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ASBS Book Reviews

Book Review Editor:

John Clarkson
Principal Botanist
Department of Environment and Science
PO Box 975

Ph (work): +61 (0)7 4091 8170
Ph (mobile): +61 (0)437 732 487

Books currently available for members to review: (as at 29/1/2016)

Australian Rainforest Woods: Characteristics, Uses and Identification by Morris Lake.  CSIRO Publishing.

Allan Cunningham: Letters of a Botanist/Explorer 1791-1839 by A.E. & T.A. Orchard.  Privately Published.

Name These Grasses: Identifying Grasses, Sedges and Rushes by Ian Clarke.  Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.

Banksia Lady: Celia Rosser, Botanical Artist by Carolyn Landon.  Monash University Publishing.

Plant Life of Western Australia by John Beard.  2nd Edition edited by Alex George and Neil Gibson.  Rosenberg Publishing.

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney: First 200 Years edited by Jennie Churchill.  Halstead Press.  I have requested a copy of this but have yet heard whether I can get a copy.

Books currently being reviewed:

Eucalypts of Western Australia’s Wheatbelt by Malcolm French.Malcolm French.

Digital Plant Photography by Adrian Davies. Bloomsbury

Australian Plants as Aboriginal Tools by Philip A. Clarke.  Rosenberg Publishing.

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft and Scott Zona. Timber Press, Portland Oregon courtesy of Capricorn Link.

Latin for Gardeners: over 3,000 plant names explained and explored by Lorraine Harrison. Allen and Unwin.

Legumes and Herbs of Coastal NSW by Harry Rose, Carol Rose and Trevor Rose. NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Medicinal Plants: Biodiversity and Drugs edited by Mahendra Raie et al. CRC Press.

Burning Issues. Sustainability and Management of Australia's Southern Forests by Mark Adams & Peter Attiwill. CSIRO Publishing (

Mistletoes of Southern Australia by David Watson. CSIRO Publishing (

Mechanisms of Life History Evolution The Genetics and Physiology of Life History Traits and Trade-Offs edited by Thomas Flatt and Andreas Heyland. Oxford University Press. (

The Origins of Evolutionary Innovations A Theory of Transformative Change in Living Systems by Andreas Wagner. Oxford University Press. (

Flora of the Liverworts and Hornworts of New Zealand, A, Volume 1 by J.J. Engel and D. Glenny. Missouri Botanical Garden Press (

Effective Learning in the Life Sciences by David Adams. Wiley (

Your Research Project: Designing and Planning Your Work by Nicholas Walliman. Sage Publications (

Doing Your Literature Review by Jill Jesson, Lydia Matheson and Fiona Lacey. Sage Publications (

100 Questions (and Answers) About Research Methods by Neil Salkind. Sage Publications (

The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project by Zina O’Leary. Sage Publications (

Wetland Weeds: Causes, Cures and Compromises by Nick Ramanowski. CSIRO Publishing (

The Biology of Island Floras edited by D. Bramwell & J. Caujapé-castells. Cambridge University Press (

Hardy Heathers from the Northern Hemisphere: the genera Calluna – Deaboecia – Erica by E.C. Nelson. Kew Publishing (

Threatened Plants of New Zealandby P. de Lange, P. Heenan, D. Norton, J. Rolfe & J. Sawyer. Canterbury University Press (

Wildflower Wonders: The 50 Best Wildflower Sites in the World by Bob Gibbons. Princeton University Press (

The Last Great Plant Hunt: The Story of the Millennium Seed Bank Project by C. Fry, S. Seddon & G. Vines. Kew Publishing (

Introduction to Phylogenetic Networks by David Morrison. PJR Productions (

Wildflower Country: Discovering Biodiversity in Australia’s Southwest by Stanley & Kaisa Breeden. Fremantle Press ( country&x=11&y=14)

Biological Control of Weeds in Australia by Mic Julien, Rachel McFadyen and Jim Cullen. CSIRO Publishing (

The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia by Bill Gammage. Allen and Unwin

A Banksia Album by Alex George. National Library of Australia.

Reviews published in Newsletter 164 [link to PDF] 2015

Australian subtropical fungi. By Sapphire McMullan-Fisher, Patrick Leonard, Frances Guard Suncoast Fungi, 2014 160pp.

FunKey: an interactive guide to the key to the macrofungi of Australia. Vers. 1.0 Key to the agarics. By T.W. May, K. Thiele, C.W. Dunk, S.H. Lewis. ABRS Identification Series. Identic, Brisbane and ABRS, Canberra. 2014 1200+ color images for 159 taxa and 363 character states.

King's collectors for Kew: James Bowie and Allan Cunningham, Brazil 1814-1816. By A.E. Orchard& T.A. Orchard. Privately published, Weston Creek ACT, 2015. 477 pp.

Feral Opuntioid Cacti in Australia. Part 1. Cylindrical-stemmed Genera: Austrocylindropuntia, Cylindropuntia and Corynopuntia. By Robert (Bob) Chinnock, State Herbarium of South Australia, Kent Town, South Australia. 69 pp.

Reviews published in Newsletter 162-163 [link to PDF] 2015

Photographic Guide to Native Plants of the Australian Capital Territory. By Meredith Cosgrove. Meadow Argus, Canberra, 2014. 360 pp.

Reviews published in Newsletter 161 [link to PDF] 2014

Explorers routes revisited. Moore Expeditions 1836. Drummond Expeditions 1841–1842. Compiled and edited by Lesley Brooker, Hesperian Press, Carlisle, WA 2012 (first published as separate volumes in 2010) 137 pp.

Reviews published in Newsletter 160 [link to PDF] 2014

The Botanist and the Judge: Allan Cunningham in Tasmania 1818–1819. By A.E & T.A. Orchard. Privately published.

Botanical interpretation by S.J. Jarman & G. Kantvilas. Privately published

The flowering plants handbook: a practical guide to families and genera of the world. By James W. Byng. Plant Gateway Ltd., United Kingdom. 2014. 619 pp.

Melaleucas. Their Botany, Essential Oils and Uses. By J.J. Brophy, L.A. Craven & J.C. Doran. Canberra, ACT Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 2013. 415 pp.

A Primer of Botanical Latin with Vocabulary. By Emma Short and Alex George. Cambridge University Press 2013. 304 pp.

Firewood Banksia. By Philippa Nikulinsky Fremantle Press, Fremantle. 2014 second edition of a book first published in 1992, 56pp.

Reviews published in Newsletter 159 [link to PDF] 2014

Nature's Line. George Goyder, surveyor, environmentalist, visionary. By Janis Sheldrick. Wakefield Press: Adelaide. August 2013. 476 pp.

Reviews published in Newsletter 158 [link to PDF] 2014

A Guide to Southern Temperate Seagrasses. By Michelle Waycott, Kathryn McMahon, Paul Lavery. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria. 2013. 112 pp.

Ecology of Australian Temperate Reefs. Edited by Scoresby Shepherd& Graham Edgar. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria. 2013. 520 pp.

From Taxonomy to Phylogenetics – Life and Work of Willi Hennig. By Michael Schmitt. Brill, Leiden. (2013). 208 pp.

A Framework for Post-Phylogenetic Systematics. By Richard H. Zander. Zetetic Publications, St. Louis, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013. 214 pp.

A Revised Moss Checklist of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. By K.T. Yong, B.C. Tan, B.C. Ho, Q.Y. Ho and H. Mohamed. Research Pamphlet no. 133. Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kepong (Malaysia) 2013. 152 pp.

Reviews published in Newsletter 157 [link to PDF] 2013

Plant Life on Banks Peninsula by Hugh Wilson. Manuka Press, Cromwell, New Zealand, 2013. 412 pp.

Living Waters: Ecology of Animals in Swamps, Rivers, Lakes and Dams. By Nick Romanowski. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, 2013. 304 pp.

Australian native plants: the Kings Park experience. Mark Webb (ed.). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 2013. 129 pp.

Reviews published in Newsletter 156 [link to PDF] 2013

Native Eucalypts of South Australia. By Dean Nicolle Published by D. Nicolle, Adelaide

Atlas of Leaf Venation and Oil Gland Patterns in the Eucalypts. By M.I.H. Brooker and D. Nicolle CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria

A Handbook of Plant Forms for Botanical Artists. By Ernest E. Clark and Margaret Stevens Batsford (an imprint of Anova Books Group), London

Allan Cunningham: Journal of a Botanist on Norfolk Island in 1830. By Kevin Mills. Coachwood Publishing, Jamberoo, NSW

Flora of the Otway Plain and Ranges 2: Daisies, Heaths, Peas, Saltbushes, Sundews, Wattles and other Shrubby and Herbaceous Dicotyledons. By Enid Mayfield. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria

The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks. By Amy Stewart. Algonquin Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

Reviews published in Newsletter 155 [link to PDF] 2013

Native Plants of the Sydney Region from Newcastle to Nowra and West to the Dividing Ranges (3rd edition). By Alan Fairley and Philip Moore. Jacana an imprint of Allen and Unwin

Explorers Routes Revisited: Roe Expedition 1836. Compiled and edited by Lesley Brooker, Hesperian Press, Carlisle, WA.

