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bs_bs_banner BOOK REVIEWS The authorship of the Catalogus was not stated and some have questioned its attribution. Oswald and Preston conclude that Ray was undoubtedly its author, albeit with the assistance of various of his friends, but they argue that the later of two rare Appendices (published in 1663 and 1685 respectively) should be attributed to Ray and Peter Dent (the compiler) as co-authors. Chapter Four provides an extremely useful series of biographical notes on some of the authors (classical and mediaeval as well as modern) cited by Ray, while Chapter Five explores the degree to which he may have studied copies of the works he cites first-hand, based on the recorded presence of particular books in the University, College and personal libraries (not only of Ray himself but also those of his friends John Nidd and Francis Willughby). Chapter Six deals with the identification of Ray’s Cambridgeshire plants (noting the difficulties in identifying with any certainty Ray’s taxa of Carex and Rumex with modern species concepts) and Chapter Seven discusses the authors’ translation and editorial methods. It is rare, and extremely welcome, in a book of this sort to see such an explicit explanation of the methods adopted and the solutions applied to knotty problems of translation. The translation of the Catalogus follows in its entirety (including the three sections omitted by Ewen & Prime), followed by translations of the 1663 and 1685 Appendices. To this, Oswald and Preston have added a detailed (and diverting) gazetteer and conclude with a vocabulary of the Latin epithets used sensu Ray, an extensive bibliography and a comprehensive index. This reviewer’s familiarity with John Ray’s botanical work has chiefly been with the later Historia Plantarum (1686–1704) and the posthumously published third edition of his Synopsis methodica stirpium Britannicarum (1724). Names from these publications were frequently cited by Carl Linnaeus as synonyms under his newly coined binomial names (Linnaeus, 1753). Recent r; esearch on parts of Sir Hans Sloane’s herbarium has led me to his MSS in the British Library. There, in Sloane’s chronologically arranged correspondence, one is struck by the high frequency of letters in Ray’s neat and legible hand. It is almost impossible to resist reading such letters when one encounters them (even when they are not the focus of study), for the enjoyment of Ray’s perceptive observations (both scientific and social), modestly expressed. Oswald and Preston’s fine book brings Ray to life through his Catalogus. It is clear that theirs has been a labour of love and their enthusiasm and erudition shine through in what is a meticulous and delightfully well-written book. One of Ray’s contemporaries 641 thoughtfully observed that in the Catalogus, ‘you will find a great deal put into a little Room’. Oswald and Preston have done a great deal to unpack it and lay it out before us. While some may be deterred by the book’s £80 price tag, it has been well produced (I noted only one error – ‘Gamingay’ for ‘Gamlingay’ on p. 494) and is printed on high quality paper. It thoroughly deserves a place on the bookshelf of anyone with an interest in the history of botany, 17th century Cambridge printers, East Anglian county boundaries in the 1660s, the early years of Trinity College’s Library, the use of Papaver in a baby’s ‘pap’ to banish sleeplessness or, indeed, Cambridge botany. CHARLIE JARVIS REFERENCES Bauhin C. 1622. Catalogus plantarum circa Basileam sponte nascientium: cum earundem synonymiis & locis in quibus reperiuntur. Basileae. Ewen AH, Prime CT. 1975. Ray’s Flora of Cambridgeshire (Catalogus Plantarum circa Cantabrigiam nascentium). Hitchin: Wheldon & Wesley. Linnaeus C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Holmiae. Raven CE. 1950. John Ray naturalist: his life and works, ed. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Ray J.] 1663. Appendix ad Catalogum plantarum circa Cantabrigiam nascentium: continens addenda et emendanda. Cantabrigiae. [Ray J. & Dent, P.] 1685. Appendix ad Catalogum plantarum circa Cantabrigiam nascentium: continens addenda et emendanda, ed. 2. Cantabrigiae. Ray J. 1686-1704. Historia Plantarum, 3 vols. Londini. Ray J. 1724. Synopsis methodica stirpium Britannicarum, ed. 3 (edited by J.J. Dillenius). Londini. Hardy Heathers from the Northern Hemisphere: Calluna, Daboecia, Erica by E. Charles Nelson. Richmond: Kew Publishing, 2011. £60 / US$100. This book, the latest in Kew’s Botanical Magazine Monographs series, is without doubt an impressive compilation of information about each of the three named genera. The author is exceptionally well qualified to write it, not only on account of his many years of studying these highly ornamental small shrubs, but also because he is the International Cultivar Registrar for each of the genera (as well as Andromeda). But the book also reflects the author’s main preoccupation with the historical and cultural aspects of his studies, after all who else could begin a modern book with a ‘prolegomenon’ ? The title of the book is problematic: the qualification of ‘from the Northern Hemisphere’ is obviously © 2012 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2012, 170, 640–644 642 BOOK REVIEWS intended to exclude the 800 or more South African species, a very few of which are borderline hardy in the milder parts of the UK. This does lead, however, to the use of the word ‘hardy’. The vast majority of the species treated are hardy, at least in the UK and, presumably, similar climates elsewhere. However the book does cover some European species which are decidedly not hardy in the UK, and certainly not in more continental climates. An example being Erica sicula of which the author notes, ‘plants presently known to me in cultivation are all housed under glass . . .’ While he does go some way to recognize this in the introduction, readers should treat the use of the term with some caution. As befits a botanical monograph, the treatment is almost entirely confined to species and hybrids: a selection of the cultivars is covered in an Appendix. Each genus is dealt with separately with Calluna and its one species, but for Daboecia the author accepts two species, choosing to recognize the Azorean endemic at species level rather than as a subspecies which has been widely accepted since McClintock (1989). The author advances no new evidence to support his treatment but does provide some insight into the debates that have occurred around this issue in the past. The concept of Erica in the book includes the former genera Bruckenthalia (one species) and Pentapera (two species); the former following E. G. H. Oliver’s (2000) treatment. The author accepts, therefore, 20 species in Europe and adjacent regions, including the relatively recently accepted species, Erica platycodon, and its subspecies, maderincola; as well as the debatable taxon, Erica andevalensis, first described in 1980. For the latter the author bases his decision on the unique habitat in which the species occurs and the distance from its likely closest relative. However, when dealing with the pentaperan heaths, the author has decided to reduce E. bocquetii to a subspecies of E. sicula, presenting compelling arguments for so doing. While there are possible inconsistencies with his treatment of the species, the author notes regularly that he has been hampered by the lack of conclusive molecular data on the genus to inform his decisions. This extends to the arrangement of the species. These are grouped according to morphological similarity but this does not reflect a formal infrageneric classification for, according to the author, ‘The subgeneric classification of Erica is in turmoil . . . a plaything for botanists who are enthralled by molecular taxonomy.’ While there are excellent descriptions provided for each of the species, supplemented with interesting notes on the distribution, ecology, ethnobotany and even cultivation, a baffling lacuna is the absence of any guide to identification, most of all a key. While it may be possible to cross-refer between descriptions and notes to species in their groups, there is no summary that allows the reader to decide to which group a species belongs. Closer reading of the species accounts shows that there is some duplication of information, and some information that applies to more than one species, which is only noted in one place. Given that there are only 38 pages of introduction, 26 of which are an account of the genera in cultivation, it would seem that there was ample opportunity to bring together more general information on morphology both at macro- and microscopic levels, phytochemistry and ecology (additional to the notes on pp. 102–5), all of which could provide the reader with a valuable insight into the genera and species. Instances are the discussion of lignotubers in Erica on p.204, under Erica arborea, and the gland-tipped hairs in the section on cross-leaved heathers on p.235. The book is beautifully illustrated throughout with the colour paintings by Christabel King (which are the subject of the author’s prolegomenon) and Wendy Walsh, as well as the exquisite full page line drawings by Joanna Langhorne, each one drawn from a cited specimen, and others by Stella Ross-Craig. While there are plenty of photographs, these are of variable quality and a few are somewhat uninformative (e.g. Fig. 70 of Erica erigena, and Fig. 124 of E. arborea). It is also disappointing that there is not a single photograph of E. maderensis in flower. Distribution maps are provided for some species but there is no explanation of the use of a paler shade of pink in some (e.g. Fig. 169, Erica cinerea). The use of arrows to indicate small, disjunct populations can be distracting and, in the case of the map for E. ciliaris, it is evident that the Dartmoor population (mentioned in the text) has been missed out. Errors are, however, few. One conspicuous one occurs in the account of Daboecia cantabrica, where on p.74 the basionym is given as ‘Vaccinium cantabricum (L.) Huds.’ In a previous paper (Nelson, 2000: 58) this is correctly given as Vaccinium cantabricum Huds. In general the book is highly readable and full of fascinating information, especially some of the footnotes. It definitely fills a gap: books on heathers in horticulture are plentiful but an up to date account of the European species was badly needed and here in these 442 pages we have it. It is as authoritative as it is idiosyncratic but it will be a point of reference for many years to come. The final illustration is the author’s bookplate, and the book from which the bird appears to be issuing pages is entitled, ‘Everything you wanted to know about Heathers but were afraid to ask’. Maybe, in the end, that is the best description of this monograph. JOHN C. DAVID © 2012 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2012, 170, 640–644 bs_bs_banner BOOK REVIEW REFERENCES McClintock DC. 1989. The heathers of Europe and adjacent areas. