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Palms, the Journal of the IPS

Madagascar Palms
The First Full Account of an Extraordinarily Rich Palm Flora
An Authoritative Scientific Treatment in a Very Accessible Form
Written by: Dr. John Dransfield, Henk Beentje
Published by: The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the International Palm Society.
For the first time ever, all the known palms of Madagascar are described in English. 176 species are treated - including 70 species previously unknown to science and described for the first time. This large format book is profusely illustrated with color photographs of palms in their natural habitat and line drawings prepared by leading botanical illustrators, Rosemary Wise and Margaret Tebbs, showing details of fruit and seed as well as leaves and inflorescences.

This book is accessible to a wide public; while scientifically accurate, with full descriptions and synonymy, it also includes full notes on the palms' native habitats, which are of interest to the palm grower. The palms of Madagascar include some of the finest and most desirable horticultural subjects; many of the palms described in the book could be future introductions of much beauty and interest.

Palms are of great importance to village life in Madagascar, where they are employed in house building, arts and crafts, medicine, magic, as well as providing food. Due to agricultural pressure, many of the native palm habitats are now under threat, and several species are in immediate danger of extinction. In the book, local names and uses are listed, and conservation status is indicated for each species.

PALMS OF MADAGASCAR will be an authoritative treatment for years to come. It will be of great value and interest to palm growers, botanists, conservationists and everybody working on the flora and fauna of Madagascar.


DR. JOHN DRANSFIELD is Senior Principal Scientific Officer and Head of the palm section at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He is co-author of Genera Palmarum, and a world authority on palm systematics. He first visited Madagascar in 1986 and has made five extended field trips to study the palms in their native habitats.

DR. HENK J. BEENTJE is Senior Scientific Officer at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He has been visiting Africa, on and off, since 1975, and has spent almost two years on Madagascar collecting palms, supported by a generous grant from McDonald's Restaurants (UK.).


The palms of Madagascar in a global context: Evolution and Phyto-geography
Palm habitats, soils and climate
Pollination and Distribution
Uses of palms by the Malagasy
Madagascar palms in Horticulture

Taxonomic and nomenclatural problems
Outline of classification and key to the genera
Generic descriptions and synonymy
Key to the species

PART 3. SPECIES DESCRIPTIONS with colour photographs; line drawings; distribution maps; notes on distribution, specimens seen, local names and uses, conservation classification, habitat and growing conditions.

Illustrated glossary
Literature cited
Index to local names
Index to scientific names
Subject index

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