmos, Stuttgart, 1994 (ISBN 3-440-06223-6). 304 pages, drawings, maps and colour photographs, hard cover and dust-cover. Price: DM 128.

This picture book of Mediterranean plants is not a field guide (as such it would be oversized) but will be found very useful when preparing a field trip or naming one’s slide collection, back home. Less than 5 % (c. 1200) of the species found in the area are illustrated (and shortly but diagnostically described), and a few more are mentioned in passing; yet the selection is adroit and – allowing for the deliberate omission of mountain species – equitable except perhaps for N. Africa. The plants represented are those that are characteristic enough to be recognized on a colour picture, even though they may not be showy: many grasses are present, but no Festuca, Koeleria, or Poa. In some cases the species concept used is overly wide, even though this is not apparent from synonymy; an example is Crepis neglecta, mapped for Crete where it is in fact represented by the vicarious C. cretica – when the latter is indeed the plant figured under the former name. The quality of the colour photographs is excellent, both aesthetically and with regard to identification value. Country-by-country (or, for Canarian endemics, island-by island) distribution maps are provided, largely using the familiar Med-Checklist divisions – except for merging Malta with Sicily, and Albania with former Yugoslavia.

  1. Maria da Luz Rocha Afonso & Mary McMurtrie – Plantas do Algarve. – Serviço Nacional de Parques, Reservas e Conservação da Natureza, Lisboa, 1991 (ISBN 972-9034-45-1). 397 pages, colour illustrations, hard cover and dust-cover.

Lisbon botanist Rocha Afonso and Scottish botanical artist McMurtrie have combined their efforts to produce a gorgeous rhapsody in book form, on the Algarve flora. Despite its Portuguese title the text is fully bilingual, in Portuguese and English, and is devoted entirely to the characterization of the c. 300 species appearing on the airy water-colours that are reproduced on 112 plates. They are grouped by subject into 11 chapters, the first two devoted to particular areas (serra de Monchique, península de Sagres), the three last to particular kinds of plants (grasses, orchids, trees), and the others to special habitats. A splendid combination of art and science.

  1. Betty Molesworth Allen – A selection of wildflowers of southern Spain. – Mirador, E-29640 Fuengirola, 1993 (ISBN 84-88127-06-5). 251 pages, drawing, colour photographs, laminated cover.

The book tries "to give easy identification with simple text to some of the common wildflowers of southern Andalusia". Mrs Molesworth Allen, a distinguished British amateur botanist who has been residing for many years in southern Spain, is well qualified for such a task. She presents us with a selection 207 species, each illustrated by one or two colour photographs, shortly described, and characterized as to habitat preferences, general distribution, and possible uses. The quality of the pictures is somewhat uneven, and a few inexplicable mix-ups have obviously happened (Plantago lanceolata featuring as P. lagopus, and the figures of Asphodelus albus and Urginea maritima being transposed). Otherwise, a quite commendable booklet.

  1. Angel Mª Romo – Flores silvestres de Baleares. – Rueda, E-28924 Alcorcón, 1994 (ISBN 84-7207-073-5). 412 pages, black-and-white and colour illustrations, hard cover. Price: Ptas 3500.

One first wonders, when leafing it through, whether this is really just a flower book. It has the looks of a fully fledged excursion Flora, with keys, descriptions, and original drawings (by E. Sierra) representing a majority of the species. It includes much original information such as distributional data, indication of life span, etc., and also the validation of several new combinations and of the name of at least one new taxon (no separate index of such novelties is, alas, provided). There is a most readable chapter on the history of botanical exploration of the Balearic Islands, illustrated with rare photographical documents, as well as an account of endemic or subendemic taxa, illustrated by colour photographs, same as a section portraying sites and landscapes of botanical interest. The main problem is that coverage is far from complete, although this is not explicitly stated, so that the unwarned user trying to identify an unaccounted-for plant will either feel frustrated or end up with an erroneous identification. The user’s task is further complicated by the lack of reference to the drawings, under the corresponding species accounts – especially when the name in the text and that in the caption are not the same (as for Allium antonii-bolosii/A. cupanii subsp. hirtovaginatum).

  1. Ignazio Camarda, Bruno Corrias, Silvana Diana & Franca Valsecchi – Piante di Sardegna con sessantacinque aquarelli di Anne Maury. – Chiarella, Sassari, 1992. 30 pages of text and 65 loose colour plates, in folder.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Italian Botanical Society (SBI) its Sardinian section, in conjunction with the Banca Popolare of Sassari, published a calendar for 1988, reproducing 13 of Florence-based botanical artist Anne Maury’s paintings of Sardinian endemic plants. A second such calendar, on macquis plants, followed the year after (see OPTIMA Newsl. 25-29: (38). 1991), and three more were printed for the years 1990-1992, in exactly the same format, on native trees, sand dune plants and mountain plants of Sardinia, respectively. Of the 13 species of each year, 12 (each corresponding to a month) were provided with descriptive texts printed on the back sheet, whereas the one on the cover, while lacking a description of its own, was accompanied by a general text introducing the year’s subject. In view of the ephemeral nature of calendar publication, and taking the 1992 annual SBI assembly in Sassari as a welcome pretext, the Sardinian section of the SBI arranged for a reprint of all plates to be made which, together with the explanatory matter (to which the five lacking descriptions for the cover sheet plants were added), was offered to the participants of the gathering. The result is a Sardinian botanical iconography of remarkable beauty and botanical faithfulness, of which the artist as well as the publisher may be justly proud.

  1. Emilia Poli Marchese – Piante e fiori dell’Etna. [Bel vedere, 2.] – Sellerio, via Siracusa 2, Palermo, 1991. 198 pages, colour photographs and maps, laminated cover.

This guide to the flora of the Mt Etna natural park, well illustrated by the author’s own photographs of plants (218) and botanical landscapes (14), will no doubt be well received by plant lovers visiting the area. The text, both of the introductory chapter on vegetation features and of the (very condensed) treatments of the individual species, is in Italian. Users should correct some misidentifications (e.g., "Sedum rubens" is S. hispanicum, "Trifolium arvense" is T. lappaceum; "Brachypodium sylvaticum" is B. pinnatum) as well as a confusion of captions that has not been rectified on the Errata slip: on p. 123, "Teucrium siculum" is in fact Scutellaria rubicunda (same as "S. columnae" on the next plate) whereas "Teucrium flavum" is truly T. siculum.

  1. Velco I. Velcev, Stefan I. Kozuharov & Minco E. Ancev (ed.) – Atlas na endemicnite rastenija v Balgarija. – Balgarska Akademija Nauk, Sofija, 1992 (ISBN 954-430-004-x). 204 pages, colour illustrations and maps, cloth with dust-cover.

This well printed, good-looking book represents what one might call a first step toward a full, illustrated inventory of the Bulgarian endemic flora. Of the c. 270 taxa (species and subspecies, unfortunately not listed in detail) believed to be endemic to the country, about one half (128) are treated here, plus 35 subendemic ones that extend to neighbouring countries. Each treatment extends over a full page and comprises a Bulgarian text (description, distribution, habitat, protection status, literature references), a distribution map, and the reproduction of a colour painting of the plant. The quality of the latter (by unnamed artists) is quite remarkable. Among the taxa treated, many are of controversial status, being often merged with others, and the data presented here may help assessing their appropriate taxonomic status. Oligoglott readers will appreciate the inclusion of a full translation of the introduction, in a colourful English that renders "centre" by "fireplace". A truly outstanding contribution to Balkan botany, both scientifically and in terms of space occupation on a library shelf (size c. 23 ´ 26 cm).

  1. George Sfikas – Wild flowers of Greece. – Efstathiadis, Athens, [reimpr.] 1993 (ISBN 960-226-061-0). 125 pages, black-and-white and colour illustrations, laminated cover. Price: Drs 1400.


  1. George Sfikas – Medicinal plants of Greece. – Efstathiadis, Athens, [reimpr.] 1993 (ISBN 960-226-076-9). 142 pages, colour illustrations, laminated cover. Price: Drs 1400.


  1. George Sfikas – Trees and shrubs of Greece. – Efstathiadis, Athens, undated (original edition 1978). 213 pages, black-and-white and colour illustrations, laminated cover. Price: Drs 1800.

Three cheaply produced and reasonably priced booklets which have a lot to offer to the plant-lover on his or her first visit to Greece. Sfikas is a gifted nature photographer, and while not a professional botanist and sometimes rightly hesitant as to the exact scientific name applying to a given plant, he has a remarkably good overall knowledge of his subject. The print is in places defective, and some of the colour may have faded, yet the images are mostly useful and sometimes excellent. It is a good thing that Sfikas, having some claim to botanical artistry, often adds his own, partly coloured drawings; those in the woody plant booklet I found to be particularly useful.

  1. Hellmut Baumann – Greek wild flowers and plant lore in ancient Greece. Translated and augmented by William T. Stearn and Edwyth Ruth Stearn. – Herbert Press, London, 1993 (ISBN 1-871569-57-5). 252 pages, black-and-white and colour illustrations, hard cover and dust-cover. Price: £16.95.

Having long been available in German and Greek (see OPTIMA Newsl. 14-16: 38-39. 1983; 17-19: 42. 1985), this remarkable book, which combines modern plant lore and ancient history in a most instructive and appealing fashion, has now at last been translated into English. It has found translators worthy of its merits, and too famed to be introduced to the reader: William Stearn and his spouse share and extend the author’s, Hellmut Baumann’s, classical erudition and love for the plant world of Greece, and theirs is of course a masterly recast, a model of good teamwork between author and translators. The new text, combined with the beautiful and often dazzling photographs of the original issue, will make this a bestseller among hellenophilous botanists.

  1. Walter Strasser – Pflanzen des ostägäischen Raumes (türkisches Festland und vorgelagerte Inseln). – Ott, Thun, 1993 (ISBN 3-7225-6757-2). 130 pages, drawings, laminated cover.

The cover text claims this to be the only plant identification book for the E. Aegean area, with which even amateur botanists can easily identify their plants. This may be slightly over-optimistic: neither is the booklet itself what one is used to call an identification guide, nor may one take easy identification for generally granted unless one is already well familiar with the subject. Yet Strasser has, as a result and by-product of his several excursions to the area, produced a quite useful little field vademecum whose principal merit lies in the many (over 700) original and faithful if simple drawings portraying E. Aegean plants. No keys are provided, and the proposed identification is visual, with a single text line per species to verify the result. The drawings form 9 groups: ferns, grasses, orchids, woody plants, and the remainder subdivided by flower colour. Non-illustrated species are referred to under their most similar portrayed relative, each with a one-line diagnostic phrase (an almost Linnaean approach). "Generally known" central European species occurring in the area are enumerated in an appendix, with but a few selected drawings. Scientific accuracy is remarkable throughout.

  1. George Sfikas – Wild flowers of Cyprus. – Efstathiadis, GR-14565 Anixi, 1994 (ISBN 960-226-061-0). 320 pages, colour photographs, maps, drawings, laminated cover.

A nice, colourful introduction to the island of Cyprus and its wildflowers, aimed at the botanically interested tourist. It has a fluently written introductory part on the island in general, and on its vegetation and flora in particular, followed by a selection of its more common and characteristic wild or widely cultivated plants, illustrated on 111 plates of colour photographs and briefly described (enumerations of species not so treated are appended). Some plants are wrongly identified (e.g., "Matthiola sinuata", a species absent from Cyprus, is M. tricuspidata; "Minuartia sintenisii" is M. picta; and "Crepis fraasii" is Picris altissima). The two only drawings, of Rosularia and Liquidambar, are unblushingly plagiarized from Meikle’s Flora of Cyprus (but with the presumed hybrid R. cypria ´ R. pallida misnamed R. cypria).

  1. V. Pantelas, T. Papachristophorou & P. Christodoulou – Cyprus flora in colour. The endemics. – Privately published [?], Athens, 1993 (ISBN 9963-7931-0-x). 104 pages, colour photographs, laminated cover. Price: £12.50.

An excellent complement to the foregoing book, there being but little duplication of images. The 128 taxa (species, subspecies, varieties, and one forma) thought to be endemic to Cyprus, enumerated in alphabetical sequence, are briefly characterized, about 100 of them being illustrated by one or more of the 154 mostly excellent photographs. The taxonomy is largely that of Meikle’s Flora, but at least three species described subsequently (one perhaps unpublished as yet) have been included: Centaurea akamantis, Ophrys lapethica, and Valantia eburnea. The fact that the illustration captions are limited to the name of the (often non-endemic) species, the infraspecific designation being omitted, is somewhat awkward. Identifications are generally reliable, with at least one exception (the plant figured as Trifolium campestre [subsp. paphium] does not belong to T. sect. Chronosemium).


Floristic inventories and checklists

  1. Jean-Pierre Lebrun & Adélaïde L. Stork – Enumération des plantes vasculaires d’Afrique tropicale. Vol. I, généralités et Annonaceae à Pandanaceae; Vol. II, Chrysobalanaceae à Apiaceae; Vol. III, Monocotylédones: Limnocharitaceae à Poaceae. – Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève [Publication hors série, 7, 7a, 7b], 1991, 1992, 1995 (ISBN 2-8277-0108-1; -0109-x; -0110-3). 249, 257, 341 pages, some black-and-white photographs, maps, and drawings, laminated covers. Price: SFr 40.80 per volume.

For the purpose of this inventory, Tropical Africa (excluding Madagascar) is so defined as to exclude the territory of Med-Checklist and the Flora of southern Africa. Three of the four planned volumes have been published so far, listing almost 17,500 of an estimated total of 24,000 species. The last volume will apparently comprise the sympetalous dicotyledons (assuming that the gymnosperms are not to be covered). The treatment is very succinct, with reference to a source (or sources) where further information, e.g. on distribution, can be found. Recent novelties are added in the form of appendices. Once complete, this checklist will provide the base-line for work on a future new Flora of Tropical Africa.

  1. Alfred Hansen & Per Sunding – Flora of Macaronesia. Checklist of vascular plants. 4. revised edition. [Sommerfeltia, 17.] – Botanical Garden & Museum, Oslo, 1993 (ISBN 82-7420-019-5). 295 pages, paper. Price: NoK 250.

The constant effort, by the author, to update their well-known checklist of the flora of the Atlantic Islands has been successfully pursued, most appropriately so since the previous edition is now out of stock. About 200 species and 900 island records have been added since 1985 (see OPTIMA Newsl. 20-24: (35-36). 1988), yet the marked increase in page number (and price) is due solely to less economic space use. In fact, the number of listed species has decreased by 19 units, presumably due to the omission of non-naturalized and erroneously recorded taxa. The authors have tried to follow new trends in generic delimitation and nomenclature, e.g. by merging Micromeria (but curiously, and rather illogically, not Clinopodium and Calamintha) with Satureja; separating Nauplius from Asteriscus (but the concomitant renaming of Pallenis spinosa as A. spinosus is ill advised, since Pallenis as a nomen conservandum is automatically conserved against its homotypic synonym, Asteriscus); and recombining all names in use in Taeckholmia under Atalanthus (rather than seeking nomenclatural stability by proposing conservation of the former name). These few mildly critical remarks notwithstanding, the new edition will serve its purpose in the best tradition of the earlier ones.

  1. Tomás Romero Martín & Enrique Rico Hernández – Flora de la cuenca del Río Duratón. [Ruizia, 8.] – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Vitruvio 8, E-28006 Madrid, 1991 (ISBN 84-00-07015-1). 438 pages, some black-and-white illustrations, laminated cover.

This critical floristic inventory relates to the Duratón River basin, largely confined within the Segovia province in Central Spain: a botanically rich (over 1750 vascular plant species) yet insufficiently explored area of 1450 km2 now thoroughly studied by the authors. The enumeration includes locality and specimen citations as well as a short statement of general distribution, ecology and phytocoenological affinity. In several cases, further points are discussed in the form of notes. Brief chapters are devoted to the climate and geology of the area, to phytogeographical considerations, and to the vegetation zonation found.

  1. Roland Lindacher – phanart. Datenbank der Gefässpflanzen Mitteleuropas. Erklärung der Kennzahlen, Aufbau und Inhalt. – Geobotanisches Institut der Eidgenössischen Technischen Hochschule, Stiftung Rübel, in Zürich [Veröffentlichungen, 125], 1995. 436 pages, map, laminated cover. Price: SFr 78.

The core of this book is a printout of the contents of a database on the Central European vascular flora (c. 7300 taxa: aggregates, species, nothospecies, subspecies), with taxon-related parameters drawn from the literature. Taxonomy, nomenclature as well as delimitation of the area covered follow Ehrendorfer’s Liste der Gefäßpflanzen Mitteleuropas. The corresponding data bank was designed and implemented at the Institute for Ecology of the Berlin Technical University under the supervision of Herbert Sukopp. 44 data fields (most of them optional) are considered, including e.g. dispersal and pollination type, flowering time, conservation status in various countries or states, German vernacular names, and a variety of ecological parameters; but not, so far, country-by-country distribution. Although the mode of presentation is far from user-friendly, the variety and quantity of the data thus assembled will make this a valuable compendium.

  1. Michel Kerguélen – Index synonymique de la flore de France. [Collection patrimoines naturels, Série patrimoine scientifique, 8.] – Secrétariat de la Faune et de la Flore, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, 1993 (ISBN 2-86515-076-3). xxviii + 197 pages, 2 black-and-white figures, paper.

The author, being perhaps the single living French botanist interested and competent in botanical nomenclature, presents an updated list of (supposedly) correct names for vascular plant taxa (genera, species, subspecies, varieties, but not hybrids) found in France in the wild, or widely cultivated there. He in the same time cross-references all synonyms or misapplied names used in the five major Floras concerning France (those by Bonnier & Layens, Coste, Fournier, Guinochet & Vilmorin, as well as Flora europaea) to their correct name – but unfortunately provides no pointers in the reverse direction. Many of the accepted names are unusual, at least in their generic component, which is mainly a result of Kerguélen’s pronounced propensity to splitting genera. Caropsis, Elide, Kandis are names known to few botanists, their use depending on the generic concept one adopts; Cacalia, on the other hand, displaces the familiar Adenostyles for purely nomenclatural reasons, a change that can hopefully be avoided by suitable conservation. Finally, adoption of the erroneous spelling Buphtalmum (which in Linnaeus’s works appears only once, in the index, where it is due to an obvious slip) makes no sense and is perhaps unintentional (although it is used consistently in at least five different places). Five full pages of new combinations concern, with few exceptions, the infraspecific ranks only. The book is so condensed and tightly disposed as to be rather difficult to use, but is unequalled as a mine of critically checked nomenclatural and distributional data on French plants.

