It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gymnosperms of the United States & Canada

 Published already last year but perhaps not yet got the deserved attention Gymnosperms of the United States & Canada by prof. emeritus Elrey S. Nixon provides useful and beautifully presented taxonomic quide for 115 different species (6 families, 20 genera) within the North American Gymnosperm group. Most of the descriptions belong to the pine family (66 species, of which 38 are different pine species) and cypress family (30 species). The identification keys rely mostly on stem, leaf and cone characters. Both the genera and the different species within each genus are arranged alphabetically. The taxonomic nomenclature is after that of Flora of North America, Vol 1, Chapter 13 (Gymnosperms by Eckenwalder).
The publication is illustrated, designed and published by Bruce L. Cunningham who is well known for his unique style. He was also featured in the Today's Botanical Artists by Marcus and Kyer (pp.136-137).
The Gymnosperms is written for beginners in plant taxonomy, naturalists, foresters and dentrochonologists. It is very clear and the illustrations are outstanding and the text is easy to follow - warmly recommended also  for every botanical illustrator.
(example of two different pages from the publication, please click the image to enlarge)

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