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BOOK REVIEW

Potted Histories

Flora Taylor

Coast banksiaClick to Enlarge ImageFan palm . . .Click to Enlarge Image

Botanist, taxonomist and plant collector Sandra Knapp has put together an eclectic coffee-table–sized history of plants, flowers and botanical exploration illustrated with glorious color reproductions of paintings from London's Natural History Museum. Plant Discoveries: A Botanist's Voyage Through Plant Exploration (Firefly Books, $60) profiles 20 plant families, including peonies, poppies, roses, irises, tulips, cacti, conifers and daffodils. The coast banksia (Banksia integrifolia) at right was collected at Botany Bay by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander on Captain Cook's expedition in the 1770s. At left is a fan palm (Livistona humilis) sketched by Ferdinand Bauer in January 1803 at Blue Mud Bay in Australia's Northern Territory.


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