Rainforest Trees and Shrubs: A field guide to their identification, 2nd edition
Rainforest Trees and Shrubs: A field guide to their identification, 2nd edition. 2018. By Gwen Harden, Bill McDonald & John Williams.
A revised edition of the Field Guide to the identification of rainforest trees and shrubs of Victoria, N.S.W. and sub-tropical Queensland using vegetative characters.
Second Edition now enlarged to include:
- An additional 30 species, making a total of 880 species
- Over 70 names and/or status of taxa updated to bring them into line with currently accepted names
- Family names updated to make them consistent with current research
- Some climbing plants included that are shrub-like in juvenile stages
- This latest edition runs to 318 A4 size pages
- Some sections re-organized to overcome previous difficulties in keys
As with the earlier edition it includes:
- Rainforests of mainland eastern Australia south of the tropics
- Covers Rockhampton in QLD to N.S.W. and Victoria
- Species in vine thickets, the drier inland extensions of rainforests
- Many marginal, early pioneer and ‘gap’ species
- Keys to groups based on leaf features
- All taxa separated out to species level
- Distribution given for each species
- Rainforest type given for in which each species grows
- Line drawings of leaves and fruit for all species
Most traditional floras or identification guides to plants use flowers and fruits as the main means of identification and recognition as these are the most obvious and stable parts of the plant. However, in rainforests the flowers and fruits are usually held high in the canopy of the forest and so difficult to collect and thus determine the name of the plant. Also, flowers are usually seasonal and produced on the plants for only a short time, either each year or every few years.
The system used in this guide is based on the details of the leaves and branchlets. Leaves can readily be collected from young plants, from trees on the edge of the forest or picked up from the forest floor. This system was largely developed by the late John Williams (of the University of New England, Armidale). Each species has line drawings of leaves and fruit and a description of its main features, its geographic distribution and the type of rainforest in which it grows.
This Second Edition is a revision of Rainforest Trees and Shrubs (Harden, McDonald & Williams), first published in 2006. Which in turn was the successor to Trees and Shrubs in Rainforest of New South Wales and southern Queensland (Williams, Harden & McDonald 1984) and was known by many as the ‘Red Book’. These books has been widely used by professional botanists and ecologists, environmental consultants and planners and by rainforest enthusiasts and gardeners.