Dry Tropics Biodiversity Group Inc.

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FRUITS OF THE RAINFOREST - A Guide to Fruits in Australian Tropical Rainforests.
By Wendy and William T. Cooper; published by RD Press, Surry Hills, NSW. Price around $73.00. Review by SGAP Qld. Region

This exquisite hard-cover book consists of 327 pages, with over 140 full pages and 16 half-pages of colour illustrations, plus two maps. It presents the fruits of 626 plants occurring in Australia's tropical and subtropical rainforests, with botanical names arranged alphabetically. Each page of illustrations includes from 1 to 5 species, each numbered, with the corresponding text appearing on the opposite page. All but a few illustrations are natural size and include a number of views of the fruit, including cross-sections showing the flesh and arrangements of seeds. The seed is also shown independently.

The artistry of William T. Cooper is known world wide and his talents are well displayed in this book. The clarity of the illustrations is exceptional, with texture, colour and surface details rendered ultra-realistically.

The accompanying text has been researched and written by Wendy Cooper and includes species name, family, brief description of fruit and leaves, fruiting season and distribution. A small line drawing of the leaf of each species is adjacent to the text.

Included in the appendices is a Provisional Species List which lists by family all the recorded species of angiosperms and gymnosperms occurring in rainforest, monsoon forest and vine thickets in northern Queensland, between Townsville and Torres Strait.

The fruit is quite often the first part (and sometimes the only part)of many rainforest plants encountered whilst walking along the rainforest floor. With the assistance of this book there should be little difficulty in identifying the name of most fruit which comes to hand.


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