The Freshwater Algal Flora of the British Isles: An Identification Guide to Freshwater and Terrestrial Algae (2nd Edition). Edited by David M. John, Brian A. Whitton and Alan J. Brook. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Australian Rainforest Fruits: a Field Guide. By Wendy Cooper with illustrations by William T. Cooper. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria

Exotic Botanical Illustration with the Eden Project. By Meriel Thurston and Rosie Martin. Batsford an imprint of Anova Books, London.

The Taller Tree of Liff. By Brendan Lepschi. Over Educated Publications, Canberra.

Life in a Gall: The Biology and Ecology of Insects that Live in Plant Galls. By Rosalind Blanche CSIRO Publishing, Colingwood, Victoria.

Malaysian Herbal Heritage. Edited by Vimala Subramaniam. Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kepong.

Reviews published in Newsletter 154 [link to PDF] 2013

Flora of Australia Volume 39. Alismatales to Arales, Australian Biological Resources Study, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria

A comprehensive guide to medicinal plants, Beth Gott School of Biological Sciences, Monash University

A showcase of palms, Bee Gunn, Evolution, Ecology and Genetics, The Australian National University, Canberra

A threatened plant Flora of Western Australia's Avon Wheatbelt, Margaret T. Collins, School of Plant Biology, University of Western Australia,

Forensic Botany: A Practical Guide, Edited by David W. Hall and Jason H. Byrd. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, West Sussex, UK

Khawa Karpo: Tibetan traditional, knowledge and biodiversity conservation. By Jan Salick and Robert K. Moseley. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St Louis

Reviews published in Newsletter 153 [link to PDF] 2012

Plants of the Victorian High Country: A Field Guide for Walkers. By John Murphy and Bill Dowling. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne

Two with Nature. By Ellen Hickman and John Ryan, Fremantle Press, Fremantle

Australian Tropical Plants, Version 4.1. Zodiac Publications, Dec 2011. DVD-ROM.

Latin for Gardeners: Over 3,000 Plant Names Explained and Explored. By Lorraine Harrison. Crows Nest Books (an imprint of Allen & Unwin), Australia.

Pathfinders in Tasmanian Botany: An Honour Roll of People Connected Through Naming Tasmanian Plants. By Dick Burns Tasmanian Arboretum Inc., Devonport.

The A to Z of Plant Names: A Quick Reference Guide to 4000 Garden Plants. By Allen J. Coombes. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon,USA

Reviews published in Newsletter 152 [link to PDF] 2012

Australia's Poisonous Plants, Fungi and Cyanobacteria A Guide to Species of Medical and Veterinary Importance by R. McKenzie. CSIRO Publishing

Biology of the Red Algae. Edited by Kathleen M. Cole and Robert G. Sheath. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Cape Arid by Philippa and Alex Nikulinsky. Fremantle Press

A Field Guide to the Eucalypts of the Cape York Peninsula Bioregion by John Clarkson with Illustrations by Will Smith. Queensland Government.

Flora of Peninsular Malaysia: Series II: Seed Plants, Volume 3. (Malayan Forest Records No. 49). Edited by R. Kiew, R.C.K. Chung, L.G. Saw and E. Soepadmo. Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kepong

Huanduj: Brugmansia. By Alistair Hay, Monika Gottschalk and Adolfo Holguín. Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and Florilegium

Kimberley History: People, Exploration and Development. Edited and compiled by Cathie Clement, Jeffrey Gresham and Hamish McGlashan. Kimberley Society Inc., Perth

Photographing Trees. By Edward Parker. Kew Publishing, Kew, UK

The Smallest Kingdom: Plants and Plant Collectors at the Cape of Good Hope by M. & L. Fraser, Kew Publishing, Kew, UK.

Tropical Plant Collecting, from the Field to the Internet. Edited by Scott A. Mori, Amy Berkov, Carol A. Gracie & Edmund F. Hecklau. TECC Editora Florianopolis, Brasil

Wetland Weeds: Causes, Cures and Compromises by Nick Ramanowski. CSIRO Publishing

Reviews published in Newsletter 151 [link to PDF] 2012

Reframing Darwin: Evolution and Art in Australia by J. Hoorns. Melbourne University Publications

Microscopic Worlds Volume 3: Bacteria, Fungi, Lichens and Plants by Kerry Swanson. CSIRO Publishing

The Dynamic Genome A Darwinian Approach by Antonio Fontdevila. Oxford University Press.