  1. Monique Balayer & Laura Napoli – Flore de l’abbé H. Coste. Nomenclature actualisée sur Flora europaea. [Ginèbre, N° 9 (spécial).] – Société Catalane de Botanique et d’Ecologie Végétale, B.P. 2033, F-66011 Perpignan, 1992. 194 pages, paper.

The title on the title-page is incomplete and misleading, its first part, included in the heading to the text, having been omitted: "Index de la table alphabétique". The book is essentially a comparison of the indexes of the two works. It includes all names mentioned by Coste as plain synonyms or for minor variants. Flora europaea equivalences are given only when explicit there. For instance, Lemna trisulca, being adopted in both works, is so cited; but the homotypic synonym Staurogeton trisulcus, being mentioned only by Coste, is qualified as "non F.E." This is not false, but neither is it helpful. As a "nomenclatural dictionary", the list may nevertheless be of some use for those who accept the good old Coste as their bible; they should, however, be careful not to assume that nomenclatural equivalences, as given, mean one-to-one taxonomic congruence.

  1. Daniel Jeanmonod & Hervé Maurice Burdet (ed.) – Compléments au Prodrome de la flore corse. Annexe n° 3. Catalogue des plantes vasculaires de la Corse (seconde édition), par Jacques Gamisans & Daniel Jeanmonod. – Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques, Ville de Genève, 1993 (ISBN 2-8277-0810-8). 258 pages, map and graphs, laminated cover. Price: SFr 27.55.

This new, considerably enlarged edition is not only much more sophisticated in its outfit than its precursor of 1985 (see OPTIMA Newsl. 20-24: (39). 1988), now out of stock; it also includes additional categories of data (rarity index, conservation status, indication of endemism). With the discovery of 188 supplementary taxa since 1985, and discounting those indicated by error, doubtfully present or presumed extinct (almost 300), the flora of Corsica now comprises 2978 taxa of at least varietal status (hybrids included), or 2092 non-hybrid species. Five (mostly infraspecific) new combinations are validated to bring nomenclature into line with current taxonomic views.

  1. Fabio Conti – Prodromo della flora del Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo. [Liste preliminari degli organismi viventi nel Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, 7.] – Ente autonomo Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, v. Tito Livio 12, I-00136 Roma, 1995. 127 pages, some black-and-white illustrations, paper.

In 1993, Franco Tassi has launched a "Project Biodiversity" aimed at establishing the inventory of all organismic taxa found in the Abruzzo National Park, a protected mountain area in southern peninsular Italy with a surface of over 1000 km2. The checklist of vascular plants has now been published, comprising 1724 species and subspecies (plus about 200 that are doubtfully present or have been reported in error). Many of these are newly recorded here, and among them two were not previously known from Italy: Lamium galeobdolon subsp. galeobdolon and Allium phthioticum. For each species, the life form, chorotype, occurrence in the area, and literature or herbarium source are indicated.

  1. Pierre Authier – Catalogue commenté des plantes vasculaires de la région des monts Timfi (Epire, nord-ouest Grèce) (Parc National du Vikos-Aoos et environs). I. – Privately published (P. Authier, rue de Paris 62, F-93800 Epinay), 1995. [7] + xvii + 143 pages, drawings, colour photographs, paper.

The Timfi mountain group is a limestone massif situated in the Epirus (Ipiros) province of N.W. Greece, skirting 2500 metres of altitude and split by deep gorges and ravines. It has been visited repeatedly by botanists during the last 100 years, and several plant species have been described from there, although virtually none is strictly limited to the area. Mount Timfi’s flora has conquered the heart and mind of Pierre Authier, who has for many years been devoting all his time and energy to its study. The present, privately published account deals with perhaps one tenth of its vascular plants, being limited to the families treated in the first half of volume 1 of Flora europaea. Authier reveals himself as a very thorough and critical observer, but also as a cautious judge of his findings, reluctant do draw hasty conclusions. What he calls a "commented catalogue" comes very close to a full local flora, except for the fact that keys and descriptive matter are not provided methodically under each item but, when present, form part of often extensive and most informative corollary discussions and notes. The fair and thorough way in which past questionable (obviously mostly erroneous) records are dealt with is a model of its kind. The work is embellished by 11 colour plates with 27 of the author’s photographs illustrating about one tenth of the 203 native or naturalized accepted species.

  1. Nicholas J. Turland, Lance Chilton & J. Robert Press – Flora of the Cretan Area. Annotated checklist and atlas. – H.M.S.O., London, 1993 (ISBN 0-11-310043-4). xii + 439 pages, drawings and maps, laminated cover. Price: £29.95.

Crete and the Karpathos island group together have been singled out as the Cretan Area in Flora europaea and Med-Checklist, and are rightly famous for their original if relatively poor flora. This new inventory establishes the total of species presently known to occur and believed to be native in the area at 1706, and the rate of species endemism at almost exactly 10 % (171 species). Turland and Chilton are excellent experts of the Cretan flora, having collected extensively all over the island, and they were as qualified as anyone to write such a book. Such as they have defined their task, however, it is clearly beyond the capacities of a small author team, and would in fact have required a much more broadly based co-operative effort. Their book, as it now stands, provides a very sound and thorough inventory of the taxa, but is just a first rough attempt at assessing their distribution in detail. In other words, the 1738 distribution maps that make up the better half of the book give, on average, about 50 % of the distributional record that is presently available in either published or unpublished form (as I found when comparing the data held for the genus Silene in the "Flora hellenica database" in Copenhagen with the published maps). In many ways, it is a pity that the authors did not take the time and seek co-operation from those holding relevant information. The inexplicable haste with which the book has been run through the press is also reflected in a number of fairly elementary if not immediately obvious errors, of which the following caught my eye during a cursory screening: the maps for Cheilanthes persica (N° 34) and Cosentinia vellea (N° 35) were switched; the map for (188) Minuartia verna subsp. attica appears under (189) M. wettsteinii, that for the latter under (190) Moenchia graeca, which in turn is mapped under N° 188; finally, the maps for (1286) Horstrissea and (1287) Hydrocotyle were not published at all, and in their stead one will find second copies of the maps for (1276) Eryngium maritimum and (1277) E. ternatum. Well, perhaps its imperfections will make the present book a better stimulus for ongoing investigation of the Cretan flora than a more complete and careful version would have been. However preliminary, it is the result of enthusiastic and dedicated work, and is as such commendable.

  1. Loutfy Boulos – Flora of Egypt. Checklist. – Al Hadara, Cairo, 1995 (ISBN 977-5429-08-0). xii + 283 pages, map, laminated cover.

This is a synonymic list of 2121 species (27 cultivated Gramineae, the remainder either native or naturalized) and 153 infraspecific taxa of vascular plants growing in Egypt, with their correct names and principal synonyms, and with a statement of their occurrence in the 8 biogeographical divisions of the country. Much progress has been made in the 20 years since the second edition of Vivi Täckholm’s Student Flora of Egypt was published, so that an updated inventory was badly needed. For example, the number of species known from the Sinai Peninsula has almost doubled during that time. Yet, perhaps surprisingly, the number of recorded species is virtually unchanged on balance, the additions being outweighed by the lumping of taxa and the elimination of erroneous records. A list of the 56 species and 5 varieties believed to be endemic to Egypt is included, and some infraspecific new combinations are validated in a cursory way (e.g. in Heliotropium, Orobanche, and Cyperus).

  1. D. Heller & C. C. Heyn – Conspectus florae orientalis. An annotated catalogue of the flora of the Middle East. Fascicle 5-9. – Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Jerusalem, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1993, 1994 (ISBN 965-208-094-2, 105-1, -107-8, -108-6, -109-4). xii + 79, xii + 191, xii + 53, xii + 174, xiv + 171 pages, 5 paper fascicles each with the same two extra folded maps and a Hebrew title page.

With the exception of the genus Astragalus, postponed from fasc. 5, and of Hydrangeaceae, omitted in fasc. 1, the Conspectus is now complete. There will be a 10th fascicle to include these two missing taxa together with any other additions and corrections that may have accumulated in the meantime. When disposed in the order 9-1-5-2-7-3-4-8-6, the nine published issues cover all vascular plants in the sequence of the Englerian system, and provide a basic floristic inventory of most of the region of Boissier’s Flora orientalis (to the exclusion of the European part of Greece). While critical synonymization has not as a rule been attempted and is a task left for the monographic revisers in the future, the Conspectus is nevertheless an invaluable aid for anyone who needs rapid information on Oriental plant genera and species, including their distribution not only countrywise but in terms of rather narrowly delimited geographical units. The plan of the Conspectus has been presented in some detail in the reviews of earlier fascicles (last in OPTIMA Newsl. 25-29: (34). 1991). The issues published since include the whole monocots (fasc. 6), pteridophytes and gymnosperms (fasc. 9), plus such important dicot families as Caryophyllaceae (fasc. 9), Leguminosae (fasc. 5), Caryophyllaceae (fasc. 9), Umbelliferae (fasc. 7), and Compositae (fasc. 8).



  1. [Ina Dinter] – Studienwanderreise Madeira. Blumeninsel im Atlantik. – Binder Studienreisen, Bergheimer Str. 12, D-70499 Stuttgart, [1993]. 15 loose sheets in folder, 2 black-and-white illustrations.

Includes list of participants, programme and itinerary (18-24 June 1993), and plant lists for 6 one-day excursions.

  1. Ulrich Kull – Teneriffa. Allgemeiner Exkursionsbericht. Kumulative Pflanzenliste der Exkursionen 1975-1991, zugleich Führer zur botanisch-geologischen Exkursion der Gesellschaft für Naturkunde in Württemberg, März 1992. – Biologisches Institut der Universität Stuttgart [Arbeiten & Mitteilungen, 18], 1992. vi + 385 pages, black-and-white illustrations, paper.

An unusually detailed excursion guide, comprising three parts: (1) a general, introductory portion, partly resulting from seminar work by participants to earlier tours and covering a variety of subjects such as climate, geology, hydrography, vegetation, botanical exploration, general history, and also an inventory of vertebrate animal species and a list of ornamental plants; (2) a detailed, commented itinerary of the planned 10-day 1992 excursion; and (3) consolidated lists of plants observed or collected in various localities of the islands during the foregoing 17 years, with reference to numbered specimens deposited in the herbarium at Stuttgart (STU). Any German-speaking naturalist visiting Tenerife will find this a most valuable companion on his or her trip.

  1. Wolf Stieglitz – Flora mallorquina. Dokumentation einer Studienreise. – Sektion Botanik, Naturwissenschaftlicher Verein Wuppertal, 1992. vi + 91 pages, coloured frontispiece, black-and-white illustrations, 50 extra plates of colour photographs, paper.

The noteworthy result of a botanical group’s organized tour through Mallorca, 14 to 28 April 1991. The botanical inventories of 60 collecting localities are given, together with a cumulative catalogue of all 655 vascular plants found. A list of bryophytes is appended. 159 colour photographs, including some micrographs, illustrate the vegetation and many of its constituent species (the colour plates are said to be lacking in part of the printed edition). Some of the noteworthy findings are commented upon separately, including seven new island records. Unfortunately the whereabouts of voucher specimens are not stated. A few of the photographed plants are apparently misidentified, in particular "Halimium halimifolium" (Fig. 68, is Tuberaria guttata), "Althaea cannabina" (Fig. 69; is A. hirsuta), and"Spergularia cf. rubra subsp. atheniensis" (Fig. 83, more likely Rhodalsine geniculata).

  1. Hennig Haeupler (ed.) – Exkursion zum Peloponnes im Rahmen des S-Blocks "Mediterrane Ökosysteme am Beispiel des Peloponnes" SS 1990. Seminarbeiträge, Exkursionsprotokolle und Artenlisten. – Arbeitsgruppe Botanik, Spezielle Botanik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 1991. 280 pages, black-and-white illustrations, paper.

A group of 15 students of Bochum University and as many accompanying persons visited Peloponnesus and the islet of Elafonisos around Easter 1991. The present, quite impressive volume includes the papers presented by prospective participants during a preparatory seminar (on a variety of mostly non-botanical topics, e.g from ancient history and the earth sciences) and the day-by-day diary of the excursion, lively write-ups by the students themselves in which plant lists alternate with locality data and a plenty of anecdotic details. A cumulative plant list at the end, including reference to specimen locations, provides easy and direct access to relevant floristic data.

  1. Walter Strasser – Botanische Streifzüge durch das nordöstliche Griechenland. Frühjahr 1992. – Privately published, Steffisburg, 1992. [1] + 85 sheets, maps and drawings, stapled.
  1. Walter Strasser – Nördl. Peloponnes + Euböa: botanische Streifzüge 1993 mit Bestimmungsschlüsseln für die griechischen Gagea- und Ornithogalum-Arten. – Privately published, Steffisburg, 1994. [1] + 76 sheets, maps and drawings, stapled.
  1. Walter Strasser – Westl. Peloponnes + Taygetosgebirge, botanische Streifzüge 1994 mit Bestimmungsschlüsseln für die griechischen Trifolium- und Bromus-Arten. – Privately published, Steffisburg, 1994. [1] + 51 sheets, maps and drawings, stapled.

Since they were first presented in this column (OPTIMA Newsl. 12/13: 52. 1982) excursion accounts in Strasser’s characteristic and unchanging style have been forthcoming annually with great regularity (for the last series, see OPTIMA Newsl. 25-29: (44-45). 1991). They all are sources of critically digested floristic and chorological information, and each has keys to polymorphic and critical plant genera appended (they are mentioned in the subtitle from 1993 onward). The 1992 account has keys for Greek Alyssum and Berteroa (new), Greek and W. Anatolian Geranium and Erodium (reprinted with minor changes from 1990); the Gagea and Ornithogalum key (1993) was substantially changed, and the drawings remade, as compared to the first (1986) edition; the same applies, in 1994, to the brome-grass key (first published 1989), whereas the one for Trifolium is new. The 1992 account, relating to N.E. Greece and the island of Thasos, has a plant list from the Vikos gorge (Epirus) appended. The 1993 and 1994 excursions yielded a new record for the flora of Greece (Linum nervosum, from Evvia), as well as first Peloponnesus records of Rosularia serrata, Ophioglossum vulgatum and Silene remotiflora, among others.

  1. Ina Dinter – Samos. Pflanzenliste Samos vom 16.-30. April 1993. – Privately duplicated, D-74348 Lauffen, 1993. 28 stapled sheets.
  1. Ina Dinter – Reisetagebuch Frühling auf Samos. Botanische Exkursion vom 02.05.-16.05.1994. [Natur-Exkursionen, K 9405]. – Privately assembled/duplicated, D-74348 Lauffen, 1994. 29 loose sheets in folder, without pagination.

Both (apparently commercial) botanical tours for which the above two leaflets were written visited the same localities, though in different sequence. Both leaflets include species lists for each site or area, and a cumulative list with page (in 1993) or locality reference (in 1994) at the end. They are based on the author’s own collections, kept in her private herbarium, and include otherwise unpublished, original floristic information.

  1. Walter Lang – Pflanzenliste der Studienreise nach Israel vom 27.3.-12.4.1988. – Privately published, [Erpolzheim], undated. 9 stapled sheets.
  1. Walter Lang – Pflanzenliste der Studienreise in die S-Türkei vom 17.3.-1.4.1989. – Privately published, [Erpolzheim], undated. 6 stapled sheets.
  1. Walter Lang – Pflanzenliste der Studienreise nach Nordzypern vom 1.4.-15.4.1990. – Privately published, [Erpolzheim], undated. 11 stapled sheets.

"Nude" plant lists, all of similar external outfit but differently arranged. The 1988 leaflet has the plants listed alphabetically by localities (the letter H obviously denoting the presence of a specimen in the author’s private herbarium). In 1989 a single list of species, alphabetical within families, is given, with localities and (collecting?) dates appended. The 1990 trip is designated as "Studienreise des KVHS Germersheim" and also includes collections by a Ch. Schmidt; the species arrangement is similar but locality reference is numerical, a separate locality list being provided at the end.



  1. Jaakko Jalas & Juha Suominen – Atlas florae europaeae. Distribution of vascular plants in Europe. 9. Paeoniaceae to Capparaceae. 10. Cruciferae (Sisymbrium to Aubrieta). – Committee for Mapping the Flora of Europe & Societas Botanica Fennica Vanamo, Helsinki, 1991, 1994 (ISBN 951-9108-08-4, -09-2). 110, 224 pages, maps, paper.

Most of fascicle 9 is devoted to the treatment of Papaveraceae, and in addition, Berberidaceae. Fasc. 10 brings the first half of the Cruciferae. The two issues contain 156 and 324 maps, respectively, and as is traditional (see e.g. OPTIMA Newsl. 25-29: (45-46). 1991), they both include countless critical updatings of the Flora europaea treatments based on a virtually complete survey of even the most recent literature. The Atlas is therefore much more than a source of information on plant distribution: it is a basic compendium of and guide to the European floristic and taxonomic literature.

  1. Hermann Meusel & Eckehart J. Jäger (ed.) – Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. – Text + Karten, Literatur, Register. Band III. – Fischer, Jena, Stuttgart & New York, 1992 (ISBN 3-334-00411-2). Pages ix + 333, ix + 422-688, maps (mostly in two colours), two volumes with hard covers.