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 101: 279– 289. Nelson EC. 2000. A history, mainly nomenclatural, of St Dabeoc’s Heath. Watsonia 23: 47–58. Oliver EGH. 2000. Systematics of Ericeae (Ericaceae – Ericoideae): species with indehiscent and partially dehiscent fruits. Contributions from the Bolus Herbarium vol. 19. Cape Town: Bolus Herbarium, University of Cape Town. 643 When dealing with apomictic taxa, there is always the question of whether is necessary to have all the variation named and accounted for. In my opinion, naming the diversity is a crucial starting point for all other research. The main questions of how this restricted group arrived to the Shetland Islands, how it diversified or what its relationships are can only be explained once the diversity and variation have been described. This work represents the foundations for research that can deal with these questions. At the same time, the book is a pleasure to browse. LOLA LLEDO British northern hawkweeds. A monograph of British Hieracium section Alpestria. BSBI handbook No. 15 by Tim Rich and Walter Scott. London: Botanical Society of the British Isles, 2011. 156 pp. Hardback. ISBN 978090115845. £30. The monumental task of understanding morphological diversity of large, problematic and challenging British genera has once been again taken up successfully by Tim Rich, this time in collaboration with Walter Scott, an expert on Shetland flora. This book focuses on the British members of Hieracium section Alpestria, which have an unusual distribution, almost restricted to the Shetland Islands in Scotland (although more common in Scandinavian countries than in Britain). With its beautiful pictures and clear drawings this book will appeal to readers interested in the Shetland Flora as well as those with an interest in hawkweeds. The introductory pages are packed with information about hawkweeds, and particularly section Alpestria. In addition to the descriptions of habitats, conservation and cultivation, there is information about reproductive biology and an attempt to understand the morphological diversity with a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of 24 morphological traits. To the untrained eye, all hawkweeds look very similar. Identifying them is a real challenge, but the characters are explained and the abundance of drawings and photographs makes the task easier. The identification keys are divided into two groups: the 26 species of Hieracium on Shetland (including 16 Alpestria species plus ten form other sections), and a smaller key to separate five Alpestria species from the mainland. The geographical separation, although not ideal, should work well thanks to the restricted distribution areas of the species involved. After the introductory chapters each of the 21 British Alpestria species are well documented with long descriptions, illustrations (drawings, photographs of detail, habitats and distribution maps) and also conservation status and small tips to help separate them from other species. Tree-ring research in Asia edited by Nathsuda Pumijumnong, Qi-Bin Zhang, Dieter Eckstein & Pieter Baas. Reprinted from IAWA Journal 30(4): 357–468, 2009. 112 pp. Leiden: International Association of Wood Anatomists, c/o Nationaal Herbarium Nederland. Paperback. US$ 35.00 / €25.00. IAWA publishes four issues of its journal every year, containing papers on all aspects of wood anatomy. Periodically, a symposium or group of papers addresses a particular subject, and in addition to including these papers in the journal, they are published as a special issue made available to a broader audience. This is the fourth special issue on tree-ring research, the previous ones being on ‘Growth rings in tropical trees’ (1989), ‘Growth periodicity in tropical trees’ (1995) and ‘Dendrochronology in Monsoon Asia’ (1999). This volume contains nine papers which were presented at the first Asian Dendrochronological Conference in Bangkok in September 2007. The title does imply a wider coverage than the contents, and I anticipated more information on tropical taxa, which are admittedly more difficult to study because their growth rings are often less easy to recognise, interpret and correlate with climate. The papers in this volume cover studies in India (one paper), China (six papers), Japan (one paper) and South Korea (one paper). Most relate to conifer species (softwoods) rather than angiosperm trees (hardwoods), and apart from the first paper, none of the species studied or mentioned are tropical, despite the tropical location of the meeting. Since the papers are all quite different I will comment on each one’s content in turn. The first paper by Bhattacharyya & Shah is a review of tree ring research in India, concentrating on the Himalaya, Peninsular India and Tertiary fossil woods. Various species of Himalayan Abies, Cedrus, Picea, Pinus, Larix, Taxus and Tsuga are discussed, whereas for peninsular India the hardwoods Tectona grandis and Cedrela toona (now known as Toona © 2012 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2012, 170, 640–644