By: Roy Osborn, Ken D Hill, Hiep T Nguyen and Loc Phan Ke
116 pages, Illus, col photos, tabs, maps
Only fairly recently has Vietnam become recognised as a country of enormous biological diversity. This is true not only in its fauna but also in its flora. New discoveries have revealed an abundance of cycads - fascinating plants now known to occupy a key position in plant evolution.
Vietnam's cycads, many of which have been named only in the last 10-15 years, occupy a variety of specialised habitats. Some are obligate beach-dwellers, some live only in the northern mountains, some occur on small offshore islands, while some grow in tiny crevices on near-vertical limestone cliffs. Many are found in areas of spectacular natural beauty.
Vietnam's cycads are as diverse in their morphology as they are in their habitats. Some have a tree-like form reaching 12 m in height while others are bonsai-like dwarfs. Some have strange swollen "elephant's foot" trunks. Some have pinnate leaves reaching 4.5 m in length while others have multiple leaf bifurcations.
In "Cycads of Vietnam", each of the 27 species is described in detail with line drawings, maps and numerous photographs illustrating points of interest. This book is commended to cycad hobbyists, nurserymen, researchers, students, conservation officials and those with a general interest in plant evolution and matters botanical.
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