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This volume covers the vascular floras of Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island. Volume 50 deals with Australia's remaining island territories - Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Island, Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island (all in the Indian Ocean); the Coral Sea Islands in the Pacific; and Macquarie Island, Heard Island and McDonald Island in the Southern Ocean.
Lying almost exactly between New Caledonia and New Zealand, and about 625 km from each, Norfolk Island has a notable place in Australian history, firstly for its two periods of convict settlement and then as the new home for the Pitcairn Islanders, descendants of the Bounty mutineers. Its most famous plant is undoubtedly the Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla), extensively planted near the coast in mainland Australia. Although much of the island has been cleared, the Norfolk Island National Park protects about one fifth of the area of the island.
Lord Howe Island
Since its discovery, the island has been less extensively cleared for human settlement and much of the original vegetation remains. The most famous plant export from Lord Howe Island is the Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana). Lord Howe Island is on the World Heritage List: as well as its high level of endemic flora and its outstanding scenery it is the site of the world's most southerly coral reef.
For each island there is an introduction to the geography, physical features, climate, vegetation, fauna and history of human occupation. A checklist of the vascular plants recorded on each island follows. A combined key to the families present on either or both islands is provided. Species are arranged in a single family sequence to avoid duplication of description of the large number of species present on both islands. Sixteen pages of colour plates and numerous black and white drawings aid identification and highlight the beauty of the islands.
Of the islands' native plant species, about 44% are endemic on one or both islands.
The text has been almost entirely written by Mr Peter Green, formerly Deputy Keeper at the Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Other contributors are R.O.Belcher (Senecio), J.B.Williams (Parsonsia) and M.D.Tindale (Phymatosorus). Eight illustrators and five photographers from Australia, England, New Zealand and Norfolk Island have also contributed to the volume.
This volume covers 136 families and 703 species. 2 new taxa are described and 1 lectotypification is made.