Completion of this monument among chorological literature was anxiously awaited by many and is a major milestone for descriptive and interpretative biogeography. Some of Meusel’s novel methodological approaches, e.g. the diagnostic area designations invented by him, may become quite popular in biogeo-speech now that its bases are fully laid out. Volume three is largely devoted to a single major family, Compositae, with in addition some medium-sized gamopetalous families such as Rubiaceae, Valerianaceae, Dipsacaceae, and Campanulaceae. It also includes the long missed bibliography to vol. II as well as the badly needed general index of scientific names whose absence had made the two earlier volumes so difficult to use. The complete work gives full or cursory treatment to c. 17,000 species of vascular plants, of which c. 8000 have their area represented in one of the 2250 distribution maps. This, along with Hultén’s various Atlases, is by far the largest single set of total distribution areas ever compiled (whereas partial chorological atlases, limited to specific areas, become increasingly popular). Chorology and terminology are only two of the many salient features of this work, which abounds in considerations of chorogenesis and evolution as related to natural (and man-made) environmental factors and their variation in space and time. It is impossible, in a few lines, to do full justice to so impressive an achievement as the present one. It is, as I see it, an incredibly rich mine of facts and challenging ideas, and a fathomless source from which new assumptions and conjectures can be derived.

  1. Mauricio Velayos, Felipe Castilla & Roberto Gamarra – Corología ibérica, I. [Archivos de flora ibérica, 2.] – Real Jardín Botánico, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, 1991. 393 pages, map, laminated cover.

This is a first partial printout generated from a database of published plant records from the Iberian Peninsula, compiled and held at the Madrid Botanic Garden (see also item N° 99, below). Of the over 400,000 data-sets presently included c. 60,000 are here listed, being those that originate from ten journals published in Barcelona. The data concern vascular plants only, are given by species and province (the province abbreviations are nowhere explained and have to be looked up in, e.g., Flora iberica), with page reference to the original source. Those using this index should be careful to note its limitations. Not even of the ten scanned journals have complete runs been taken into consideration (e.g., only the first four volumes of Folia botanica miscellanea), and the botanically best known Barcelona periodical, Collectanea botanica, has been excluded. The index is mainly a directory to the more remote 20th century Catalan literature. Also, duplication of entries caused by, e.g., variants in author citation have not been completely eliminated, and were in some cases (e.g., Delphinium nanum) erroneously introduced.

  1. [Oriol de Bolòs & Angel M. Romo (ed.)] – Atlas corològic de la flora vascular dels Països Catalans. Vol. 1, 2. – Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Carme 47, E-08001 Barcelona, 1985-1987, 1991 (ISBN 84-7283-175-2 [vol. 2]). [106] Bristol board sheets, [415] pages, maps 1-103, 104-306 with text; ring file (vol. 1), paper with dust-cover (vol. 2).

Maps 1-26 were issued in 1985 under the title "Corologia de la flora vascular dels Països Catalans" (see OPTIMA Newsl. 20-24: (45-46). 1988). Maps 27-103 are dated 1986 but were issued together with a title page for vol. 1, dated "1985-1987". Maps 104-306 were published on normal paper, in 1991, with a title page bearing the names of the two editors (absent from vol. 1). In vol. 1, each map bears a numerical reference to the corresponding taxon in Flora europaea, under which in vol. 2 a second reference is added, to the species number in the Flora manual dels Països Catalans. Apart from such details of presentation, which may be bibliographically relevant, the scope and layout of the work has remained unchanged, and it is still possible to cut the maps apart and arrange them in a different (systematic or alphabetical) sequence for those who so wish. The arrangement of the maps is alphabetical within the 1985 (1-26) and 1987 (27-103) runs, but roughly taxonomic (with many anomalies) in vol. 2. The sequence of publication follows no obvious order, but a focus has clearly been placed on selected families (in the 1987 run, in particular, Caprifoliaceae and Ericaceae; in vol. 2, Boraginaceae, Primulaceae, and Solanaceae). Speedy progress of this important distributional Atlas is much to be desired.

  1. Pierre Dupont – Atlas partiel de la Flore de France. [Collection patrimoines naturels, Série patrimoine génétique, 3.] – Secrétariat de la Faune et de la Flore, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, 1990 (ISBN 2-86515-062-3). 442 pages, drawings, maps, paper.

The distribution maps, for France (including Corsica and Andorra), of 645 species of vascular plants are presented in this volume. They are the result of many years of efforts, by Dupont and his staff as well as by c. 300 correspondents active in the field, with but minimal support from public sources, and without adequate official encouragement. Dupont, in his preface, declares himself proud and disappointed in the same time: proud of what has been achieved under so precarious conditions, and disappointed at the fact that just about 15 % of the native vascular flora of France has so far been covered. The maps use a UTM-based grid with meshes of 20 km ´ 20 km, because the data, while suited for mapping by quadrants of these meshes, were not sufficient in quantity to justify the finer scale. Even so, the maps give an excellent and apparently faithful impression of species distribution, including possible decline since 1960 (which may of course, at least in part, be a decline in number of field botanists not just of natural habitats). The prospects of a continuation of Dupont’s efforts by others are, as it seems, rather uncertain. However, now that mapping has been proved to be feasible and produce excellent results, one may perhaps hope that support enabling continuation of the present scheme may at last be forthcoming.

  1. Livio Poldini – Atlante corologico delle piante vascolari nel Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Inventario floristico regionale. – Direzione Regionale delle Foreste e dei Parchi, Regione Autonoma Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Udine 1991. 899 pages, mostly coloured graphs and maps, colour photographs, cloth with dust-cover in cardboard case.

This is, to my knowledge, the most gorgeously beautiful and best produced chorological atlas to have been published so far: a real luxury object among its more modest congeners on the bookshelf. It is also the first complete chorological atlas for any Italian region. The area covered is the northeasternmost corner of Italy, comprising a portion of the S.E. Alps, the alluvial plains of the Piave, Tagliamento and Isonzo rivers, and the coastal strip and hills around Trieste and Gorizia. The number of species mapped is 2780. The distributional record, within the rather wide grid defined for the purposes of the Central European mapping scheme and covering the whole territory with a mere 78 meshes, is mapped in black on a colour background illustrating the altitudinal zones. Two loose transparent sheets with contour maps showing environmental parameters can be used, alone or pairwise, as overlays to interpret the distributional patterns shown. A concise but densely written introductory part analyses the results of the survey phytogeographically, by chorological elements, diversity parameters, endemism, anthropochory, etc. The book is embellished by 79 superb colour photographs of plants, plant communities and landscapes. Poldini has not only proved his professional skill, organizational competence and untiring drive by this work, but also his good taste and his concern for the needs and wishes of his readers. He and his whole team are to be warmly congratulated for the result.

  1. Adam Boratynski, Kazimierz Browicz & Jerzy Zielinski – Chorology of trees and shrubs in Greece. [Second edition supplemented and expanded.] – Institute of Dendrology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan/Kórnik, 1992 (ISBN 83-85599-04-6 [hard cover], -05-3 [paper]). 286 pages, 270 maps. Price: US$33 (hard cover) or 25 (paper).

The fact that this is a second edition is timidly hidden, being mentioned only in the impressum and introduction. The first, xeroxed edition (see OPTIMA Newsl. 25-29: (46). 1991), with only 200 maps, was much more modest and had been produced in a small number of copies (120) only, but its slightly less size-reduced maps are neater than their new versions which are rather unevenly printed, sometimes too pale or blurred. A cursory comparison showed no additions to the previously published maps but some (essentially linguistic) editing of the explanatory texts. The 70 new maps concern species of the genera Arthrocnemum, Capparis, Chamaecytisus (2), Cistus, Convolvulus, Erica, Euphorbia (2), Genista (7), Halocnemum, Hedera, Helianthemum, Juniperus (4), Laburnum, Lavatera, Lembotropis, Lonicera (3), Lycium (2), Nicotiana, Noaea, Phoenix, Picea, Pinus (5), Polygonum, Ptilostemon (2), Putoria, Pyracantha, Pyrus, Quercus (6), Rhamnus (2), Rosmarinus, Rubus (2), Salix, Salvia (2), Sarcopoterium, Solanum, Syringa, Tamarix (2), Tilia (2), Ulmus (2), and Withania.

  1. Kazimierz Browicz – Chorology of trees and shrubs in South-West Asia and adjacent regions. Vol. 8-10. – Vol. 8: Polish Scientific publishers & Institute of Dendrology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warszawa & Poznan, 1991 (ISBN 81-01-10528-3); vol. 9: Institute of Dendrology, Polish Academy of Sciences, & Sorus, Poznan & Daszewice, 1992 (ISBN 83-85599-02-9); vol. 10: Bogucki & Institute of Dendrology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan, 1994 (ISBN 83-86001-02-x). 86, 85, 100 pages, each with 50 maps, paper.

Browicz’s impressive series of maps of Oriental woody plants is apparently to end with the 10th fascicle and 550th individual map. At least this is what the author tells us in the introduction to vol. 10, in which there also is a cumulative index to all species so far mapped. But coverage of the subject, as Browicz also states, is far from complete, and one may therefore hope that either he or someone of his research team might perhaps consider to continue. Three new issues have been published since N° 7 was reviewed (see OPTIMA Newsl. 25-29: (47). 1991), each with a different main publisher. They treat a variety of genera and families but follow the familiar pattern. Only in vol. 10 can one discern special, focal topics: a revision of Oriental Ephedra, authored by Freitag & Meier-Stolte, with 14 relevant maps in which, contrary to normal style, a distinction is made between specimens seen and mere literature records; and an account of 10 Tamarix species, by Zielinski.



  1. Nicole Galland – Recherche sur l’origine de la flore orophile du Maroc. Etude cytologique et cytogéographique. – Institut Scientifique [Travaux, série botanique, 35], Université Mohammed V, Rabat, "1988" [1991]. [4] + 168 + [4] pages, black-and-white illustrations, laminated cover.

Following extensive field work in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, the author has studied the chromosomes of 300 high-mountain taxa corresponding to about half of the Maghrebine high-mountain flora. Her results are presented and discussed in detail. Her analysis, conducted along the lines of the Favager school tradition, concludes to the old age of much of this flora, and sheds new light on the likely history of Mediterranean mountain floras in general. The book, which corresponds to Nicole Galland’s PhD thesis, has had a somewhat tormented publication history: the University’s nil obstat was given in April 1987, and the year printed on the title page is 1988; however, the date of legal deposit stated at the end is 1990, and the book became actually available, through the author, in early August 1991.

  1. J. F. Ardévol Gonzales, L. Borgen & P. Pérez de Paz – Checklist of chromosome numbers counted in Canarian vascular plants. [Sommerfeltia, 18.] – Botanical Garden & Museum, Oslo, 1993 (ISBN 82-7420-020-9). 59 pages, paper. Price: NoK 80.

This chromosome survey updates, for the Canary Islands, the information in Liv Borgen’s mimeographed "Checklist of chromosome numbers counted in Macaronesian vascular plants". References to counts on Canary Island endemics of unstated provenance are included. The originally used nomenclature was updated to match that of Hansen & Sunding’s new edition of their Checklist (item N° 66, above). Omission of doubtful records, or correction of erroneous identifications, is justified in an appendix.

  1. Antonio Martín Ciudad – Números cromosomáticos de plantas vasculares ibéricas, I. [Archivos de flora iberica, 1.] – Real Jardín Botánico, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, 1991. v + 202 pages, laminated cover.

Funds from a programme in favour of unemployed youth have been used to build up databases related to the Flora Iberica Project at the Madrid Botanical Garden. The present volume, being the first of a series planned to be continued at irregular intervals (see also item N° 91, above), aims at making available the information of one such database to the authors of Flora iberica accounts, and to botanists in general. The compiler, to whom the work is here credited in conformity with the title page, is not a botanist but the EDP technician responsible for maintaining the database. The data themselves were initially assembled by Enrique Valdés Bermejo (who signs as one of the "editors", together with Santiago Castroviejo), with several others adding to them subsequently. The result is impressive, looks thoroughly reliable, and promises to be most useful. Each of the listed chromosome counts, indexed by the name originally used, is referenced to one of the 867 papers from which information was derived. Whenever possible, the provenance of the material studied is stated in terms, not only of country but province. All literature received at Madrid by May 1991 has been taken into consideration. It is planned to have updates published at regular intervals. This is a most welcome first step toward the Mediterranean chromosome count inventory planned by OPTIMA’s Commission for Karyosystematics.

  1. Julio E. Pastor Díaz (ed.) – Atlas cromosómico de la flora vascular de Andalucía occidental. – Universidad de Sevilla [Publicaciones, serie: ciencias, 37-1992], 1993 (ISBN 84-7405-985-2). 542 pages, hard cover.

While limited to taxa included in the Flora vascular de Andalucía occidental of Valdés & al. (see OPTIMA Newsl. 25-29: (22-23). 1988), the present chromosome atlas includes far more than a mere subset of the data in the foregoing work. First, it is not restricted to counts made on Iberian plants but endeavours to list all counts ever published for the relevant taxa; second, it also includes reference to counts that are not documented as to their origin, such as, in particular, those quoted in the Flora itself. It is a pity, though, that in the latter case the opportunity has not been seized to supply the missing data, which the author could certainly have easily procured. As it is, the present book is largely repetitive of information that is easily accessible, though in non-cumulated form, through the well known world chromosome lists of Fedorov, Moore, Goldblatt, etc.



  1. Heinrich Walter † & Siegmar-W. Breckle – Ökologie der Erde. Geo-Biosphäre. 4. Spezielle Ökologie der gemässigten und arktischen Zonen ausserhalb Euro-Nordasiens. Zonobiom IV-IX. – Fischer, Stuttgart, 1991 (ISBN 3-437-20371-1). xvi + 586 pages, black-and-white illustrations, hard covers. Price: DM 48.

Heinrich Walter, the founder of this monumental four-volume manual on the vegetation of the globe, died in October 1989, within a month from having written the foreword to the present, final part. Of the whole work, this is the item that will most interest Mediterranean-minded botanists, since on its first 180 pages it treats what is here referred to as the "zonobiome IV": the Mediterranean-type areas with winter rains and summer drought. Their presentation in a global context, both in the frame of the surrounding biomes and with steady inter-continental comparison among themselves, is fascinating reading for those familiar with the German language. The reader will appreciate the generous illustration with photographs, maps and graphs, and will, in view of the most reasonable price, have to accept monochromy (although one will often regret it). Other biomes treated in this volume are those of warm-temperate climate (V), of temperate woody areas of N. America and E. Asia (VI), of semi-arid temperate to arid continental climates, mainly of America (VII), of American cold-temperate climate (VIII), and of Arctic/Antarctic climate (IX). A particular chapter is devoted to the Himalayas.

  1. Werner Nezadal – Unkrautgesellschaften der Getreide- und Frühjahrshackfruchtkulturen (Stellarietea mediae) im mediterranen Iberien. [Dissertationes botanicae, 143.] – Cramer, Berlin & Stuttgart, 1989 (ISBN 3-443-64052-4). [4] + 205 pages, maps, 19 folded extra tables in pouch, paper.

This phytosociological study of field weed communities in Spain and Portugal is based on the analysis of almost 1100 relevés from localities scattered throughout the Iberian Peninsula with the exception of the north-west and the northern coastal provinces. One of its aims is to compare the W. Mediterranean weed communities with the central European ones. The concept of vicariant syntaxa is found to be useful when species of limited distributional ranges are concerned; this notion, which so far had been applied only at the association level, is here extended to higher ranking vegetation units such as alliances, orders, and classes.

  1. Michael Richter – Untersuchungen zur Vegetationsentwicklung und zum Standortwandel auf mediterranen Rebbrachen. [Braun-Blanquetia, 4.] – Dipartimento di Botanica ed Ecologia dell’Università, Camerino, & Station de Phytosociologie, Bailleul, 1989. 196 pages, maps and graphs, 1 folded insert, 4 folded tables in pouch, paper.

Vineyard vegetation and the dynamics of vegetation succession on vine fallows were studied primarily in three Italian test areas representing the thermomediterranean (Saline, Eolian Islands), meso- and supramediterranean zone (Corniglia and Pignone, both in Cinque Terre, E. Liguria). Several other mediterranean sites, scattered from Spain and Algeria to Malta and Greece, were examined for comparison. Regeneration of seminatural woodland is most rapid in the thermo- and slowest in the supramediterranean zone.


Regional studies of flora and vegetation

  1. Atlas cartográfico de los pinares canarios. II. Tenerife (by Pedro L. Pérez de Paz, Marcelino J. del Arco Aguilar, Octavio Rodríguez Delgado, M. Salas Pascual & Wolfredo Wildpret de la Torre). III. La Palma (by Marcelino J. del Arco Aguilar, Pedro L. Pérez de Paz, Octavio Rodríguez Delgado, Juan R. Acebes Ginovés, Manuel V. Marrero Gómez & Wolfredo Wildpret de la Torre). – Viceconsejería del Medio Ambiente, Gobierno de Canarias, [Santa Cruz de Tenerife], 1992, 1994 (ISBN 84-606-0440-3, 84-600-8954-1). 228, 160 pages, partly coloured graphs and maps, colour photographs, 43, 6 colour maps 1 : 50,000 on extra plates, 1, 1 folded colour map 1: 100,000, laminated cover.

This is much more than a series of maps of Canary Island pine woods: each is a complete, well documented and superbly illustrated monograph of these forests, their history and maintenance, and the associated plant communities. The natural woodlands of Pinus canariensis, which are well preserved on La Palma, had been much reduced by human action on Tenerife; they have been largely rebuilt by reforestation since 1940 and now constitute the major renewable natural resource of both islands. Pinus radiata plantations, and to a minor extent those of Mediterranean pines (P. halepensis, P. pinea), also exist. The whole work is planned to consist of 4 parts, of which the first (of 1990; not seen) concerns the islands of La Gomera and El Hierro, and the last (forthcoming) will be devoted to Gran Canaria and the few plantations on the eastern islands.

  1. Eusebio Cano Carmona & Ángeles González Martín – Estudios básicos para el conocimiento de la flora de Sierra Morena. – Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Jaén, 1992 (ISBN 84-600-8024-2). [10] + 175 pages, laminated cover.

