Book Reviews

Wetland Plants of Queensland: A Field Guide

wetlandplantsofqldby K.M. Stephens and R.M. Dowling

Published by CSIRO Publishing 2002

This is a soft-covered book containing descriptions and illustrations of some 90 commonly encountered species of water plants from throughout Queensland. Each species is accompanied by full colour photographs and location maps to assist in identification

Each species described has the description divided into a number of headings - Habit, Distribution, Leaves, Flowers, Flowering period, Fruit and Notes. Some naturalized exotics which are commonly encountered are also included.

The Family of each plant is listed along with the genus and species and common names are noted where they are known. All exotic species are indicated by use of an asterisk. Family names are arranged alphabetically - from Alismataceae to Typhaceae - with species arranged alphabetically within families.

All photographs were taken in the field by Ralph Dowling (except for one by Selwyn Everist) so that plants could be depicted as they appear naturally to assist with field identification of the various plants. A few of the species covered have additional insert photographs showing more detail of the flower or fruiting body of the species, although these are very tiny and rather indistinct.

It would have seen helpful to include some line drawings to show specific detail of species that are very similar in appearance. However, this has not been done, although there is plenty of space for their inclusion.

To help those who are interested in obtaining more information, keys to the currently known wetland species of Queensland (except for sedges) have been included in the second half of the book. The illustrated and described plants are indicated in these keys together with a page reference. A key to the sedges has not been included, as a suitable key to identifying the species of this large specialized group already exists (Sharpe 1986).

At the back of the book there is a glossary of Botanical Terms, followed by information on how the get specimens identified.

Plants which fall into the category of Declared Plants under the Rural Lands Protection Act (1985 - 1990) (Qld) are indicated as such in the text and landholders are recommended to check with the Queensland Department of Natural Resources about recommended measures to deal with these pests.

Reference is also made to the Nature Conservation Act (1992) (Qld) and its associated Nature Conservation (Wildlife) Regulations (1994) in relation to Rare and Threatened Plants. Landholders are referred to the Environmental Protection Agency for advice on dealing with these species.

This long-awaited publication is the first such book to deal exclusively with the water plants of Queensland and as such will be welcomed by many members, particularly those involved in the creation, restoration or rehabilitation of areas of wetlands.

Please see for further details.

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