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A reprint of a classical work in the Cambridge Library Collection.
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911), botanist, explorer, and director of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, is chiefly remembered as a close friend and colleague of Darwin, his publications on geographical distribution of plants supporting Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. In 1839 Hooker became an assistant surgeon on HMS Erebus during Ross' Antarctic expedition. The boat wintered along the New Zealand coast, Tasmania and the Falkland Islands, enabling Hooker to collect over 700 plant species. Drawing heavily on Hooker's illustrated Flora Novae Zelandiae (1854-1855), this two-volume work (1864-1867) contains a comprehensive list of New Zealand plant species as well as those of the Chatham, Kermadec, Auckland, Campbell and Macquarrie Islands. As the first major study of New Zealand flora, Hooker's handbook remained the authority on the subject for half a century.