The Sierra Morena is a large system of low, mainly siliceous mountains cutting through much of southern Spain in a west-to-east direction, from the Portuguese border to the eastern limits of the provinces of Jaén and Ciudad Reál. The present inventory of its flora and vegetation is a curious case: it was apparently compiled entirely from the literature. From what they tell us, the authors may never have set their foot in the Sierra Morena, or seen any of the plants to which they refer. They have combined the data they found into a checklist of the vascular flora, and for each taxon they give known distribution by province and sector, "frequency" (based on the number of literature citations!), habitat and vegetation type. Of the 2371 listed taxa, some as they write are doubtful records, but they won’t tell us which. Lists of selected [Iberian] endemics (the 138, out of 187, for which concrete distributional data were found), of other rare plants occurring in the area, and of plant communities, are also provided.

  1. Daniel Sánchez Mata – Flora y vegetación del macizo oriental de la Sierra de Gredos (Avila). – Institución "Gran Duque de Alba", Diputación Provincial de Avila, [1989?] (ISBN 84-86930-17-0). 440 pages, black-and-white illustrations, laminated cover.

The Sierra de Gredos is a range of high mountains, to the west of Madrid, belonging to the Spanish Central System. The present book is largely a vegetation monograph, with detailed description of phytosociological units supported by extensive tabular material and with many schematic transects showing the zonality of vegetation patterns. There is a list of plant taxa at the end, including some synonymy, but unfortunately it is not cross-referenced to the tables and plant communities and cannot serve as a key to the floristic information contained in the work.

  1. Josep Nuet i Badia, Josep M. Panareda i Clopés & Àngel M. Romo i Díez – La vegetació de Catalunya. [Descoberta, 1.] – Eumo, Miramarges 4, E-08500 Vic, 1991 (ISBN 84-7602-753-2). 153 pages, maps and profiles, black-and-white and colour photographs, laminated cover.

A plain-language introduction to the main vegetation types of Catalonia, written for the non-specialist, with 16 colour photographs illustrating selected examples. The more important associations (and subassociations) are represented by tabular lists of characteristic and companion species. An ingenious indexing system makes it possible to use the booklet as a field guide for the rapid identification of plant communities. This looks like an excellent idea, and a workable one, too – provided of course one knows the relevant plants. An example to be followed, deserving to be extended to many other regions!

  1. J. Carreras Raurell, E. Carrillo Ortuño, R. M. Masalles Saumell, J. M. Ninot Sugrañes & J. Vigo Bonada – El poblament vegetal de les valls de Barravés i de Castanesa. I – flora i vegetació; II – mapa de vegetació. [Acta botanica barcinonensia, 42-43.] – Departament de Biología Vegetal (Botánica), Facultat de Biología, Universitat de Barcelona, 1993. 392, 32 pages, some maps and graphs, 1 folded colour map 1 : 50,000 in pouch, paper.

An area of c. 280 km2 in the central Spanish Pyrenees, north of Lleida, corresponding to the upper river basin of the Noguera Ribagorçana, has been studied in-depth with respect to its flora and vegetation. In the first part of this twin publication, an introductory portion is followed by a list of the vascular plant species present in the area, with altitudinal ranges and concise numerical locality data (by 10 km ´ 10 km UTM grid squares then by relevé number), and by a thorough vegetation analysis following the Braun-Blanquet system, with plentiful tabular data. The second part is devoted to the explication of the (included) vegetation map of the area.

  1. Robert Salanon & Jean-Félix Gandioli – Cartographie floristique en réseau des ravins et des vallons côtiers ou affluents du Var dans les environs de Nice, Alpes-Maritimes. 1. Texte et index; 2. Atlas. [Biocosme mésogéen, 8(3).] – Ville de Nice, 1991. Pages 71-177, 179-394, maps, graphs, black-and-white photographs, loose transparent overlay, paper.

This special issue of the journal Biocosme mésogéen will pose a problem to many librarians and bookbinders by being twice the page size of a normal fascicle, even of the same volume. In many a way, it is a fully independent work. The authors have devoted many years to the methodical exploration and inventorying of a very peculiar habitat: the network of gullies and gorges that has been deeply cut by running water into the conglomerate rocks of the hilly area just north of the city of Nizza, on the left side of the river Var. These very special, moist and dimly lit biota house a flora of a rather unique kind, rich in ferns, mosses and liverworts, some of which are very rare. The locally abundant relic species Carex grioletii stands out among the phanerogamic species. Urban expansion and its corollary, in particular the misuse of such gullies as garbage deposits, threaten these habitats increasingly. By the present, detailed inventory, the authors want to focus public and governmental awareness on the urgency of the problem and the gravity of the threatening loss. Maps (in a somewhat irrational order, intended to reflect loosely defined ecological groupings) are provided for c. 300 species, including 20 bryophytes and one charophyte. The scale used is very detailed, with unit areas of c. 250 m ´ 180 m. Distribution dots are not positioned centrally in each rectangle but, more naturally, follow the course of the gullies, a technique that enlivens the presentation and permits to sometimes map two species together, with different symbols.

  1. Robert Salanon, Jean-Félix Gandioli, Vincent Kulesza & Jean-Christophe Pintaud – La flore littorale des Alpes-Maritimes: évolution depuis le XIXème siècle et bilan actuel. [Biocosme mésogéen, 11(3 & 4).] – Ville de Nice, 1995. Pages 53-193, 195-329, maps, 2 colour photographs, paper.

A recent, thorough inventory of the halophilous, salt-tolerant and coastal freshwater flora of an important segment of the Mediterranean coast of France, with maps of extant species by one-hundredth-degree squares (1000 m ´ 722 m). A concomitant search of herbaria and literature permits assessment of the amount of loss, which is almost total in the case of the aquatics and very heavy for plants of the sandy shores and salt marshes, but lesser for the rocky coast inhabitants. The work, by its thoroughness and clear presentation, can serve as a model for studies of this kind. Its main conclusion is that protection of the Iles de Lérins (facing Cannes), where most of the diversity still survives, should be perfected and extended.

  1. Daniel Jeanmonod & Hervé Maurice Burdet (ed.) – Compléments au Prodrome de la flore corse. Annexe n° 2. La végétation de la Corse, par Jacques Gamisans. – Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques, Ville de Genève, 1991 (ISBN 2-8277-0808-6). 391 pages, black-an-white illustrations, laminated cover. Price: SFr 45.90.

A complete textbook on the vegetation of Corsica, with an introductory methodological section and general chapters on the geography, climate and geology of the island as well as phytogeography, endemism and chloridogenesis. The main portion, devoted to the description of the vegetation belts and of their plant associations, is written in a lively, easily readable style, and is embellished by a large number of original drawings of characteristic constituent plants, by two Catalan artists (E. Sierra i Ràfols, J. Nuet i Badia). The book, written by the leading contemporary expert on the subject, is a remarkable synthesis based on first-hand knowledge and on the results of earlier authors, such as Litardière and Malcuit.

  1. Livio Poldini – La vegetazione del Carso isontino e triestino. Studio del paesaggio vegetale fra Trieste, Gorizia e i territori adiacenti. – Lint, Trieste, 1989 (ISBN 88-85083-30-7). 315 pages, black-and-white illustrations, colour photographs, 1 folded colour vegetation map 1 : 50,000 with two insets 1 : 25,000, hard cover and dust-cover.

The karst plateaux and hills that extend on the left of the Isonzo River, south of Gorizia, and continue southward all along the narrow coastal area at whose centre Trieste is situated, are the only really Illyrian parts of Italy. This tiny strip of land, being the country’s northeasternmost extension, has landscapes of great beauty and has conserved much of its natural charm and riches in spite of heavy pressures of urban and industrial development. The present book includes part of the results of a floristic and vegetational survey performed by Poldini and his group, between 1980 and 1984, with the goal of establishing a modern inventory, assessing the conservation value and recognizing the extent of threat and damage. Examples of distributional patterns are given in the introduction, showing the organization of the chorological database, but the main body of the book is devoted to a detailed description of the vegetation and its units. The profuse illustration, mostly by excellent colour photographs, and the thorough documentation by graphs and tabular relevés make this book both pleasant and instructive to read: a worthy monument to the area’s natural beauty and a potent argument for its safeguard.

  1. Francesco Maria Raimondo & al. (ed.) – I boschi di Sicilia. – Arbor, v. Enrico Albanese 114, Palermo, 1992. 303 pages, drawings, 2-coloured map, colour photographs, hard cover and dust-cover in cardboard case. Price: Lit 135,000.

Sicilian woodlands have seen their total surface trebled since the all-time low at the end of World War II; yet, the 10 % of the island’s total surface they presently occupy is a low rate as compared to the Italian average. Forests are therefore something rare and special in Sicily, a feature to be treasured by local people and authorities. Not only to like but to better know them is the basic message of this splendid book. The combined efforts of 15 authors have resulted in a comprehensive anthology on subjects like structure and function of natural and man-made woods, their ecological niches and their inhabitants, their relation to man in terms of economy, history and folklore. A gifted nature photographer, Franco Barbagallo, has contributed most of the 211 often full-page, splendidly reproduced colour photographs which, grouped together in three large blocks like a three-movement rhapsody, are at the book’s core, illustrating first the various Sicilian woodland areas one by one, then the forest in its seasonal features and through its animals and individual trees, and last its function as a part of human life and cultural tradition. The concluding chapter is strictly botanical, consisting of the characterization, through structured texts and analytical drawings, of 39 species of Sicilian forest trees.

  1. Francesco Maria Raimondo – Studio e catalogazione della vegetazione e delle emergenze botaniche ed ambientali del Monte Pellegrino (Palermo). – Assessorato Parchi, Verde e Arredo Urbano, Comune di Palermo, 1992. 222 + [1] pages, drawings, maps, graphs, black-and-white and colour photographs on 20 extra plates, folded colour vegetation map c. 1 : 8000, paper.

One of the sanctuaries of early Sicilian botany, and the classical site for many an endemic species, Monte Pellegrino is also a prominent landmark overtowering the Gulf of Palermo. The squarely built, 600 m high limestone rock houses a rich, peculiar flora on the vast cliff systems of its steep flanks. Its protection as a natural park having been proposed, it has recently undergone a detailed floristic and phytosociological investigation whose results are presented in this shapely volume. It includes a checklist of the vascular flora, with grid-square related distributional details and citation of historical sources; lists of mosses, liverworts, lichens and non-lichenized fungi; physiognomic description and tabular characterization of vegetation units; and detailed presentation (often accompanied by full-page drawings) of a selection of species worth highlighting. 63 photographs, including 14 in colour, show typical landscapes and representatives of the flora.

  1. Slobodan Jovanovic – Ekološka studija ruderalne flore i vegetacije Beograda. [English summary: Ecological study of ruderal flora and vegetation in the City of Belgrade.] – Biološki Fakultet Universiteta u Beogradu, 1994 (ISBN 86-7087-001-1). 222 pages, graphs and maps, 16 extra plates of colour photographs, laminated cover.

This volume corresponds to the author’s PhD thesis, completed in 1992, and is devoted to the study of the synanthropic flora and vegetation of greater Belgrade, including the Danube riversides and some suburban rural communities. The number of higher plant taxa (species, subspecies, varieties) recorded and tabulated is 671, several being first records for the area or even for the whole of Serbia. No locality data are detailed, but a thorough analysis of the flora by, e.g., life forms and phytogeographical elements is provided. A phytosociological study revealed the presence of 17 different associations, two of them newly described. All captions of tables, figures and of the 40 colour photographs are bilingual, Serbian and English.

  1. Ivan Bondev – Rastitelnostta na Bblgarija. Karta v m 1 : 600,000 s objasnitelen tekst. [English summary: The vegetation of Bulgaria. Map 1 : 600,000 with explanatory text.] – Universitetsko Izdatelstvo sv. "Kliment Ohridski", Sofija, 1991. 184 pages, graphs, 4 extra plates of colour photographs, folded colour map, hard cover.

The Atlas narodna republika Bblgarija, published in 1973, included on pp. 88-89 a vegetation map with scale 1 : 1,000,000, but no explanatory text apart from the captions. The map, redrawn at a larger scale, much modified as to detail, and with bilingual (Bulgarian and English) captions, has now been reissued and provided with an explanatory volume of its own, which is the first monographic presentation of the country’s vegetation. The 150 mapped vegetation units (97 of primary and 53 of secondary vegetation) are described in detail, with reference to an extensive bibliography.

  1. Kônstantinos G. Theodôropoulos – O kathorismos tôn futokoinôniologikôn monadôn tou panepistêmoniakou dasous Taxiarhê Halkidikês. [German summary: Bestimmung und Klassifizierung der pflanzensoziologischen Vegetationseinheiten im Universitätswald Taxiarchis Chalkidiki.] – Ergastêrio Dasikês Botanikês [...], Sholê Geôtehnikôn Epistêmôn, Aristoteleio Panepistêmio Thessalonikês [Epistêmonikê epetêrida, 32(18)], 1991. [8] + 200 pages, graphs and map, 5 folded tables and 1 folded black-and-white vegetation map 1 : 20,000, paper.

The University of Thessaloniki owns extensive natural woodlands in the central Khalkidiki Peninsula, on the s. and S.W. slopes of Mt Kholomon (1165 m), surrounding the village Taxiarkhi. These woodlands, which include some Quercus ilex vegetation in their lowest part and extensive Q. coccifera garrigues as degradation product of former Q. pubescens woods, consist predominantly of Q. frainetto stands and some beech woods. The vegetation is classified on the basis of 210 phytosociological relevés supported by 30 soil profiles, and crudely mapped. No separate floristic inventory is presented apart from the tabular species lists of the relevés.

  1. Elenê N. Eleutheriadou – Ê hlôrida dasôn psuhrobiôn platufullôn-kônoforôn kai upsêlês exôdasikês periohês Elatias Dramas. [German summary: "Die Flora der kaltliebenden Laub- und Koniferenwälder und der hohen Extrawaldland von Elatia Dramas".] – Ergastêrio Dasikês Botanikês [...], Sholê Geôtehnikôn Epistêmôn, Aristoteleio Panepistêmio Thessalonikês [Epistêmonikê epetêrida, 33(6)], 1992. [8] + 167 pages, graphs and maps, paper.

The Elatia area in the Greek part of the Rodopi mountains, close to the Bulgarian border, is covered by extensive, unspoilt forests and is famous in particular as housing the only Greek stands of Norway spruce. This granitic mountain region, mostly situated above 1000 m of altitude but barely exceeding 1800 m, presents the closest match of Central European forest flora and vegetation one can find in Greece. Several botanists have collected there in recent years, but most of their finds remained unpublished to date, and a floristic inventory such as the present one was urgently needed. Of the 712 taxa (species and subspecies) found and identified by the author, most are new records, and no less than 9 relate to taxa apparently not yet known from Greece. Her book includes a general introduction to the area, a tabular list of Balkan endemics and subendemics found (no less than 120), and a discussion of 6 species threatened on a world scale according to the IUCN Red Data lists (at least one of which, Silene pindicola, obviously corresponds to a misidentification).

  1. Panagiôtês Dionusios Dêmopoulos – Hlôridikê kai futokoinôniologikê ereuna tou orous Kullênê – oikologikê proseggisê. [English summary: Floristic and phytosociological research of mountain Killini.] – Ergastêrio Botanikês, Tmêma Biologias, Panepistêmio Patrôn, 1993. [8] + vii + 370 pages, graphs and maps, several unnumbered extra pages with graphs, 5 extra plates of colour photographs, 3 coloured folded maps 1 : 50,000 in pouch, paper.

Mt Killini is neighbour to Mt Khelmos in N. Peloponnesus, and the second highest mountain of that region after Mt Taiyetos. The present PhD thesis is devoted to the study of both its flora (961 species or subspecies of vascular plants) and vegetation (classified and mapped on the basis of 221 relevés treated statistically by correspondence analysis). This is a carefully written and well documented account, including several new data and original results. On the floristic side, 295 taxa (more than 30 %) are new records for the mountain, and 6 are reported from Peloponnesus for the first time. The phytosociological analysis has led to the description of 11 new syntaxa (associations or subassociations), and to novel suggestions concerning the proper classification of some pre-existing ones. Illustrations include distribution maps for some phytogeographically interesting elements; 15 colour photographs of landscapes, plants or plant communities, on special glossy paper; and maps of the topography, geology, and vegetation of the area studied.

  1. Armin Jagel – Zur Flora und Vegetation der Insel Elafonisos (Lakonien, Griechenland). – [Privately published at] Spezielle Botanik, Fakultät für Biologie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 1992. 160 (single-sided) sheets, black-and-white illustrations and colour photographs, 3 folded tables in pouch, paper.

This diploma thesis (a provisional "publication" with a somewhat uncertain bibliographical status) ultimately results from the author’s participation in a student excursion to the Peloponnesus (see item N° 80), when he took responsibility for the account of a one-day trip to Elafonisos, a smallish island just off the mainland coast near the S. tip of the Malea Peninsula. The island had been explored by Greek botanist Yannitsaros, and a florula had been published in 1971. Its known vascular flora has now more than doubled thanks to Jagel’s work, and with well over 600 wild or alien species it must be considered as surprisingly rich when compared to the small surface area (17 km2). What is most surprising is that among Jagel’s finds were taxa completely new to Greece, such as the mainly S. Mediterranean Marsilea aegyptiaca as well as Coronilla repanda, mentioned on an Errata sheet (I had collected it several years ago in the Peloponnesus, but never cared to publish it). One of Jagel’s specimens, misidentified by him as Saponaria calabrica, has even turned out to be a new, apparently endemic species, recently described as S. jagelii in his honour. There are doubtless some other inaccuracies and misnamings in the extant text, such as "Silene ungeri" (which had been confirmed by a specialist, though), so that republication of the florula in a revised, condensed and more easily accessible form would appear desirable. The careful phytogeographical analysis and the well written vegetation description would also deserve to be made more generally known.

  1. Niels B. Böhling – Studien zur Landschaftsökologischen Raumgliederung auf der mediterranen Insel Naxos (Griechenland) unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von Zeigerpflanzen. [Dissertationes botanicae, 230.] – Cramer, Berlin & Stuttgart, 1994 (ISBN 3-443-64142-3). [6] + vii + 247 pages, black-and-white illustrations, 8 folded annexes (tables and maps) in pouch, paper.

