Monday, August 24, 2009
The Natural History of Palm Trees
"The author of over 150 botanical titles, including the great flora of Brazil, Karl Friedrich Philipp von Martius also wrote the still-definitive three-volume treatise on the palm family, one of the first plant monographs. He developed his life-long fascination with palms during an expedition through Brazil [map] from 1817 to 1820, and he worked nearly 30 years to prepare this grand summation, including palms found only as fossils." [source]
All three volumes of 'Historia Naturalis Palmarum' are available at the Botanicus website from the Missouri Botanical Gardens. This lavishly illustrated series included systematic descriptions of all known species in the palm family (Arecaceae). The illustrations were produced by Martius himself and Ferdinand Bauer (among others).