The Anatomy of Palms Arecaceae – Palmae by P. Barry Tomlinson, James W. Horn & Jack B. Fisher. Oxford University Press

Floodplain Wetland Biota in the Murray-Darling Basin edited by Kerrylee Rogers & Timothy Ralph. CSIRO Publishing

Water Regime for Wetland and Floodplain Plants: A Source Book for the Murray-Darling Basin by Jane Roberts and Frances Marston. National Water Commission

Encyclopedia of Tropical Plants: Identification and Cultivation of over 3000 Tropical Plants by Ahmed Fayaz. UNSW Press

Soul of the Desert by Philippa Nikulinsky. Fremantle Press
( of the desert&x=21&y=13)

Rainforest Country: An Intimate Portrait of Australia’s Tropical Rainforest by Stanley & Kaisa Breeden. Fremantle Press

A Brilliant Touch, Adam Forster's Wildflower Paintings by Christobel Mattingley. National Library of Australia

Rare and Curious: The Secret History of Governor Macquarie's Collectors' Chest by E. Ellis. Melbourne University Publications

Early Flowers and Angiosperm Evolution by Else Marie Friis et al. Cambridge University Press

Weeds of Northern Australia by Nicholas Smith. Northern Territory Environment Centre

Common Plants of Australia’s Top End by Diane Napier, Nicholas Smith, Lesley Alford and Jacinda Brown. Gecko Books, South Australia.

Common Plants Victoria River District and Northern Barkly (the Territory’s Savannah Way) by Diane Napier, Nicholas Smith & Lesley Alford. Gecko Books, South Australia.

Common Urban Weeds of North Australia by Michael Schmid and Nicholas Smith. Gecko Books, South Australia.

Reviews published in Newsletter 150 (link to PDF) 2012

Burke and Wills by E.A. Joyce & D.A. McCann. CSIRO Publishing

Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science by M. Nielsen. Princeton University Press marketed in Australia by Footprint Books

Ethnobiology edited by E.N. Anderson, D. Pearsall, E. Hunn and N. Turner. Wiley

A Botanical Journey: The Story of the Western Australian Herbarium by R. Underwood WA. Naturally Publications

Botany for the Artist: An Inspirational Guide to Drawing Plants by Sarah Simblet. Penguin Books

The Ambonese Herbal, Volume 1: Introduction and Book I: Containing All Sorts of Trees, That Bear Edible Fruits, and Are Husbanded by People by G.E. Rumphius; Translated, annotated, and with an introduction by E. M. Beekman. Yale University Press

A Field Guide to the Eremophilas of Western Australia by A. Brown & B. Buirchell. Wildflowers Society of WA.

Plants of Capricornia by Rhonda Melzer and Joel Plumb. Capricorn Conservation Council

Deceptive Beauties: The World of Wild Orchids by C. Ziegler. University of Chicago Press

Titles of older published reviews (with links to PDF of Newsletter)

Newsletter 149 Dec 2011
Publishing in the Life Sciences
A biography of J.D. Hooker
Antarctic palaeontology
South American palaeobotany – the comprehensive account
An updated annotated illustrated guide to south-east Australian weeds
A manual for restoring Perth's coastal flora
A review of the "Flora of Hong Kong" volumes

Newsletter 147-148 June-Sept 2011
Practical computing for biologists
The Flowering of Australia's Rainforests
Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words
Elachistine Moths

Newsletter 144-145 Sept-Dec 2010
Californian mosses
Eponym dictionary of mammals
Beyond cladistics

Newsletter 143 June 2010
The Top of the Top End: John Gilbert's manuscript notes for John Gould on Vertebrates from Port Essington and Cobourg Peninsula (Northern Territory, Australia): with Comments on Specimens Collected during the Settlement Period 1838 to 1849, and Subsequently
The Museum of Economic Botany at the Adelaide Botanic Garden – a Souvenir
Illustrated book of the genus Nicotiana
The phylogenetic handbook. A practical approach to phylogenetic analysis and hypothesis testing.

Newsletter 142 March 2010
Algae of Australia: Marine Benthic Algae of Lord Howe Island and the Southern Great Barrier Reef 2. Brown Algae
Australian Palms. Biogeography, Ecology and Systematics
Mangroves to Mallee: The Complete Guide
to the Vegetation of Temperate South Australia
The PCR Revolution: Basic Technologies and Applications

Newsletter 141 Dec 2009
California's Fading Wildflowers (Lost Legacy and Biological Invasions).