Böhling’s PhD thesis goes beyond the well known scheme of a combined floristic and phytosociological study of a given area. True, these aspects are constituent parts of his general concept, as shown by the presence of a floristic inventory (unfortunately a mere list of names, not a florula proper) enumerating 931 vascular plant taxa plus a small number of mosses and lichens, and of vegetation descriptions supported by some phytosociological tables. The main concern, however (and the pioneer aspect of the whole study), is the understanding of the actual vegetation as resulting from interaction between biotic and abiotic environmental factors, and the assessment of its natural regeneration potential, by means of indicator values characterizing its individual constituent species. Specialists will have to judge on the value of this approach, which is novel at such a scale for a Mediterranean territory. Side-products of Böhling’s research, such as the record of a species as new for the flora of Europe, and of several Greek or at least Cycladean novelties, are far from being irrelevant from a botanical point of view.

  1. Bernhard Egli – Ökologie der Dolinen im Gebirge Kretas (Griechenland). – PhD Thesis, Universität Zürich [privately published by the author, Etzelstr. 15, CH-8200 Schaffhausen], 1993. 276 pages, black-and-white illustrations, paper.

The limestone mountains of Crete are riddled with karstic depressions of all sizes. Those of the small to medium size categories, known as dolines, are found by the thousand. Egli in his thesis presents a thorough study of a selection of them (170), spread over all mountain massifs of the island at altitudes between 750 and 2400 m a.s.l. He has inventoried their flora (644 species, with distribution given in tabular form, and sometimes mapped), classified their vegetation (one new association being described), and paid special attention to the microclimatic and pedological factors that characterize their specialized habitat. While temperature inversions do not play a major role on windy mountain heights, prolonged snow cover and spring flooding does. Water-logging depends on the nature of the soils, which in turn conditions the vegetation type. This is the first large-scale comparative investigation of the plant life of Mediterranean doline systems. As a by-product, it has led to the discovery of three species new to the island’s flora.

  1. Dêmêtrios Tzanoudakês – Hlôridikes kai futogeôgraphikes meletes sta nêsia tou anatolikou aigaiou. [Floristic and phytogeographical studies on the islands of the East Aegean.] – Ereunêtiko programma G.G.E.T., Patra, 1992. [3] + 120 pages, maps, ring brochure.

The title of this research report is misleading: it corresponds to the name of the corresponding research programme, but does not adequately reflect the contents. The (obviously fairly preliminary) report mainly consists of lists of plants collected during the funding period (1989-1991), and sometimes before (in 1987), on a number of small Aegean islands and islets. The largest space is taken by species lists of Cretan offshore islets, in the S. Aegean: Pondikonisi, Ayi Theodori, Paximadia, Koufonisi, and Elasa; next in importance follow some E. Aegean islets: a group of seven lying between Lipsos and Leros, Agathonisi S. of Samos, and the Inouses group E. of Khios; in the Central Aegean, Iraklia and two adjacent islands, south of Naxos, have been investigated. As an appendix, a patchy list of plants collected on Limnos (N. Aegean) is given. For several of the smaller islets no published floristic records previously existed, and at least one (Pondikonisi) had never before been visited by a botanist; one of the species collected there has since been described as a new, endemic species, Allium platakisii.

  1. Ja. P. Diduh – Rastitelnyj pokrov gornogo Kryma. [The vegetation cover of mountainous Crimea.] – Naukova Dumka, Kiev, 1992 (ISBN 5-12-003225-1). 254 pages, graphs and maps, 16 extra plates of colour photographs, hard cover. Price: US$10 (order from Institute of Botany, Ukr. Academy of Sciences, Terešenko 2, 252601 Kiev).

Gornogo Kryma means the southern, mountainous half of the Crimean Peninsula. The book is an introduction to and overview of its plant geography and vegetation, with emphasis on the differentiation of phytogeographical districts and vegetation units, on floristic affinities among vegetation elements, on evolution and dynamics of the plant cover. The list of cited references (almost 900) is particularly impressive. Unfortunately there is no index, nor any summary in another language, and plants are usually referred to by their Russian names only.

  1. J. Léonard – Contribution à l’étude de la flore et de la végétation des déserts d’Iran. Fascicule 10 (et dernier). Etude de la végétation. Analyse phytosociologique et phytochorologique des groupements végétaux. 1ère partie; 2nde partie. – Jardin botanique national de Belgique, Meise, 1991, 1992. Pages 1-284, [3] + 285-456, maps, black-and-white photographs, 26 partly folded, loose extra sheets with tables, paper.

With this double fascicle, the impressive series of publications resulting from the author’s 1972 expedition to the remote desert areas of Persia, repeatedly discussed in this column (last in OPTIMA Newsl. 25-29: (41-42). 1991), comes to its conclusion. The first part of fasc. 10 is, in its core, devoted to the physiognomic description of the vegetation observed all along the expedition, written in the style of a travel diary. In the second half the approach is more analytical, with characterization of vegetation units that in many cases are described and formally named as sigmatistic associations. Spectra of chorotypes (as defined in fasc. 8) and growth forms (given at the end, in the index of scientific names) are given for the individual plant communities. An extensive English summary is also provided.


Ethnobotany, useful plants

  1. Matilde Chica-Pulido & Carlos Fernández-López – Nombres Castellanos de plantas vasculares en el Colmeiro (1885-1889). – Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Jaén, 1993 (ISBN 84-600-8483-3). [3] + 109 pages, paper. Price: Ptas 400.

The whole booklet consists of a huge list of Spanish vernacular names (c. 12,200 entries!) with their corresponding scientific names, plus a single page of trilingual (Spanish, French and English) introductory text. This is in effect an index to vernaculars cited in Colmeiro’s 5-volume Enumeración y revisión de las plantas de la Peninsula Hispano-Lusitana, for the purposes of which, however, Colmeiro’s nomenclature has been updated to conform to the modern standards of Flora iberica, Med-Checklist, or Flora europaea.

  1. Mª Antonia Fernández Negri & José Antonio Pérez Romero – Plantas purgantes y astringentes Americanas utilizadas en España. – Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Jaén, 1992 (ISBN 84-600-8066-8). [1] + 53 pages, paper. Price: Ptas 400.

The authors have consulted the pharmacopoeas and medical handbooks of four centuries to retrace the history of usage of American drugs with purging or astringent properties. They discuss these drugs, known pharmaceutically under their vernacular designations (cáscara sagrada, jalapa, mechoacán, as purges; campeche, guarana, hamamelis, matico, ratania, and simaruba, among the astringents), and their botanical identity, which is sometimes controversial. The bibliography they give is an interesting guide to the old medico-pharmaceutical literature of Spain.

  1. Diego Rivera Núñez & Concepción Obón de Castro – Las plantas, las esencias y los perfumes. Introducción al conocimiento de sus tradiciones, cultivo y aprovechamiento en Murcia. – Concejalía de Sanidad y Medio Ambiente, Ayuntamiento de Murcia, 1995 (ISBN 84-920720-0-8). [1] + 104 pages, black-and-white and colour illustrations, paper.

A real micro-manual of perfumes, this booklet covers an astounding number of aspects of the vast field of fragrance-related topics. Extraction techniques of essential oils, fragrance families and perfume mixing, medicinal properties and aromatherapy, industrial and economic importance, are among the many aspects treated in a simple but scientifically sound way. And then, of course, the plants themselves are discussed, both those growing in the wild or in cultivation, in the Murcia province, and those imported from remote countries for use in the local perfume factories. The generous illustration, mostly by colour photographs, adds to the attractiveness of this unpretentious but commendable brochure.

  1. Münir Öztürk & Hasan Özçelik – Dogu anadolu’nun faydali bitkileri. Useful plants of East Anatolia. – Siirt, Ilim, Spor Kültür ve Arastirma Vakfi (SISKAV), Ankara, 1991. xvi + 196 pages, map, drawings, colour photographs, laminated cover. Price: TL 30,000.

E. Anatolia is a country with a very diverse flora, largely of a steppic Irano-Turanian type, with an old culture and a popular tradition of long standing. A great number of its plant species are in popular use, be it for food or medicine, spice or flavour, dye or fibre, timber or fire wood; many have potential as ornamentals, or for a variety of other uses, but few are really known as to their qualities or promise. It was therefore a good idea to make them the subject of a book, to inform on their looks, whereabouts and properties; and it was most considerate by the authors to publish their work with a fully bilingual, Turkish and English text. Unfortunately, the result is appalling, mainly due to the bad quality of the illustrations. 226 figures, mostly colour photographs plus a few crude drawings, are supposed to permit "an easy recognition of the plants". They do not. Many are so out of focus and/or over- or underexposed that it is hard to be sure they show any plant at all; in others the scale or angle of view is inappropriate for recognition, and few are such that one can with any degree of confidence confirm or challenge the identification proposed. If there was to be a prize for the worst illustrated book of the decade, this would be a strong candidate. A real pity. Perhaps a new effort might achieve a better result? If so, another desideratum for a book of this scope would be an index to uses, not to plants only.


Conservation topics, red data books

  1. Maurici Mus i Amezquita – Plans de conservació dels vegetals amenaçats de Balears. I. Mallorca. – Govern Balear, Conselleria d’Agricultura i Pesca [Documents tècnics de conservació, 15], 1993. [18] + 152 + [8] pages, 21 partly folded extra maps, ring brochure.

A technical document full of partly second-hand but more often original data on the potentially threatened plants of Mallorca, each of which is presented in detail. An urgency scale has been established regarding their conservation need, based on the sum that results from adding together 15 weighted criteria, on which Thymus herba-barona subsp. proevaleum is ranked on top, closely followed by Naufraga balearica. As a conclusion, a concrete proposal for the establishment of 20 "special zones of conservation for plants" (ZECOP) is made, and the areas to be thus protected are mapped in outline, mostly at a scale of 1 : 25,000.

  1. J. Marrou & A. Charrier (ed.) – Conservation et gestion des ressources génétiques végétales en France. – Bureau des Ressource Génétiques & Comité Technique Permanent de la Sélection des Plantes Cultivées, [Paris], 1992. 243 pages, figures and maps, paper.

This account deals with plant genetic resources in terms of crops, forestry and rangeland plants, and, marginally, their wild relatives. It describes the existent and planned conservation networks in France for the various groups of useful plants, and their role and possible interactions in an international (European) context. The holdings of the various conservation agencies are described in general terms only, but this will usually suffice to direct those interested to useful sources of material or information.

  1. Fabio Conti, Aurelio Manzi & Franco Pedrotti – Libro rosso delle piante d’Italia. – Associazione Italiana per il WWF, v. Salaria 290, I-00199 Roma, 1993. 637 pages, drawings, paper.

The threatened vascular plants of Italy are treated in full, each on one page, with a drawing of its general habit (by Lucilla Carcano), distributional, ecological, biological, conservational and bibliographic data (but no description). 458 taxa (species and some subspecies) are so treated, most of which are considered rare or vulnerable, and many endangered, but only 15 presumed extinct. None of the latter is endemic to Italy, and indeed at least one (Chrysosplenium oppositifolium) has never been found there, having been reported in error, and another one (Lythrum thesioides) was likely an alien. A majority of the extinct species were either confined to sea shores or small islands (4) or to wetland habitats (3). Lists of threatened bryophytes (496) and lichens (276) are appended. The book is the result of competent and enthusiastic teamwork well orchestrated by Franco Pedrotti under the aegis of the Società Botanica Italiana.

  1. Giovanni Nieddu, Carmine Scuddu, Giovanna Filia, Maria Assunta Nieddu & Mario Brundu (ed.) – Le piante nostre amiche. – Scuola elementare, Villagrande, 1989. 207 pages, black-and-white illustrations and colour photographs, laminated cover.

Never heard of Villagrande Strisáili? Few have: it is a smallish village in the mountains of E. Sardinia, province of Nuoro, and obviously has excellent and idealistic schoolmasters and a remarkable lord mayor. The former, who sign as editors of this book, have designed and carried out a co-operative research project on plants in general, and on the local flora in particular, during the 1987-1988 school term, by four classes of the 3rd to 5th grade. These ten- to twelve-year-old kids have performed so remarkably well that their collective work was found worth being published. With the mayor as fund-raiser and driving force, this has resulted in an astounding booklet, with individual or collective texts and essays on a variety of botanical and plant-related subjects (e.g. forest fires, natural parks, threatened plants, ethnobotany and medicinal plants, plants in poetry and literature), and at its core a collection of plant descriptions illustrated by 84 black-and-white and 64 colour photographs. The enthusiasm of the kids transpires on every page, and the whole project is one of the most positive examples of education to environmental awareness that has come to my attention so far.

  1. Grêgorês Tsounês – Periballon apo to A ôs to Ô. [The environment from A to Z.] – Genikê Grammateia Neas Genias & Ellênikê Etairia Prostasias tês Fusês, Nikês 24, GR-10557 Athêna, 1991. 89 pages, paper.

A popular glossary of terms relevant to the study of the environment, with the letters of the Greek alphabet, from alpha to omega, serving as headers.

  1. Eleonora C. Gabrieljan (ed.) – Krasnaja kniga Armianskoj SSR. Redkie i nahodjašciesja pod ugrozoj isceznovenija bidy rastenij. – Institut Botaniki, Akademija Nauk Armjanskoj S.S.R., "1989" [1990] (ISBN 5-540-00814-6). 284 pages, maps, drawings, black-and-white and colour photographs, hard cover.

Whereas almost one half of the Armenian vascular flora is said to need some protection, the present book limits itself to the 387 cases of real urgency. For each of them, the conservation status (IUCN category and nature of the threat) is indicated, and data on the distribution in Armenia and elsewhere, the ecology, biology, and conservation measures are given. In most cases, a map of the known Armenian occurrences is provided, and often also a photograph of the plant. Some of the listed species are recent discoveries made during the preparatory field campaigns for this book, either new to Armenia or new to science. An appendix describes and illustrates threatened vegetation types. Attention is drawn to the fact that the presently defined protected areas are largely inadequate to safeguard the threatened Armenian flora, and that they are moreover quite inadequately guarded, if at all known, in actual practice. The text is in Russian, with a trilingual (Russian, Armenian and English) introduction.


National parks and protected areas

  1. Francesco Maria Raimondo & Bruno Massa (ed.) – Le perle verdi della Sicilia. Viaggio alla scoperta delle riserve naturali. – Arbor, v. Enrico Albanese 114, Palermo, 1990. 221 pages, colour maps and photographs, hard cover.

The cover photograph, showing the famous papyrus stands near Syracuse, the only European locality of that species, adequately introduces the subject. Sicily has in very recent years (between 1981 to 1985) built up an impressive network of nature preserves scattered all over and around the island: 19 protected areas (two of them more recently integrated in the Madonie Nature Park), varying in size from 12 to 4400 hectares and ranging from the seashores and river estuaries up to the mountain tops. There is considerable drive behind these conservational schemes, as evidenced by a number of well produced publications, aimed at a general public, in which the plant cover invariably plays a prominent role (see also OPTIMA Newsl. 20-24: (51-51). 1988, and the following items). The present book is a remarkably beautiful general overview of the 19 preserves, each exactly positioned on a sector of the Sicilian road map, characterized on several pages, and illustrated by numerous landscape, plant and animal photographs. One may note in passing that the photograph on p. 80 is not of Cyperus kalli (= C. capitatus) as the heading suggests and as the index on p. 219 asserts, but of a maritime rush, Juncus cf. maritimus, as correctly stated in the caption printed overleaf.

  1. Ignazia Pinzello (ed.) – Dal Manzanares all’Oreto. Due realtà a confronto per un progetto di parco fluviale a Palermo. – Accademia Nazionale delle Scienze, Lettere e Arti, Palermo, 1993. 181 pages, black-and-white and colour illustrations, paper.

Don’t be confused by the title: whereas the River Oreto skirts Palermo, the Manzanares River concerns Madrid. The relation between the two will become clear when one reads the whole document. Both river valleys are fully exposed to the impact of two growing cities, yet they both have the potential, in an urbanistic concept, to serve as rural to semi-natural reserves and "green lungs" amidst the expanding human settlements. This is a very well orchestrated project and plea, that sets off by a multi-disciplinary study of the Oreto river valley, from its ancient history to its present-day hydrography, agricultural use (manly citrus and fruit tree plantations) and plant cover (a botanical chapter by Raimondo, illustrated by two dozen drawings of mostly endemic species). In conclusion, the set-up of a river-valley park is proposed, with a large agro-naturalistic portion in the middle and upper part of the valley and an urban park area at the estuary, which would be a natural continuation, and perhaps extension, of the adjacent Palermo Botanic Garden. The central portion of the study, between description and conclusion, is in Spanish and depicts the analogous situation around Madrid, with a description of the Manzanares Valley and the project of its conservation in an urbanistic context. One has to see this book to appreciate the naturalistic and conservational drive that is behind it, and the skill and persuasiveness with which it seeks to sway and direct the political opinion. One may be curious of the success.

  1. Rino Canzoneri (ed.) – Il Parco delle Madonie. Un crocevia dove convivono le piante di tre continenti. – Arbor, v. Enrico Albanese 114, Palermo, 1989. 229 pages, map, colour photographs, hard cover and dust-cover. Price: Lit 130,000.
  1. Rino Canzoneri – Il Parco Naturale delle Madonie. Madonie Natural Park. Der Madonie-Naturpark. Le parc naturel des Madonie. Immagini. Images. Bilder. Images. – Arbor, v. Enrico Albanese 114, Palermo, 1989. [4] pages, 20 full-size colour photographs on loose sheets with text on verso, folio format, in folder.
  1. Maria Laura Crescimanno – Il Parco delle Madonie. Natura e paesi. [Parchi naturali di Sicilia.] – Arbor, v. Enrico Albanese 114, Palermo, 1994. 157 pages, black-on-green illustrations, colour photographs, laminated cover. Price: Lit 20,000.

