973 pages, 26 plates with 185 colour photos; 256 b/w line drawings
Flora of the Cook Islands is a complete account of plants found wild in the Cook Islands and plants common in cultivation. Descriptions and keys are provided for 108 fern species and 567 flowering plant species. Of these, 104 ferns and 187 flowering plant species are indigenous. The remainder are either naturalised or are found in cultivation. Of the native plants described, 26 species are found only in the Cook Islands. The remainder of the native species are shared mainly with the rest of East Polynesia or have a wider distribution. This Flora will be useful throughout Polynesia.
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Bill Sykes is a retired botanist living in Christchurch, New Zealand. He was formerly a botanist at the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) Botany Division at Lincoln (now the Allan Herbarium, Landcare Research). Bill previously published floras of Niue (1970) and the Kermadec Islands (1977). He was a co-author of the 1988 Flora of New Zealand series volume on naturalised plants of New Zealand and contributed the section on bamboos to the New Zealand grass Flora in 2000. Bill first visited the Cook Islands in 1974, followed by eight later visits to research the Cook Islands flora. Flora of the Cook Islands has taken Bill 20 years to write.