Etlingera of Borneo.

Etlingera of Borneo. Axel Dalberg Poulsen.
Etlingera of Borneo.

Kota Kinabalu: Natural History Publications, 2006. Small quarto, dustwrapper, colour photographs, maps.

Borneo is one of the most exciting places to study the richness of plant life on Earth and home to more than 300 ginger species. Etlingera is among the most diverse and attractive of the genera found there; several species are used as food, spice, medicine, ornamentals or for other purposes and it therefore becomes crucial to be able to identify them.

The present revision treats 42 taxa, including 16 new species, one new subspecies, one new variety, and one new combination. This more than doubles the number of species since modern careful revision was begun by Rosemary M. Smith 20 years ago.

The first chapters of the book give an introduction to the genus including its taxonomic history, morphology, ecology, uses, and conservation. Local names and uses by the peoples of Borneo emphasize the great potential that the genus Etlingera offers for the future.

A key is provided to the identification of the species; most are described in detail and illustrated by beautiful colour photographs and line drawings. The first descriptions and illustrations of the fruits of several species are also provided and show the importance of fruit characters for identification. The meanings of the scientific plant names are explained, the conservation status of each species is assessed, notes are added on ecology, uses and history, and a distribution map is given.

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