These three publications of different appearance and scope, but by the same publisher and having some of their pictures in common, are illustrative of how well the Sicilians "sell" their new conservation policy to the general public. The Madonie natural park, established in November 1989 to include and enlarge two former nature preserves, extends over an area of c. 40,000 hectares and covers about 30 % of the territory of the 15 municipalities involved. The first book is a gorgeous, luxuriously printed picture book with informative popular texts (mostly by Raimondo) on the vegetation, flora, fauna, cultural tradition and folklore of the area, and splendid photographs of landscapes, plants and animals (mostly by Barbagallo); as an appendix, 27 excursion routes or variants are briefly described that permit to explore the park on foot, ski or horseback. The second item is a collection of large-scale (c. 30 cm ´ 45 cm) pictures of the same or similar subjects, suited for being framed, with fully quadrilingual (Italian, English, German, French) introductory and accompanying text. The third has pocket-book format, and while it also conveys valuable naturalistic information it is more directly aimed at the local or foreign tourist (e.g. by giving the Latin equivalent of plant and animal names, which are lacking in the first item), especially those visiting the area by car: the itineraries it gives (4) concentrate on the villages and their sightseeing, cultural and gastronomic assets.

  1. Franco Russo – Il Parco dell’Etna. [Parchi naturali di Sicilia.] – Arbor, v. Enrico Albanese 114, Palermo, 1992. 135 pages, colour illustrations, laminated cover. Price: Lit 20,000.

With a core area of 45,000 hectares, and a protected periphery of another 14,000, the Mt Etna Park is the largest among Italy’s regional parks. It was instituted formally in 1987 and has Europe’s highest active volcano (over 3300 m) as its centre. This guide booklet has the same format and general appearance as the foregoing item (N° 140), but gives fuller administrative and technical details, and naturally devotes quite some space to features of active and past volcanism along with the fauna, flora and landscape. Excursions along the marked footpaths are described, which include a newly equipped nature trail. (See also item N° 56, above.)



  1. Carlos Rodríguez Dacal & Jesús Izco – Pazos de Galicia. Jardines y plantas. – Xunta de Galicia, [Santiago de Compostela], 1994 (ISBN 84-453-1229-4). 373 pages, colour illustrations, hard cover and dust-cover.

Pazo is a Galician word that can be translated as mansion, or manor. Such non-fortified feudal residences have a great tradition in Galicia, and are often associated with beautiful old parks and gardens. Ten of them are presented here, of varying sizes (4 to 60 hectares), each with a plan of the premises and a list of plant holdings (woody species only). The book is splendidly illustrated with colour photographs of the gardens, trees, fountains, romantic corners, and of the manor houses themselves, often also with reproductions of old plans or plant lists. It is a pleasure for the eye and an important document of historical gardens and gardening.

  1. Guadalupe Fernández & Juan Antonio Devesa – Guía de los árboles y arbustos de los parques y jardines de Badajoz. – Concejalía de Cultura, Ayuntamiento de Badajoz, 1990 (ISBN 84-87762-00-x). 203 pages, 5 folded maps, colour photographs, laminated cover.

Eleven parks and squares of the city of Badajoz are briefly presented, the more important ones with a map. The main portion of the book is devoted to the description of their 172 tree and shrub species, many of them with a photograph and each with indication of the flowering period, provenance, main properties, and examples of their location in Badajoz. An interesting feature of this handy park-guide is a dichotomous identification key for all treated species.

  1. Ana Ma Negrillo Galindo, José Manuel García Montes & Carlos Fernández López – Arboles y arbustos de los jardines da la ciudad de Granada. – Universidad de Granada & Ayuntamiento de Granada, 1990 (ISBN 84-338-1285-8). 319 pages, drawings, two-coloured maps, colour photographs, laminated cover.

In the core portion of this guide, 135 woody species, treated alphabetically under their Spanish name, are described, each being illustrated by drawings showing analytical details and often general plant shape. At the end one may find the plans of 12 gardens and squares of the City of Granada, with tree locations mapped, preceded by a list of the species (this time alphabetized by their Latin names) with their locations in tabular form. A practical and carefully written book, in which the pervasion of Latin plant names by Spanish spelling habits ("Wergelia" [for Weigela], "Eucaliptus", "rithydophyllum"...) is an awkward but minor default.

  1. Francesco Maria Raimondo (ed.) – Orti botanici, giardini alpini, arboreti italiani. – Grifo, v. Dante 79, Palermo, 1992. 510 pages, black-and-white and colour illustrations, hard cover. Price: Lit 170,000.

When one looks at this splendid survey of the 28 university and 29 non-university gardens of Italy (including alpine gardens, arboreta, and other specialized collections of living plants), one may get a feeling of awe and, perhaps, envy. Is Italy, the cradle of botanical gardening, also its present stronghold? Probably not. Here and there in this beautiful eulogy the sad reality transpires, a reality familiar world-wide to members of the botanic garden community: structural difficulties, lack of funds and facilities, of public support, of professional expertise. This book, by presenting a much embellished picture, is in fact a strong plea to all concerned for helping improve the situation. Its authors espoused the sound philosophy that support is usually bestowed upon the winner and rarely upon the really needful – so better pretend. This approach does also benefit the uncommitted reader, of course, who will find plentiful information on Italian gardens at their best, on their present holdings and activities, and above all on their glorious past. The book is generously illustrated by modern photographs and historical documents alike. One special feature are 21 full-page black-and-white reproductions of early botanical paintings kept at the Pisa University library, apparently just used to fill otherwise blank pages but not indexed nor referred to in the text: on these, I shall dwell at some length in the review of the following item, to which they are relevant.

  1. Fabio Garbari, Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi & Alessandro Tosi – Giardino dei Semplici. L’Orto botanico di Pisa dal XVI al XX secolo. – Pacini, Ospedaletto (PI), 1991 (ISBN 88-7781-058-0). 397 pages, black-and-white and colour illustrations, hard cover and dust-cover.

Those who seek information on how the Pisa Botanic Garden presently looks will be disappointed: this is an historical account, and the modern garden is dealt with on ten pages plus one photograph. Those, however, who are interested in the early European developments of our science will be fully satisfied. The joint efforts of one botanist and two art historians have brought to light a plenty of data and documents, mostly unpublished or scattered through the non-botanical literature, all of relevance to the historically minded. Remember that Pisa’s botanical garden was the first academic garden to have been created, in 1544 (and one year ahead of Padua and Florence); that its founder, Luca Ghini, and his successor and pupil, Andrea Cesalpino, were among the leaders of Renaissance botany; that later directors of the garden include famous botanists such as Santi, Savi, Caruel, Arcangeli, and Chiarugi, all of whom have greatly contributed to our science and to the riches of the Pisa herbarium. The present garden was in fact the third, of which this volume commemorates the fourth centenary since it was established in 1591 under Giuseppe Casabona. Among the many fascinating documents (plant and animal paintings, botanists’ portraits, plans, handwritings, etc.) of which the colour reproductions embellish the book, two sets of early plant illustrations, both kept in the manuscript section of the Pisa University library, are worth special mention. The first is from a volume of 35 plates (ms. N° 462) painted by German artist Georg Dyckman in Crete under Casabona’s supervision, in 1590, one of the earliest first-hand sources on the flora of that island; the second is due to Filippo Paladini in 1603 and represents plants grown in the Pisa Garden bound in a volume of 32 water-colours (ms. N° 465). Some of these paintings, and a few others from the same two sources, were reproduced in black-and-white in the previously mentioned book (item N° 145), and/or in an earlier paper by Tongiorgi Tomasi (in Kos 1: 62-78. 1984). Since botanical explicitness, or accuracy, are among the weaker points of these accounts, I could not resist the temptation to offer new identifications, listed hereunder alphabetically, with reference to the texts inscribed (by some unknown botanist) on the paintings themselves, in quotes; the "identification" in the captions, in brackets; and the figure (for item N° 146) or page number (for item N° 145 and the Kos paper).

Achillea cretica, ms. 462, "Millefolium cretense" [Achillea cretica] (145: 50).

Anemone coronaria, ms. 462, "Anemones variae", upper left plant [specie di anemoni]: fig. 281 (145: 78; Kos: 72).

Anemone hortensis var. heldreichii, ms. 462, "Anemones variae", lower, central and right plants [specie di anemoni]: fig. 281 (145: 78; Kos: 72).

Anethum graveolens, ms. 465, "–" [Finocchio]: fig. 26 (145: 302).

?Anthemis tinctoria, ms. 465, "Bellide spinosa Lobel. advers. 509" [Bellide spinosa]: fig. 27.

Cichorium spinosum, ms. 462, "–" [–] (Kos: 77).

Clematis cirrhosa, ms. 462, "Clematis betica Clusii" [Clematide cirrosa]: fig. 23 (145: 408).

?Cneorum tricoccum, ms. 465, "Cneorum" [Timelea tricocca]: fig. 30.

Convolvulus dorycnium, ms. 462, "Conuoluolus gamusculosus: neutique Dorychnius monspeliensis. Conuol. spicae foliis" [Convolvolo]: fig. 108 (145: 62; Kos: 69).

Convolvulus dorycnium, ms. 462 [copy of the previous], "Conuoluolus roseus" [–] (Kos: 78).

Corchorus olitorius, ms. 465, "Abelochia Egiptia Prosp. Alp. 39" [–] (145: 326).

Crepis fraasii, ms. 462, "Hieracium Apulum suave rubens Columnae", lower plant [–] (145: 306; Kos: 76).

Crepis rubra, ms. 462, "Hieracium Apulum suave rubens Columnae", upper left plant [–] (145: 306; Kos: 76).

Cynara cardunculus, ms. 465, "Carduus lac coagulans Scolymus Theophr." [Cynara cardunculus]: fig. 124.

Echinops cf. ritro, ms. 465, "Sferocefalos sol Dod. siue melius Carduus siriacus" [Eringio]: fig. 123.

Euphorbia acanthothamnos, ms. 462, "–" [Euforbia spinosa]: fig. 17 (Kos: 71).

Euphorbia dimorphocaulon, ms. 465, "Apios" [–] (145: 262).

Fagonia cretica, ms. 462, "Trifolium spinosum" [Fagonia cretica]: fig. 18 (145: 454; Kos: 65).

Hyoscyamus aureus, ms. 462, "Hyosciamus luteus" [–] (Kos: 78).

Juniperus phoenicea, ms. 465, "Cedrus Licia Dodonei" [Ginepro feniceo]: fig. 29.

Lavatera arborea, ms. 462, "Althea arborescens" [Altea arborea]: fig. 20 (Kos: 68).

Limonium sinuatum, ms. 462, "Cicorium globulare Imperati, Limonii species satis elegans" [Statice sinuata]: fig. 109 (Kos: 70).

Lomelosia cretica, ms. 465, "Scabiosa arborescens" [Scabiosa arborea]: fig. 25.

Lomelosia graminifolia, ms. 465, "–" [Scabiosa]: fig. 122.

Paeonia clusii, ms. 462, "Peonia flore albo simplici" [Peonia]: fig. 107 (145: 88; Kos: 67).

Ptilostemon chamaepeuce, ms. 462, "Chamaepeuce Plinii Anguillarae. Stoebe capitata Cret. Ponae. Jacea fruticosa ... folio Bauhini" [Ptilostemon chamaepeuce]: fig. 21.

Ranunculus asiaticus var. albus, ms. 462, "Anemones" [Ranuncolo asiatico]: fig. 279 (Kos: 75).

Ranunculus asiaticus var. flavus, ms. 462, "Ranunculus" [Ranuncolo asiatico]: fig. 280 (145: 164; Kos: 73).

Ranunculus asiaticus var. puniceus, ms. 462, " Ranunculus" [Ranuncolo asiatico]: fig. 19.

Ranunculus bullatus, ms. 462, "Ranunculi", upper plant only [–] (Kos: 74).

Salsola aegaea, ms. 462, "Sanamunda Clusii altera" [Timelea irsuta]: fig. 22 (Kos: 64).

Scutellaria cf. columnae, ms. 465, "–" [Salvia] (145: 280).

Stachys cretica, ms. 465, "–" [–] (145: 428).

Styrax officinalis, ms. 462, "Prunus sebestena" ["Prunus sebestena"]: fig. 282 (145: 238).

Thymelaea hirsuta, ms. 462, "Sanamunda Clusii" [–] (145: 112).

  1. Alessandro Minelli (ed.) – The Botanical Garden of Padua 1545-1995. – Marsilio, Venezia, 1995 (ISBN 88-317-6268-0). 311 pages, black-and-white and colour illustrations, hard cover and dust-cover.

With its 2 hectares and 3500 plant species, the Padua Botanic Garden by itself has little claim to be a major institution of its kind – yet it is the oldest botanical garden in terms of permanence in the same site: it was founded in the summer of 1544, and the present volume commemorates its 450th anniversary. This is, for excellent reasons, an historical account, fully illustrated, i.a., with reproductions of archival matter and rare printed texts and images, and will be appreciated as an important source work on the history of European botany. Written by a large number of authors, it is clearly structured and easy to consult. One major section concerns the garden’s development through the centuries; then there is a series of chapters commemorating the 20 garden directors who succeeded one another between 1546 and 1970: an impressive gallery, including names like Anguillara, Guilandino, Cortuso, Prospero Alpini, Vesling, Pontedera, Arduino, Marsili, Visiani, Saccardo, and Béguinot. Of major interest for the history of plant introduction is a section on the 16th century holdings of the garden, based on lists and documents from the times of Anguillara, Guilandino, and Cortuso. Finally, there are excellent and informative texts on the history of the collections held in PAD, which include an important general and regional phanerogam herbarium, several old herbals and separate collections, Saccardo’s invaluable mycological collection, one of the world’s largest gall herbaria, by Trotter (utterly unused today), and an impressive botanical library.

  1. Francesco Maria Raimondo, Pietro Mazzola & Andrea Di Martino – L’Orto botanico di Palermo. The Palermo Botanical Garden. – Arbor, v. Enrico Albanese 114, Palermo, 1993. 261 pages, colour map and photographs, hard cover and dust-cover. Price: Lit 130,000.

In 1995, the Palermo Botanical Garden celebrates the bicentenary of its formal inauguration, on 9 Dec 1795 (having been under construction since 1789, and preceded by a different garden since 1781). This volume, published in good time for the celebration, is not however an historical account: it is the lively and colourful illustration of the garden in its present beauty, of its holdings and some of its public activities. That gifted nature photographer, Franco Barbagallo, has contributed the 235 gorgeous colour photographs that form the core of the book, which is completely bilingual (Italian and English).

  1. Salvatore Mario Inzerillo & Pietro Mazzola (ed.) – Il Parco del Gattopardo in Santa Margherita Belice. – Azienda Foreste Demaniali, Regione Siciliana, Palermo, 1995. 77 pages, black-and-white and colour illustrations, paper.

The mansion or palace in which the author of the famous novel Il Gattopardo, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, spent happy years of childhood, and which provided the background for the novel’s plot, was ruined in 1968 by an earthquake. The beautiful park that depends from it was abandoned, mutilated, spoilt. Since the Region of Sicily became legally empowered to initiate the restoration of municipal parks and palaces, the project was formed to make an inventory and plan the reconstruction of this domain, which had once hosted the Bourbon king Ferdinand IV on his exile from Naples, in 1812-1813. Architects and botanists of the Palermo University associated their efforts to produce the present, well documented and illustrated report and project, drawing on many sources such as Tomasi’s own account of the premises in his "Tales" (I racconti). The result is an interesting document, both for the historian and landscape architect, and a telling example of a botanical contribution to urban planning and development.

  1. Yusuf Gemici, Özcan Seçmen, Ilker Acar, Güven Görk & Nihal Özel – Kültürpark’in (Izmir) agaç ve çali türleri. Species of the trees and shrubs of the Culturepark (Izmir). – IZFAS, Sair esref Bulvari 50, TR-35230 Izmir, 1992. [10] + 64 + [4] pages, colour photographs, laminated cover.

Culturepark, instituted in 1936, is Istanbul’s exhibition ground on which, among other things, the city’s International Fair is held every year: a 42-hectare area planted with 6000 trees belonging to c. 200 different taxa. This has now been declared an arboretum, and the present guide to 197 of its woody species, each illustrated by a photograph, intends to increase its attractivity and enhance its new role. All texts and captions are bilingual, Turkish and (simili-)English.



  1. Emilia Díaz-Vargas, José Manuel Espinosa-Gento, Carlos Fernández-López, Juan Luis Hervas-Serrano & Margarita López-Pulido – Plantas vasculares de Andalucía Oriental en los ficheros de siete herbarios. – Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Jaén, 1991 (ISBN 84-600-7699-7). 51 pages, paper. Price: Ptas 300.

An alphabetical list of taxon names, with indication of the E. Andalusian provinces (Almería, Granada, Jaén, Málaga) in which each taxon occurs and of the herbaria, among those considered (COFG, GDA, GDAC, JAEN, MAF, MGC, SEV), in which material is held. The list is apparently compiled from herbarium files, without synonymy. The introduction is laconic and leaves many questions unanswered. Why were these herbaria selected? How were the province occurrences established? Do herbaria, if listed, just hold specimens of the taxon in general, or E. Andalusian specimens? How are the herbarium files structured, and how complete is coverage? (Note that virtually no COFG records are included.) And above all: what is the scope of this list, to whom is it useful, and why? The latter question may be difficult to answer, I fear.

  1. M. Tretiach & M. Valcuvia Passadore (ed.) – Censimento degli erbari lichenologici italiani. – Società Lichenologica Italiana [Notiziario, 3, suppl. 1.], Trieste, 1990. 114 pages, map, paper.

An overview of the lichen holdings of 23 public herbaria in Italy yields a total of c. 200,000 specimens. Some details on these collections are provided, including names of the lichenologists to whom the main ones are due (but no mention is made of, e.g., curatorial situation, accessibility, or loan policy). The survey omits one important public herbarium (Pisa, with the Trevisan material) and the probably numerous private collections. Even so, it presents a useful, welcome synthesis.

  1. Guido Moggi (ed.) – Guida agli erbari della Toscana. – Dipartimento Istruzione e Cultura, Giunta regionale toscana, [Firenze], 1994.131 pages, colour photographs, paper.

This is the most detailed and careful regional inventory of herbarium holdings, private or public, I have yet come across. It includes information on all sorts of plant collections, from the Florence University Herbarium with its 4 million specimens of all kinds and ages, to which 16 pages are devoted, to the two dozen demonstration sheets kept in the classrooms of some school or college; from the 17th century herbarium bound in form of a volume that ended up in some municipal library or monastic community to the assembled tables of local forest trees exhibited on the panels of a nature museum. By its sheer existence, this booklet will confer value to these varied collections, focus public interest on them, and may save some of them from neglect, damage or destruction. It also endeavours to promote new collecting activities by a chapter on collecting and herbarium techniques. Several colour photographs illustrate some of the more valuable, or curious, examples of this special element of our cultural heritage.

  1. Chiara Nepi & Piero Cuccuini – Collectors and collections in the "Herbarium Centrale Italicum" (phanerogamic section). An annotated list of plant collectors and collections present in the Herbarium Centrale Italicum of the Museo Botanico prepared on the occasion of the "150-HCI" international meeting organized for the 150th anniversary of the Central Italian Herbarium (1842-1992). – Museo Botanico dell’Università, Firenze, 1992. [4] + 110 pages, handwriting samples, paper.

Don’t let yourself be fooled by the name: the Central Italian Herbarium in Florence is a world-wide general herbarium, comprising virtually every collection kept at FI except the Webb Herbarium, the Malaysian plants of Beccari, and a few old, mostly bound "historical" herbaria. The authors therefore present us with an inventory of most of the FI holdings, of which they enumerate and briefly characterize the main constituent vascular plant collections. An alphabetical list of plant collectors (with collecting dates and countries) and of countries of provenance (with collectors) follows. Although lower cryptogams are not specifically excluded, they do not appear to have been covered. At the end a set of 20 samples of hand-written labels is reproduced. (See also items N° 167-168.)

  1. Asuman Baytop – Istanbul Üniversitesi Eczacilik Fakültesi herbariumundaki Türkiye bitkileri. III. Birinci Ek. Turkish material present in the Herbarium of the Faculty of Farmacy of Istanbul University. III. First supplement. – Farmasötik Botanik Bilim Dali, Istanbul, 1991. [5] + 22 pages, stapled loose sheets.

The first two parts of this herbarium catalogue were published as printed books in 1984 and 1988, respectively (see OPTIMA Newsl. 17-19: 59. 1985; 25-29: (67). 1991). This first supplement is more modest in its looks. It includes supplementary taxa or records, based on recent accessions or identifications. Some taxa are here recorded for the first time for Turkey, in which case specimen details are provided. An updated bibliographical list of herbarium staff publications is appended.


Bibliography and documentation

  1. Rafaël Govaerts – World Checklist of seed plants, volume 1, part 1, the species; part 2, the synonyms. – MIM, Antwerp, 1995 (ISBN 90-341-0853-8). [3] + 483, [3] + 529 pages, cloth. Price: SFr 260.

When a young, unknown man sets out to do the impossible, he will at best meet with benevolent scepticism. Both benevolence and scepticism are here justified. A world checklist of spermatophytes is a giant undertaking, especially if the result is to be usable. One will, if at all, plan it by combining extant information in Floras and revisions, i.e., using a geographical and taxonomic breakdown. Govaerts starts from the Index kewensis, and his breakdown units are the letters of the alphabet. Neither makes sense: IK is notoriously inaccurate and incomplete, and the alphabet will not allow full congruence and back-checking between accepted names and synonyms. This first twin volume treats those names and synonyms that begin with the letter A, and unavoidably, as the author states in his introduction, is but "a rough checklist, ... a first step in making a very much better one". Many of its shortcomings are due to its questionable approach: the synonyms listed are not those that one may find in use, but those included in IK under accepted generic names beginning with A; which, for the patchily treated infraspecific ranks (occasionally down to forma), means that usually only names published or recombined after 1970, and therefore present in the IK database, are accounted for! In order to keep synonym number at a reasonable level (about as many synonyms as accepted names are listed), those combined under synonymous generic names have been altogether omitted, regardless of their possible widespread use. Of the 41 names and combinations newly validated, all begin with A, and all but two have a basionym or replaced synonym beginning with A. Statistically, and assuming that 9 % of all names begin with A (a figure based on generic names in current use for all plants), one may expect that a further 45 new specific names and combinations will be needed for the purposes of the present volumes, in addition to the 5 actually proposed. In other words, a substantial backlog of unaccounted-for taxa exists that will surface if and when the work progresses. There are unfortunately other shortcomings to be mentioned, that are not due to the method employed but to sloppy work. Names not validly published, including misapplications of names by later authors, have not been weeded out consistently, which may often lead to erroneous assumptions. Spelling mistakes abound. Even among the new validations, where one might have expected above-average accuracy, do wrong spellings and grammatically wrong endings appear. Furthermore, of just a few cases checked, one turned out to be inappropriate nomenclaturally (Aethionema grandiflorum subsp. coridifolium, based on a legitimate Candollean species name that is by 28 years senior to Boissier & Hohenacker’s A. grandiflorum, and where the epithet is moreover consistently misspelled as ‘cordifolium’), and a second one is not new (Arabis cebennensis subsp. pedemontana, a combination validated by Fournier already in 1936). An inexplicable omission is the generic name Astracantha, adopted in e.g. Med-Checklist but, while implicitly treated as a synonym of Astragalus here, not listed as such. All this having been said, and going back to where we started from, we may conclude that, yes, the list as it stands is usable, and should indeed be used whenever appropriate, but it is not really useful in the sense that it is incomplete, and that everything it contains needs critical verification before it can be taken for granted. Hopefully, at least some of its shortcomings may be avoided in the volumes yet to come.

  1. Heinz Kalheber – Index ad iconographiam florae europaeae. Heft. 1: Pteridophyta, Gymnospermae, Dicotyledones (Acanthaceae-Cneoraceae) [Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, 165.] – Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft, Frankfurt a.M., 1993 (ISBN 3-929907-04-6). 164 + 14 pages, paper bound with loose insert.

As a geographical complement to the Index iconographique des plantes vasculaires d’Afrique of Bamps & al., Kalheber’s new index for Europe promises to be an extremely valuable tool for plant taxonomists. This first of, presumably, six volumes coincides with vol. 1 of Med-Checklist in taxonomic coverage, and as random checks have demonstrated it is quite practical and reasonably complete. For an amateur botanist working on it during his spare time, and outside the major botanical centres, it is a most remarkable achievement. One of its special features, distinguishing it from and placing it ahead of other similar indexes, is the fact that not only have synonymies been established, so that one and the same taxon appears in a single place, but an effort has been made to ascertain the correct identity of the plants figured! Perhaps due to exaggerated modesty, Kalheber fails to indicate precisely the criteria he used for including or excluding a reference. In an attempt to assess exact coverage through some sampling, I come to the following (provisional) conclusions: Europe has been geographically defined as in Flora europaea. All European wild taxa (but not usually those of lower rank than subspecies) are taken into consideration, but European origin of the figured plants is not required. Complete coverage is aimed at for line drawings, engravings and paintings published since 1880 (date stated in the introduction), with drawings of morphological details being routinely included; but photographs are cited only occasionally, and only in the case of herbarium specimens, not of live plants or anatomical details; illustrations of chromosomes, chromatographic banding patterns and other features not directly observable on plant specimens are discounted. Continuation of the index is to be encouraged; once complete, it will be one of the basic works upon which European (and other) botanists will want to rely.

  1. Angeles González-Martín, Carlos Fernández-López & Pablo Nieto-Jaenes – Icones de la flora de Andalucía con referencias a las revistas botánicas españolas. – Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Jaén, 1991 (ISBN 84-600-7659-8). 72 pages, paper. Price: Ptas 400.

A "quick and dirty" list of illustrations relating to Andalusian vascular plant taxa. The sources considered are limited in number: basic iconographic works concerning the Iberian peninsula, a selection of illustrated floras concerning the Mediterranean area, as far as Iraq (but surprisingly not Maire’s Flore de l’Afrique du Nord), and the more important current Spanish botanical journals. The extent to which old names have been (implicitly) synonymized is erratic. Furthermore, illustrations appearing in the scanned journals have apparently been listed irrespective of whether or not the taxon occurs in Andalusia. Once a user is aware of these limitations and idiosyncrasies, she or he will consult the index profitably. This as well as the three following items include a French and English summary.

  1. Carlos Fernández-López, Teresa Armenteros, Francisca Barrera, Ma Antonia Contreras, Manuel García-Martínez, Antonia Guzmán-Villar & Manuela Martos-Villar – Plantas vasculares en revistas botanicas andaluzas. – Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Jaén, 1991 (ISBN 84-600-7640-7). 75 pages, paper. Price: Ptas 400.

An index to scientific names appearing in four botanical journals, and in a botanical issue of a fifth, all published in Andalusia (Almería, Granada, Jaén, Málaga, Sevilla) in recent years. Phytosociological tables and mere lists of names have not been indexed. The subject coverage of some of the journals far exceeds, of course, the limits of the region, and even of Spain.

  1. Emilia Díaz-Vargas, José Manuel Espinosa-Gento, Carlos Fernández-López, Juan Luis Hervas-Serrano & Margarita López-Pulido – Flora de Andalucía. Catálogo bibliográfico de las plantas vasculares. – Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Jaén, 1991 (ISBN 84-600-7552-4). 100 pages, map, paper. Price: Ptas 500.

A new checklist of the vascular flora (species and subspecies) of Andalusia, or rather a new, updated edition of the one previously published by Fernández & al. (in Blancoana 7: 3-68. 1989). Same as its predecessor, it has been compiled from a variety of published sources, but has been updated and improved, using recent data from e.g. Flora iberica and Med-Checklist. A list of important synonyms is appended, followed by a second list with names unassessed as to their possible synonymy, many of them of varietal rank. A third list comprises doubtful, improbable records. For all accepted taxa the known distribution by province is listed, and the occurrence in the four neighbouring provinces (Badajoz, Ciudad Real, Albacete, Murcia) is mentioned when known.

  1. Carlos Fernández-López – Revisiones de plantas vasculares de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares. Un elenco hasta 1991. – Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Jaén, 1992 (ISBN 84-600-8140-0). 65 pages, paper. Price: Ptas 500.

This, again, is an update of an earlier paper, by the same author (in Blancoana 5: 53-135. 1987). The increase in number of references is substantial (from 1100 to 1700) and mostly concerns recently published papers. The term "revision" is used in a very wide sense, to include any taxonomic change or chorological addition concerning Iberian or Balearic vascular plants. This list of references by families and genera will therefore be of potential use to Mediterranean botanists in general.

  1. Mariella Azzarello Di Misa – Il fondo antico della biblioteca dell’Orto Botanico di Palermo. [Sicilia/Biblioteche, 9.] – Sezione per i beni bibliografici, Sopraintendenza per i beni culturali e ambientali, Regione siciliana, Palermo, 1988. 397 pages, colour facsimiles, paper.

This inventory of the old, often very rare books present in the PAL library is truly impressive. It lists 744 items, with bibliographically accurate details on the edition (and the Palermo copy, when appropriate), all published between 1537 and about 1850. While the Italian literature naturally predominates, other countries are also well represented, testifying of the links between scientists of those times, and presumably nobility as well. There are 9 full-page colour facsimiles of old (mainly botanical) illustrations to add pleasantness to the otherwise very academic contents of the book.

  1. Hüsnü Demiriz – An annotated bibliography of Turkish flora and vegetation. Türkiye flora ve vejetasyonu bibliografyasi. – Tübitak (Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknik Arastirma Kurumu), [Ankara], [1993]. xviii + 670 pages, map, paper.

The list of references in this bibliography comprises exactly 5000 items. With painstaking labour Demiriz has checked them all, so as to be certain that the citations are accurate and the contents reliably rendered. Thanks to computerized data handling at the final pre-publication stage, extensive indexing has been possible, resulting in a seven-fold subject index: by major taxonomic groups, by actual taxa, by geographical regions, localities, and grid squares, by institutions, and by personal names. Whereas the break-down is quite detailed for vascular plants (e.g., up to about a dozen newly described taxa in a single paper are indexed individually), non-vascular plants are much less generously treated (mostly only by reference to the major category). Whereas cryptogam specialists may therefore be somewhat frustrated, "normal" botanists will appreciate this as one of the best organized and most informative bibliographies available for a Mediterranean country.


Biography and historical subjects

  1. Filippo Parlatore – Mie memorie. A cura di Agnese Visconti. – Sellerio, Palermo, 1992. 482 pages, 32 extra plates, of which 12 in colour, paper with dust-cover. Price: Lit 50,000.

The manuscript of Parlatore’s autobiography is among the papers he bequeathed to the municipal library in Palermo and was unpublished to date. It is an admirably written text, lively and fascinating, passionate and lucid, outraging and endearing. Parlatore (1816-1877) must have been working on it in the last days of his life and did not live to its completion, since it ends with the year 1866. So personal is the style that one doubts whether Parlatore would ever have consented to its publication, and this is exactly what makes the book so unique: it enables us to see the world in which Parlatore lived and worked through his own eyes, it gives us his very personal view of his contemporaries, among them many botanists of his time, a view that not always flatters them and need not always be fair but results from first-hand knowledge and has not suffered the filter of courtesy and inhibition. Apart from the ambient and flavour of his discoveries we will learn little of immediate botanical interest, except perhaps through some photographs of type specimens from his herbarium inserted here and there, same as a number of sample pages of his manuscripts and various other documents. Yet this is a book which I can only commend as pleasant and instructive reading to all who have an interest in how the world in which we live has come about.

  1. Franco Pedrotti (ed.) – La Società Botanica Italiana per la protezione della natura (1888-1990). [L’uomo e l’ambiente, 14.] – Università degli Studi, Camerino, 1992. 181 pages, black-and-white illustrations, laminated cover.

One must note the use of capital initials in the title: no "Italian Botanical Society for Nature Conservation" exists, but there has been a constant involvement of the Italian Botanical Society in conservation efforts throughout its existence. The present volume is a documentation and review of these efforts. They tangibly start in 1891, three years after the Society’s creation, by an appeal for safeguarding the single European papyrus population, near Syracuse, against a project of draining the area – an appeal that was indeed successful at the highest governmental levels and has resulted in the population’s survival up to the present days. The first part of the book is a collection of the various motions and initiatives launched by the Society in the following 100 years. The second half includes a number of essays on the Society’s activities in various conservation-related fields, such as the protection of the flora in general, of the forests, and of specified areas. What became known as the "Censimento dei biotopi", the inventory, between 1966 and 1979, of 563 areas worthy of protection, is certainly the Society’s most impressive single initiative. The potential role of botanical gardens and herbaria, institution that are of major concern to the Society, is underlined in separate chapters.



  1. Francesco Facchini – Flora Tiroliae cisalpinae. – Facsimile reprint: Comune di Moena (Trento), 1989. [Original publication as: B. von Hausmann – Zur Flora Tirols. I. Heft. Dr. Facchini’s Flora von Südtirol. Innsbruck, 1855; and as Zeitschrift des Ferdinandeums, 5(3). 1855.] [8] + viii + 152 + [31] pages, paper with dust-cover.

The first Flora of what is today the province of Trentino-Alto Adige was published posthumously from Facchini’s manuscript, with an introduction and an appendix of critical notes from the author of the Flora von Tirol of 1851-1854, Hausmann. The reprint was produced at the initiative of a symposium commemorating the bicentenary of Facchini’s (1788-1852) birth, at his home municipality of Moena in Val di Fassa. Franco Pedrotti has written a brief introduction, stressing the botanical achievements of the physician Facchini, and has compiled a new index to plant names and to cited localities.

  1. Philippe Parlatore – Les collections botaniques du Musée Royal de Physique et d’Histoire naturelle de Florence, au printemps de mdccclxxiv. – Facsimile reprint: [Erbario Tropicale & Museo Botanico dell’Università], Firenze, 1992. [Original publication: Le Monnier, Firenze, 1874.]. 163 + [2] pages, 17 uncoloured extra plates, explanatory notice in English and Italian on loose sheet, paper.

Participants at the International Botanical Congress held in Florence in 1874 were presented with a copy of Parlatore’s new account of the Florence botanical collections (now FI). The participants at the international symposium on "Botanical collections and scientific research", commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Herbarium Centrale Italicum, in September 1992, were pleased to find in their congress folder, along with the following item, a reprint of that same book, simultaneously updated by the new inventory of the HCI holdings mentioned above as item N° 154. The facsimile includes no additional matter except for the imprint at the end, and it differs from the original by having the first seven plates reduced in size. Only 300 numbered copies have been printed.

  1. Filippo Parlatore – Flora palermitana ossia descrizione delle piante che crescono spontanee nella valle di Palermo. – Facsimile reprint: Accademia Nazionale di Scienze, Lettere e Arti, già del Buongusto, di Palermo, 1992. [Original publication: Società Tipografica, Firenze, 1845.] 12 + xxii + (442) pages, coloured frontispiece, cloth.

When Parlatore left his native Palermo in 1842 to be appointed director of the Herbarium Centrale Italicum newly created at his own suggestion, only two tiny fascicles of his planned 3-volume Flora panormitana had been published, and none of the plates. During his first busy years in the new position he did not forget his former plans, but restructured them into a new order (the natural not the Linnean system) and layout. Unfortunately the second try, Flora palermitana, remained just as much of a torso as the first, since only one volume, with the first part of the monocots, was ever published. Even so it is an important work, including the description of three new genera and several new species. Its bibliography is complicated by the fact that it was published twice, as a book (here reprinted) in 1845 and as a series of five or more instalments in Parlatore’s own Giornale botanico italiano, between 1844 and at least 1847. Participants at the international symposium on "Botanical collections and scientific research", commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Herbarium Centrale Italicum, were spoilt by the gift of the present facsimile, offered by the Palermo Academy, in addition to item N° 167 mentioned above. May we perceive, in this noble gesture, a shade of regret by the Sicilians bereft by Florence of their famous son, not ever to achieve his former native projects? Perhaps; but even so, the gesture of Palermo, benefiting so many botanists of our time, remains a noble one. The reprint has 12 pages of introductory text and presentations, plus a portrait of Parlatore in his early manhood, in addition to the original text.

