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Conspectus Floræ Africæ, ou Enumération des Plantes d'Afrique


IT may, perhaps, be asked why the fifth volume of a work should appear before the fourth and all the preceding ones. Doubtless the authors were influenced thereto by the fact that neither Oliver's “Flora of Tropical Africa,” nor Harvey's “Flora Capensis,” has reached the groups enumerated in the bulky volume under notice. Certainly this course has the advantage of utility, and will be of great service in the elaboration of the continuation of the works named. As an index to the scattered literature of the subject, the present volume is indeed invaluable. It covers all that may be called African, including the Atlantic islands from Madeira to Tristan d'Acunha, and the islands of the Indian Ocean, from St. Paul and Amsterdam to Mauritius, Madagascar, and Socotra. It is true, the geography of the plants is not worked out all through so fully as Mr. C. B. Clarke has done the Cyperaceæ. For instance, the characteristic grass of Tristan d'Acunha and St. Paul and Amsterdam islands, Spartina arundinacea, is only recorded from the former group. In other respects, Mr. Clarke's elaboration of the 800 Cyperaceæ is by far the most complete and thorough part of the volume, though it is blemished by the introduction of a very large number of names of new species without descriptions.

Conspectus Floræ Africæ, ou Enumération des Plantes d'Afrique.

Par Th. Durand et Hans Schinz. Vol. v. Monocotyledoneæ et Gymnospermeæ. 8vo. Pp. 977. (Bruxelles, 1895.)

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