to Eagle's Complete Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand:
Published by the Botanical
Society of Otago, Dunedin
Paperback, 114 pages, 205 × 290mm, NZ, 2006
Reviewed by Murray Dawson
In the last issue of
the New Zealand Garden Journal (2006, Vol. 9, No. 2, p. 32),
we published Brian
Molloy's book launch speech for Eagle's Complete Trees and Shrubs
of New Zealand.
Audrey Eagle's superb
two-volume set contains some 800 paintings and information on nearly
all of the trees and shrubs found in New Zealand. The formatting
and emphasis of this outstanding work is naturally placed on Eagle's
wonderful illustrations, so throughout the book the drawings are
placed on the right hand page and the text on the left hand page.
As a consequence of this design constraint, the accompanying text
is at times concise.
The Botanical Society
of Otago has stepped in and published additional information on
about 630 of the plants illustrated by Eagle. As explained by Audrey
Eagle in the Foreword of this valuable 114-page Supplement, these
and useful information not necessarily apparent in the paintings
such as important comparative differences between similar species,
taxonomic notes, conservation status, threats, special features,
breeding systems, regional variation (morphology, colour etc),
historical information, discoverers, cultural uses and values,
hybridism, cultivation, phenology (flowering times etc), ecological
notes, and much else."
This Supplement has been
collated from Audrey Eagle's notes as well as those provided by
many of New Zealand's leading botanists including Mike Bayly and
Alison Kellow, Shannel Courtney, Helen and the late Tony Druce,
Eric Godley, Peter Heenan, Peter de Lange, Brian Molloy, Colin Ogle,
and Neil Simpson, among others.
easy, as the additional notes in the Supplement are arranged following
the page number and botanical name (family, genus, species, etc)
for the relevant plant illustrated in Eagle's two-volume set.
If you have already
spent NZ$200 on Eagle's Complete Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand
(and I strongly recommend that you do), then the additional NZ$20
being asked for the Supplement represents good value indeed.