the placement of some images within the plates with the edges softly blurred rather than with a distinct border indicating a different image in the plate, so that they appear to be floating around on the page and attached unnaturally to another plant; for example in the Kaeng Krachan book there is a cross section of a Garcinia fruit straddling two section of one plate – one being a Garcinia and the other Knema – this caused me some confusion as I was worried that there are some strange Asian Myristicaceae with several seeds.
The selection of species in both books seems to be somewhat arbitrary with little or no explanation as to why those taxa have been selected. Some of the taxa are mentioned in the introductory part as being important components of the vegetation types, but not all taxa listed there are illustrated. It would have been useful if the authors were able to provide some assessment or analysis of the flora of each Park to indicate which families, genera or species were most abundant and illustrate these; in this way the books would have shown those species most likely to be encountered by the visitor – perhaps they do already, but this is difficult to gauge. In addition, although the species order reflects the distributions of the species in the vegetation types, this results in species from similar families being apart, e.g., in the Kaeng Krachan book, two members of the Capparaceae are separated on pages 34 and pages 56, and four members of the Rubiaceae are on p. 54, p. 72, p. 90, and p. 98; it would have been easier to compare species if the same families were placed adjacent to each other – as are the palms which are treated on adjacent pages.
There are some spelling errors in the species names in the main body of the text e.g., Saurauia nepaulensis should be S. napaulensis; Platycerium holtumii instead of P. holttumii. Authorities are not given in the text but are listed in the index in the back of the book although these do not always conform to the author’s standard forms. Both of these are small mistakes would have benefited from some careful searching on IPNI.
However, these grievances are more than compensated by expert production and the large amount of photographs in both books giving the reader an excellent idea of these plants in vivo. In addition, the books are presented with hard covers, printed on thick glossy paper, with the text in a good size font making it very easy to read, and a size that is suitable to being taken on a day out. I would recommend these books to readers interested in the Flora of Thailand, and in the vegetation and plants of Doi Inthanon and Kaeng Krachan National Parks, but with the caveat that they are neither Floras or comprehensive guides but a showcase of a selection of plants from both areas – something the authors clearly state in the Prefaces.
Dr. T.M.A. Utteridge South-East Asia team, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK.