A 2017 Choice Magazine "Outstanding Academic Title"
Conifers are known to everyone as a conspicuous kind of evergreen trees or shrubs that feature prominently in gardens and parks as well as in many managed forests in the cool to cold temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Numerous books have been written about them and continue to appear, mostly with a bias towards these uses in Europe and North America. This second edition, revised and updated, of
A Handbook of the World's Conifers is departing from this traditional approach in that it includes all the world's 615 species of conifers, of which some 200 occur in the tropics. It gives as much information about these and the Southern Hemisphere conifers as about the better known species, drawing on research into the taxonomy, biology, ecology, distribution and uses by the author over nearly 35 years. The result is a truly encyclopedic work, a true handbook of all the world's conifers, richly illustrated by the author with his line drawings and photographs taken from the natural habitats of the species.
Drawn after nature presents a vivid and complete picture of a unique historical collection of botanical watercolours. Botanists, art lovers, historians as well as the general public will enjoy this publication of the watercolours, their annotations and their history, but above all their supreme beauty and display of craftsmanship.
For over 300 years, the Preußische Staatsbibliothek in Berlin held a most remarkable collection of botanical watercolours. They were catalogued as part of the library’s illustrated manuscripts, or Libri Picturati. These magnificent works of art, rich in colour and detail, were made in the second half of the 16th century in the southern part of the Low Countries.
In the 1970s the complete set of watercolours had been rediscovered and sparked the interest of historians, art historians and botanists alike. Together they set out to unravel the many secrets still held by the Libri Picturati’s watercolours: who had collected them, and why?
A team of pre-eminent European scientists worked together on these and other intriguing questions surrounding the collection. They unveiled the important role played by the famous Dutch botanist Carolus Clusius, who later founded the University of Leiden’s Botanical Gardens.
Drawn after nature contains accessible and informative chapters on the collection’s history, but most importantly: it brings together all of the original 1429 watercolours and sketches, for the first time in one volume, accompanied by their original annotations.
There has been a steady demand for the first edition of the conifer book PINES, which sold out in 2002. Therefore, a second edition, which is a modest update, was written. The book PINES was never an attempt at monograph in the taxonomic sense. Rather it was an overview with line drawings of the commonly known species of pines, giving concise but essential information on identification, distribution and ecology. Introductory texts explained botanical characteristics of pines and a chapter on classification, one on phylogeny and biogeography, and a glossary, index and short bibliography completed the book. This scope and structure have been maintained in the second edition. It was necessary to make several taxonomic changes, to add or omit a few species, present a new chapter on phylogeny and classification and amend or correct, even expand, some of the information given in the first edition, especially in the species accounts. Conservation aspects have been added to species accounts in a concise format, following IUCN evaluations. The author has maintained the original drawings and made amendments only to correct errors; drawings for additional species have been added in the same style. The book contains a total of 92 drawings and 103 distribution maps. With these amendments the information should have been updated to a satisfactory level, without altering the original format and scope.