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This volume contains accounts of 24 families, including some of the more primitive kinds of flowering plants. Many of the species described are from the rainforests of eastern Australia, and the majority are trees. Lauraceae is the largest family in the book with about 130 species, of which 111 are endemic. Found in tropical and sub-tropical regions, the family contains 39 commonly utilized species of timber tree, including Endiandra (walnut) and Cryptocarya (laurel, silkwood, walnut, maple and sycamore).
In contrast, the second largest family described in the volume (Ranunculaceae) consists mainly of herbs and twiners. Many of these, such as the buttercups, are common in alpine areas. From the subtropics and tropics, are the vines and lianes in the families Annonaceae, Piperaceae and Aristolochiaceae. Some of these twiners are a food source for birdwing butterflies. Also from the subtropics and tropics are the waterlilies (Nymphaecceae), found in floodplains and billabongs.
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