ヒマラヤ植物大図鑑−Himalayan Plants Illustrated 大型本 – 2005/5/1
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The book, Himalayan Plants Illustrated, is by Toshio Yoshida, one of the most talented, knowledgeable and intrepid photographers of alpine plants in eastern Asia. He has traveled widely to capture images of the characteristic plants of the Greater Himalayan region. Having also visited some of the areas where he has worked, I was amazed to see that he has managed to photograph so many of the species in one of the world’s richest areas of plant diversity. The photos are richly supplemented by notes and descriptions compiled from the study of herbarium specimens and from the literature. The introductory material includes a fresh discussion of floristic zones and their delimitation in the Greater Himalaya, southern Tibet and the Hengduan Mountain region of China, based on the author’s observations and interpretation.
The book contains 2,739 color photos covering 1,771 plant taxa. The photos were taken in all parts of the Himalayan range as discussed in more detail in the front pages of the book. The book may be compared with Flowers of the Himalayas by Oleg Polunin and Adam Stainton, published in 1984 by Oxford University Press. Polunin and Stainton’s book covers 1495 plant taxa, with 694 color photos inserted in the last 128 pages, and 319 line drawings. Because of the politics of those days, the field sites covered by Polunin and Stainton are in about half the Himalayan range, excluding Bhutan, Tibet and most parts of Pakistan and Sikkim.
In Mr. Yoshida’s book the photos and descriptions are on the same page, crossed referenced by number. Plants exhibiting a wide range of variation, a likely phenomenon in the Himalaya, are represented by two or more photos to give a sense of intraspecific variation. The letters A-Z3 preceding the place name below each photograph correspond to the 34 maps on the front pages. A brief guide to the letters is on the inside flap of the dust jacket and can be read without turning pages. Plant morphology, especially of species dwelling in the alpine zone, is strongly affected by the environment. With that thought in mind, the author has tried to include photos that show not only the plant, but its habit and its place within the habitat. Although the book is in Japanese, the high quality and detail in the photos make the diversity of the flora and vegetation in this unique and highly diverse area easy to comprehend. The book is beautifully bound on high quality paper and one of the nice features is that the pages lie flat when the book is opened at any page. – David E. Boufford, Harvard University Herbaria, U.S.A. (Extracted from SIDA 22(1), 2006, U.S.A.)