This book provides a comprehensive monograph of the family Humiraceae. It includes information on economic botany, conservation, phylogenetic relationships, taxonomic history, ecology, cytology, anatomy, and phytochemistry, among other topics. This volume is illustrated with line drawings, black and white photographs, and distribution maps. It was written by the world-leading authority on this plant group and contains a total of eight genera, 65 species, and 15 infraspecific taxa, with two new species described.
Professor Sir Ghillean Prance was born in Suffolk in 1937 and was educated at Malvern College and Keble College Oxford where he obtained a BA in Botany and a D.Phil in 1963. His career began at the New York Botanical Garden in 1963 as a research assistant and subsequently B. A. Krukoff Curator of Amazonian Botany, Director and Vice-President of Research and finally Senior Vice President for Science. His exploration of Amazonia included 39 expeditions in which he collected over 350 new species of plants. He was Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew from 1988 to 1999. He was McBryde Professor at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii 2001-02 and is currently McBryde Senior Fellow there. Until recently he was a Trustee of the Eden Project in Cornwall and is Visiting Professor at Reading University. He is the author of 24 books including nine volumes of Flora Neotropica: Chrysobalanaceae (1972), Dichapetalaceae (1972), Rhabdodendraceae (1972), Caryocaraceae (1973) and co-authored Lecythidaceae (1979 and 1990 with Scott A. Mori), Chrysobalanaceae Supplement (1989), Proteaceae (2008 with K. S. Edwards) and Rhizophoraceae (2018). He has published over 580 scientific and general papers in taxonomy, ethnobotany, economic botany, conservation and ecology.
Sir Ghillean holds fifteen honorary doctorates and in 1993 received the International COSMOS Prize and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was knighted in July 1995 and received the Victoria Medal of Honour from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1999. He received the David Fairchild Medal for plant exploration jointly with his wife Anne in 2000, and the Allerton Award in 2005. In 2000 he was made a Commander of the Order of the Southern Cross by the President of Brazil and in 2012 received the Order of the Rising Sun from Japan. He continues to be active with research in plant systematics and in conservation of the tropical rainforest. He chairs, the Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory (MEMO), and was chairman of the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest Trust (1999-2012) and A Rocha International (2008-2013). He is President of The Wildflower Society, Nature in Art and the International Tree Foundation and the Patron of several other organisations.