Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Historia Naturalis Palmarum

The Natural History of Palm Trees

Attalea - Cocos - Sabal species

Borassus flabelliformis

Acrocomia sclerocarpa

Areca nibung

Astrocaryum species

Palm species

Palm species sections

Palm species sections a

Bactris longipos + Cocos botryophora

Ceratolobus glaucescens

Copernica ceifera

Daemonorops melanochaetes

Thrinax brasiliensis

Zalacca wallichiana

Desmoncus polyacanthos

Elaeis melanococca

Livistona humilis

Livistona humilis (fruit + seeds)

Sagus taedigera

Eugeisona tristis

Eugeisona tristis (detail)

palm symmetry

Plectocomia khasiyana

"The author of over 150 botanical titles, including the great flora of Brazil, Karl Friedrich Philipp von Martius also wrote the still-definitive three-volume treatise on the palm family, one of the first plant monographs. He developed his life-long fascination with palms during an expedition through Brazil [map] from 1817 to 1820, and he worked nearly 30 years to prepare this grand summation, including palms found only as fossils." [source]

All three volumes of 'Historia Naturalis Palmarum' are available at the Botanicus website from the Missouri Botanical Gardens. This lavishly illustrated series included systematic descriptions of all known species in the palm family (Arecaceae). The illustrations were produced by Martius himself and Ferdinand Bauer (among others).

You can get an idea of how enormous the available jp2 image files of each chromolithograph are by clicking on those couple of illustration details towards the end of the sampling above. [each image file is about 3Mb and converts to ~20Mb jpeg files] Mouse over the images - taken from all three volumes - for the botanical names (in most cases).

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