Book Reviews

Plants of the Forest Floor

plantsoftheforestfloorPlants of the Forest Floor

Compiled by Penny Watsford 

Illustrations by Margaret Elliot

Photographs by Robert Price and Lui Weber

Published by Nullum Publications, 2006. 

Soft cover, 117 pages plus a CD-ROM. ISBN: 0 9756823 18

Reviewed by Deborah Metters

This spiral bound book is compact and value for money. Years of bush regeneration work conducted in the northern rivers region of NSW has focussed on planting canopy species.

Where the canopy has been established, the focus can now shift to plants of the forest floor such as grasses, sedges, herbs, ferns and vines. This book is a response to the growing community interest in understorey plants.

Of the thousands of native understorey plants that exist in the subtropical region from Coffs Harbour to Bundaberg, this book details about 80 common species. Black and white line drawings and some basic ecological information accompany each species. I am a visual learner and have always found line drawings challenging, however they are very useful when doing leaf comparisons, as is the case with rainforest ID books. The page on leaf comparisons for ‘groundcovers with roundish leaves’ is a good example of how line drawings can help to distinguish similar plants.

The simplicity of the book is well supported by the accompanying CD-ROM which has colour photographs of all plants mentioned in the book. There are about 160 photos on the CD-ROM and they are categorised either alphabetically or according to the corresponding book page or by plant form (grass, groundcover, fern, tufted plant or twiner).

The language of this book is simple and non-botanical. A brief introduction to forest types (rainforests and open sclerophyll forest) and other organisms of the forest floor - fungi, algae, lichen and moss is given in the beginning of the book. At the end, there is discussion about understorey plants that are suitable for pots and urban gardens. Overall, this is a great little book and CD-ROM for anyone interested in learning more about understorey plants.

Price:   $20.00  + postage - 1 book = $5.00  2-8 books = $10.00

Cheques, money orders and direct debit accepted - please email for bank details. 

Available from:

Nullum Publications
PO Box 1152, Murwillumbah, NSW. 2484

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