Newsletter 140 Sept 2009
Australian Saltmarsh Ecology
Australian Botanist's Companion
Systematics, evolution, and biogeography of Compositae
Flora of Australia Volume 57. Lichens 5.

Newsletter 139 June 2009
Botanical Riches: Stories of Botanical Exploration

Newsletter 138 March 2009
Dictionary of Fungi (10th edition)

Book reviews from early ASBS Newsletters (before PDF versions in 2001)

The Evolution and Classification of Flowering Plants - Arthur Cronquist
An Introduction to Plant Taxonomy - Charles Jeffrey
Plant Taxonomy and Biosystematics - Clive Stace
Plant Taxonomy: The Systematic Evaluation of Comparative Data - Tod F. Stuessy
Grevillea (Proteaceae). A Taxonomic Revision - D.J. McGillivray, assisted by R.O. Makinson
The Names of Acacias of New South Wales. With a Guide to Pronunciation of Botanical Names - Norman Hall and L.A.S. Johnson
Flora of New South Wales, Volume 3 - Gwen Harden (ed.)
The Compleat Cladist: A Primer of Phylogenetic Procedures - E.O. Wiley, D. Siegel-Causey, D.R. Brooks, and V.A. Funk
Cladistics. A Practical Course in Systematics - Peter L. Forey, Christopher J. Humphries, Ian J. Kitching, Robert W. Scotland, Darrell J. Siebert, and David M. Williams
Historical Biogeography of the Southeast Asian Genus Spatholobus (Legum.-Papilionoideae) and its Allies - J.W.A. Ridder-Numan
The Ecology and Biogeography of Nothofagus Forests - Veblen T. T., Hill, R. S. & Read, J. (eds)
Cottoning On - Siobhan McHugh
Malesian Seed Plants. Volume 1 - spot characters. An aid for identification of families and genera - M.M.J. van Balgooy
Black nightshades: Solanum nigrum L. and related species - J.M. Edmonds and J.A. Chweya
Freshwater Algae in Australia. A guide to conspicuous genera - T.J. Entwisle, J.A. Sonneman and S.H. Lewis
The Tree of Liff - Brendan Lepschi
Checklist of the Mosses of Banks Peninsula, New Zealand - B.H. Macmillan
Pre-European Vegetation of Adelaide: a Survey from the Gawler River to Hallett Cove - Darrell N. Kraehenbuehl
Principles and Techniques of Contemporary Taxonomy - Donald L.J. Quicke
Handbook of the Vascular Plants of Ashmore and Cartier Islands - G.D. Pike and G.J. Leach
False Economy - William J. Lines
Worterbuch der Botanik - G. Wagenitz
George Bentham Autobiography 1800 - 1834 - Marion Filipiuk (ed.)
Biological Systematics. The State of the Art - Alessandro Minelli
Botany in the Backblocks, from 1939 - Noel C.W. Beadle
Catalogue of the Benthic Marine Algae of the Indian Ocean - Paul C. Silva et. al.
Contemporary Plant Systematics - Dennis W. Woodland
Eucalyptus - Murray Bail
1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants - K.S. Walter and H.J. Gillett
John Lindley 1799 - 1865, Gardener - Botanist and Pioneer Orchidologist, Bicentenary Celebration Volume - William T. Stearn
Adventrop Doc - Les adventices d'Afrique soudano-sahéliene
EUCLID - Eucalypts of south-eastern Australia - M.I.H. Brooker, J.R. Connors, A.V. Slee
Walker in the Wilderness: The Life of R.J. Anketell - Judith Anketell
Regardfully Yours: Life & letters of Ferdinand von Mueller. Selected Correspondence of Ferdinand von Mueller. Vol. 1 1840-1859 - R.W. Home, A.M. Lucas, Sara Maroske, D.M. Sinkora and J.H. Voigt
Flora of Australia. Volume 48: Ferns, Gymnosperms and Allied Groups
Do Not Yield to Despair: Frank Hugh Hann's Exploration Diaries in the Arid Interior of Australia 1895-1908 - Mike Donaldson and Ian Elliot
Brilliant Careers: Women collectors and illustrators in Queensland - Judith McKay
Malesian Seed Plants. An aid for identification of families and genera. Vol. 2: Portraits of tree families - M.M.J. van Balgooy
Would a panicle by any other name smell as sweet? Die Infloreszenzen Band II, Teil 2, Monotele und polytele Synfloreszenzen - Focko Weberling & Wilhelm Troll
Flora of Australia Volume 17B, Proteaceae 3, Hakea to Dryandra
Flora of Australia Volume 1: Introduction 2nd Edition