  1. C. S. Rafinesque Schmaltz – Caratteri di alcuni nuovi generi e nuove specie di animali e piante della Sicilia. – Facsimile reprint: Accademia Nazionale di Scienze, Lettere e Arti di Palermo, 1995. [Original publication: Sanfilippo, Palermo, 1810.] xxvii + [2] + 105 + [1] pages, 20 uncoloured, folded extra plates, cloth.

Rafinesque, one of the most versatile and transnational of the naturalists of his time, lived in Sicily from 1805 to 1815 where he was secretary to the American Consul, and during that time he collected and described many of the plants and animals of the island for the first time – much to the irritation of the slower-tempered local learned men. As is well known, he lost all of his collections and materials through shipwreck on his journey from Sicily to the States, where he was to spend the rest of his busy life. The Caratteri are among his early publications and are an important source of information on Sicilian plants and animals, although they have been neglected by botanists in the past and are apparently more popular with zoologists, especially ichthyologists (botanists are just presently attempting to get rid of the single surviving new generic phanerogam name published here, Xolantha, proposed for rejection against the junior but better known Tuberaria; and algologists have yet to face disposal of the many old but problematic algal names here validated). This reprint is prefaced by a botanical introduction by Franco Raimondo and a biographical sketch (including an Italian translation of relevant portions of Rafinesque’s autobiography, A life of travels) by Pavia zoologist Carlo Violani. A previous facsimile reprint is said to have been published in Holland in 1967, but is scarcely known and obviously no longer available.


Symposium proceedings

  1. Connaissance et conservation de la flore des îles de la Méditerranée. Ajaccio, Corse, France (5-8 octobre 1993). [Ecologia mediterranea, 21(1-2)]. – Faculté des Sciences et Techniques de Saint Jérôme, Marseille, 1995. [7] + 378 pages, 3 unpaginated subtitle sheets, black-and-white illustrations, paper.

This Symposium marked the end of a 4-year EU-sponsored research and conservation programme on the threatened flora of Corsica, by the Regional Natural Park of Corsica and the National Botanic Conservatory of Porquerolles. The goal of the meeting was to assess possible threats faced by Mediterranean island floras, to define conservational needs, and to envisage appropriate internationally co-ordinated action. The proceedings volume includes 34 papers (mostly in French or English, two in Spanish, one in Italian) on the Mediterranean flora in general, or on particular islands or island groups, as well as on topics of conservation and management. The conclusions and recommendations formulated by the 84 Symposium participants are appended.

  1. Luís Villar (ed.) – Botánica pirenaico-cantábrica. (Actas del II Coloquio Internacional de Botánica pirenaico-cantábrica) Jaca, 3-5 de julio de 1989. – Instituto de Estudios Altoaragoneses, Huesca, & Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología [Monografías, 5], Jaca, 1990 (ISBN 84-86856-41-8). 733 pages, black-and-white illustrations, laminated cover.

The first Colloquy of this series, organized by the University of Toulouse, was held in La Cabanasse (Pyrénées-Orientales) in 1986 and was restricted to Pyrenean botany. The present one, with an enlarged geographical coverage, was convened by the Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, in Jaca. Its proceedings include 69 papers in French, Spanish, or (a single one) English, placed under seven different headings: cryptogamy (8), floristics and chorology (12), taxonomy (16), ecology (13), phytosociology (8), vegetation mapping (3), and a mixed lot with conservation, forestry, and bee botany (9). A short guide to the one-day congress excursion is appended.

  1. 150-HCI. Atti del Convegno Collezioni botaniche e ricerca scientifica. Il significato delle collezioni d’erbario per il progresso della ricerca botanica. Proceedings of the Meeting Botanical collections and scientific research. The role of the herbarium collections for the progress of the botanical research. [Webbia, 48.] – Museo Botanico dell’Università, Firenze, 1993. [3] + 849 pages, black-and-white and some colour illustrations, paper.

This sizeable proceedings volume includes some corollary material, such as the account of the opening ceremony, the text of two resolutions passed by the 137 congress members (one on the natural history collections at Florence, one on the Herbarium Mediterraneum Panormitanum), and most particularly, at the end, a section devoted to the 80th birthday celebration of Rodolfo Pichi Sermolli on September 19th. The latter, with laudatio, publication list and the texts of seven lectures on various botanical subjects presented on that occasion, is also available under separate cover; it comprises pages 683-848. The core of the volume (pages 33-682) is devoted to the 63 lectures and communications of the symposium commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Herbarium Centrale Italicum (see also items Nos 154, 167-168, and 181). All relate to herbaria, their history, holdings and problems, and taken together they constitute a unique collection of data on that subject. Except for two contributions in French, all texts are in either Italian or English.

  1. L. Carimini & P. Ortolani (ed.) – Atti dell’incontro "L’Orto Botanico e il verde di Camerino" (Camerino, 7 maggio 1988). [L’uomo e l’ambiente, 11.] – Università degli Studi, Camerino, 1989. 89 pages, black-and-white illustrations, 2 drawings and 1 colour photograph on folded extra tables, laminated cover.

A one-day symposium on the Botanical Garden of Camerino and other park and garden areas of that city was held under the auspices of the Botanic Gardens Working Group of the Italian Botanical Society as part of that Society’s centenary celebrations. The Garden depends on the Renaissance palace of the Dukes of Varano, in which the present Botany and Ecology Department of the University and the to-be Botanical Museum are situated. Among the seven papers (in Italian) presented and here included, two deal with the restoration of the Palazzo Ducale and its wall paintings, the others being more botanically oriented.

  1. P. L. Nimis & M. Monte (ed.) – Lichens and monuments. Proceedings of the Symposium. Rome 21-24 IX 1988. [Studia geobotanica, 8.] – [Istituto di Botanica, Università degli Studi], Trieste, 1988. 133 pages, black-and-white illustrations, paper.

A specialist symposium devoted to the study of epi- and endolithic lichens colonizing and deteriorating buildings and monuments was convened by the Centro di Studio "Cause di deperimento e metodi di conservazione delle opere d’arte" in Rome under the auspices of the Società Lichenologica Italiana. The 12 papers delivered on various aspects of this subject (two in Italian, one in French, the others in English) make of this volume an authoritative source for art conservators and lichenologists alike.

  1. Nejc Jogan & Tone Wraber (ed.) – Flora in vegetacija Slovenije. Ob 50. obletnici smrti A. Paulina (1853-1942) in 40. obletnici izida "Seznama praprotnic in cvetnic slovenskega ozemlja" E. Mayerja (1952). Zbornik povzetkov referatov na simpoziju slovenskih botanikov v Krskem, 24.-26. 9. 1992. – Drustvo Biologov Slovenije, Ljubljana, 1992. 59 pages, some black-and-white illustrations, paper.

The Austrian botanist Alphons Paulin was formerly director of the botanical garden of the University of Ljubljana. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his death, and also to commemorate the fortieth jubilee of the publication of Ernest Mayer’s Catalogue of the vascular flora of Slovenia, the Slovenian Botanical Society organized a three-day symposium on the flora and vegetation of Slovenia, in Krsko (Gurkfeld). This fascicle, distributed at the conference, includes abstracts, extended summaries or previews of the 34 papers and one plenary lecture presented, as well as a guide to the one-day excursion. Texts are mostly in Slovenian or Croatian, exceptionally in English (1), Italian (1), or German (2). On p. 47, the name of a new species, Valeriana nemorensis Turk, is validly published.

  1. S. Manôlês (ed.) – Praktika 12ou Sunedriou tês Ellênikês Etaireias Biologikôn Epistêmôn. 27-29 Apriliou 1990 Mutilênê. – Ellênikê Etaireia Biologikôn Epistêmôn, Athêna, 1992. xx + 337 pages, black-and-white illustrations, paper.

The Proceedings volume of the 12th Symposium of the Greek Society for the Biological Sciences, held on the N.E. Aegean Island of Lesbos, includes 123 papers on various biological topics, all in Greek, some with an English abstract. They have been reproduced directly from the original typescripts. Topical subjects include lectures on Aristotle and Theophrastos, on the fossil forest of Lesbos, and on a project to investigate the flora of the E. Aegean Islands (see also item N° 123). Other topics of botanical interest (those dealing with plants studied or collected in the field) are limited to ten papers on pages 37-66.

  1. Thomas Engel, Wolfgang Frey & Harald Kürschner (ed.) – Contributiones selectae ad floram et vegetationem Orientis. Proceedings of the Third Plant Life of Southwest Asia Symposium, Berlin 1990. [Flora et vegetatio mundi, 9.] – Cramer/Borntraeger, Berlin & Stuttgart, 1991 (ISBN 3-443-66001-0). viii + 324 pages, black-and-white illustrations, cloth. Price: DM 160.

The first Plant life of South West Asia Symposium took place in Edinburgh in 1970, the second again in Edinburgh, 15 years later (see OPTIMA Newsl. 20-24: (59). 1988). Number three, in Berlin this time, came after just five more years. The editors of the nicely published Proceedings volume have not attempted at completeness but have operated a selection among the many contributions that had been presented. Still, the topics included cover a wide range, as is explained in the preface: from systematics and taxonomy, evolution and life strategies of taxa with a speciation centre in South-West Asia, development and structure of natural vegetation, evolution and ecology of cultivated and synanthropic plants, to nature protection, human action on the environment, and the question of future research priorities. Most of the 28 papers are in English, as are all the abstracts, but two are in German and one is in French. Several contributions concern the taxonomy and chorology of Oriental plants, and some include nomenclatural novelties. Two new sections of Astragalus are described and named, as well as one new Pterocephalus species and one new subspecies of Halothamnus bottae; furthermore, if somewhat marginally, the new name Bromus tectorum subsp. lucidus is validated.

  1. Münir A. Öztürk, Ümit Erdem & Güven Görk (ed.) – Urban ecology. – Ege University Press, Izmir, 1991 (ISBN 975-483-153-x). xi + 427 pages, black-and-white illustrations, paper.

This is the Proceedings volume of the 2nd International Urban Ecology Symposium, held at Didim (Aydin) on 5-10 June, 1991. In comprises 45 papers, all in English, reproduced without editing from the submitted typescripts. Problems of large agglomerations such as pollution and its (bio-)monitoring are in the focus, as is the impact of urbanization on the natural environment. Weed communities are another topic of botanical interest that is here discussed. One may question the editors’ statement that our children, meaning the human race, is an endangered (rather than endangering) species, but will have to agree that the problems here highlighted are real and urgent, and that they concern us all.


Abstract volumes

  1. Ana Petrova (ed.) – OPTIMA. Organization for the Phyto-Taxonomic Investigation of the Mediterranean Area. Abstracts. VII Meeting. Bulgaria. 18-30 July, 1993. Organisation pour l’Etude Phyto-Taxonomique de la Région Méditerranéenne. Résumés. VIIe Colloque. Bulgarie. – [OPTIMA], Borovec, 1993. 186 pages, paper.

The one-page French (15) and English (157) abstracts submitted by authors of 42 lectures and 130 poster presentations prior to the 7th OPTIMA Meeting are reproduced photomechanically. The Proceedings are expected to be published early in 1996 in the Palermo serial Bocconea.

  1. Benito Valdés (ed.) – VIII OPTIMA Meeting. Sevilla, 25 September - 1 October, 1995. Abstracts. VIIIe Colloque d’OPTIMA. Sevilla, 25 Septembre - 1 Octobre, 1995. Resumés. – OPTIMA, [Sevilla], 1995. 139 pages, paper.

The half-page French (24) and English (161) abstracts submitted by authors of 50 lectures and 135 poster presentations prior to the 7th OPTIMA Meeting are reproduced photomechanically. The Proceedings are expected to be published in the Sevilla journal Lagascalia.

  1. 150-HCI. Collezioni botaniche e ricerca scientifica. Botanical collections and scientific research. Firenze, 16-18 sett./Sept. 1992. Abstracts of lectures and communications. – Museo Botanico dell’Università, Firenze, 1992. 72 pages, 1 addendum on loose sheet, paper.

This fascicle comprises the one-page English abstracts of the 63 lectures and communications presented at the 150-HCI Symposium, reproduced photomechanically as submitted by their authors. The Proceedings have been published at the end of 1993 as a full volume (48) of the journal Webbia (see item N° 172).


New periodicals

  1. Lactarius. Boletín de la Asociación Micológica. – Biología vegetal, Facultad de Ciencias experimentales, Jaén (ISSN 1132-2365). 1 (1992), [2] + 37 pages; 2 (1993), [2] + 54 pages; 3 (1994), [2] + 80 pages. Price (Nos 2 and 3): Ptas 200 each.

This new mycological bulletin includes a variety of items, from society news and cooking recipes to popular and scientific papers.

  1. Botanica rhedonica. Nouvelle série. Revue de biologie végétale. – Département de Biologie végétale, Université de Rennes (ISSN 0374-1885). 1 (1988), 102 pages; 2 (1989), 141 pages. Available on exchange or sale (price not indicated).

The new series of Botanica rhedonica replaces "série A" of the original run, of which 18 issues were published between 1966 and 1985. Subject coverage is wide in principle, but in practice the journal concentrates on a few topics such as regional botany, ecology, and bryophytes. Printing costs are charged to the authors. No recent issues have been received.

  1. Quaderni di botanica ambientale e applicata. – Dipartimento di scienze botaniche, Università di Palermo (ISSN 1121-3752). 1 (1990), 246 pages, 2 coloured folded maps in pouch; 2 ("1991" [1992]), 111 pages, 12 coloured folded maps in pouch; 3 ("1992" [1994]), 235 pages, 2 coloured folded maps in pouch.

Judging from the papaers in the first three issues (all in Italian), the subject profile of this new journal can be defined as: Regional botany at its interface with Man. Conservation, ecology, pollution, diversity, ethnobotany, cultivated plants, are among the favourite topics. Studies on or involving lower cryptogams are welcome. The presentation standard is high, and colour illustrations are not strictly excluded.

  1. Anthophoros. – Center for the protection of the Greek flora, Alimou & 2 Vyzantiou, GR-16452 Athens. 1994(1-4), [4] + [4] + [4] + [4] pages; 1995(1-2), 8 + 8 pages.

All published texts, if signed [and presumably the anonymous ones as well], are authored by Greek amateur naturalist, painter and nature photographer George Sfikas, except for two that are co-authored by or credited to his wife, Chrysanthi. This is a modest, coverless DIN A4-size leaflet, but generously illustrated with drawings, maps, and some stuck-in colour photographs. The subject is Greek floristics with an emphasis on rare and threatened plants, but not disdaining new introductions or naturalizations. So far, some quite interesting or even exciting new finds have been reported, which are duly documented by specimens in the Center’s (Sfikas’s) herbarium.

  1. Bulletin, National Herbarium, Faculty of Science, Al-Faateh University, Tripoli, Libya. – 1 (1990), [3] + 36 pages; 2 ("1991" [1991]), [2] + 38 pages; 3 ("1992" [1994]), [5] + 20 + vi pages.

As stated by the editor [El-Gadi?] when introducing the new journal, it will be published casually. Casual editing, as one can see, involves a few peculiarities. While Arabic papers are consistently placed at the back and English ones at the front (as Europeans see it), pagination in the first two issues runs continuously back-to-front, but with the delicate nuance that in N° 1 the English papers have a descending pagination, whereas in N° 2 pagination is ascending but you have to read back-to-front; only in N° 3 is the problem (provisionally?) solved by a double pagination running in contrary directions. The meeting point of the two portions is error-prone, as shown in N° 1 where the bibliography on pages 13-14, belonging to the Arab paper at the end, is credited to the last English paper in the table of contents. The Bulletin has no ISSN number as normal scientific journals have, but Nos 2 and 3 have got an ISBN number as if they were books; these must, however, be fancy numbers since they differ only in the last digit, which is a control digit (i.e., it cannot be different if the first 9 digits are identical), and furthermore they belong to the publisher Koeltz Scientific Books in Königstein, Germany, although the name Koeltz does not appear in print (the fascicles can, apparently, be bought through Koeltz at the fancy rate of about US$1 per printed page)! Contents are extremely mixed, with some papers on agronomic, embryological and phycological subjects, and others (which are of some interest) updating the published volumes of Flora of Libya (see item N° 47, above) by new additions, mostly of introduced aliens.

  1. Ot[.] Sistematik botanik dergisi. The Herb[.] Journal of systematic botany. – Privately published (by Sinasi Yildirimli, PK 663, PTT Yenisehir, TR-06444 Mithatpasa, Ankara) (ISBN 1300-2953). N° 1(1) (1994), [3] + vi + 62 pages; N° 1(2) (1995), [4] + 82 pages. Available free (exchange appreciated).

One might be easily deceived by the title, but this is not a journal on pharmacognosy, not a "Herb journal". To avoid confusion, its main title, The Herb, should be set off typographically against the subtitle which indicates what the journal is about: systematic botany. This, as the "Instructions to authors" explain, is intended in the broad sense, to include floristics, plant geography, economic botany, ethnobotany, and anatomy, palynology, cytology or phytochemistry when used in a systematic context. Coverage is, in principle, limited to vascular plants, and papers in Turkish are preferred even though a number of other European languages, plus Latin, are acceptable. The first two issues, especially the second one which is quite international in authorship, exemplify nicely what is intended: species new to science or to a given country (mainly Turkey, at least for the time being) alternate with contributions of a more local interest. The journal, entirely financed as it seems from the publisher’s own pocket, shows promise.

[author: Werner Greuter]

Please send all items for review directly to the author of this column:
Prof. Dr. Werner GREUTER,
Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem
Freie Universität Berlin
Königin-Luise-Straße 6-8
D-14191 Berlin, Germany.
Phone: (+4930) 838-50132 or 8316010
Fax: (+4930) 838-50218



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