Synopses & Reviews
Irises and their relatives are lily-like plants related to the orchid and narcissus families, with whom they share a propensity for large, brightly colored, attractive flowers. Many have longlasting flowers—Iris, Gladiolus, and Freesia are among the most important cut-flower crops in the world. The intricate flowers of the iris family are finely adapted for pollination by a variety of animals, including hummingbirds, sunbirds, beetles, butterflies, moths, wasps, and bees. This intimate connection between flower form and pollination biology reveals how the marvelous range of flower colors, shapes, and scents are vital to the lives of the species. The diversity of Iridaceae is illustrated in more than 200 superb photographs supplemented by expert line drawings. A lifetime of work by the world's expert on Iridaceae is distilled in this definitive account. Botanists, ecologists, naturalists, and gardeners will find this an essential reference.
"Three additional helps, a glossary, cited literature, and index, complete the work. These tools, along with a writing style that the specialist and nonspecialist alike will appreciate, make this comprehensive, well-illustrated volume a must for any academic or large public library." Washington Gardener
"Take this review in and wave it at your librarian. This book is very, very good."
About the Author
Peter Goldblatt is the B.A. Krukoff Curator of African Botany at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. Throughout his botanical career he has concentrated his attention on the Iridaceae and has shown particular interest in its African members. John Manning was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and has been a research scientist in the Compton Herbarium at the National Botanical Institute, South Africa, since 1989. He works at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town, one of the world's great botanical gardens and an important center for research on the African flora. Although he has studied the anatomy, embryology and seed development of plants in diverse families, including the Fabaceae, Proteaceae and Stilbaceae, he has focused his research more recently on the Iridaceae, collaborating on various research projects with Peter Goldblatt. Together they have investigated the evolution and pollination biology of the African genus Lapeirousia and the systematics, pollination systems and evolution of Gladiolus in southern Africa. John and Peter have coauthored several books, including Gladiolus in Southern Africa and various wildflower guides to the southern African flora, the most recent of which was Wildflowers of the Fairest Cape (Redroof Design and Timber Press, 2000). John is also an accomplished botanical artist and photographer; his drawings have been published in numerous books and scientific journals.