Lantern bushes of Australia ; Thomasias & allied genera : a field and horticultural guide / by Trevor Blake. Edited by Jane Canaway. Illustrated by Trevor Blake.


About this book
This is a triple-pronged publication. Apart from being a field guide, it also stresses conservation requirements and provides concise, reliable cultivation information. This is the first publication dedicated to this group of plants. Some species are widely grown in gardens outside their range but there are other jewels awaiting cultivation. Some species have a precarious future with small populations in confined habitats. Many of these species flower for an extended period making them horticulturally desirable.

This book covers the family Lasiopetaleae. The genera within it are: Thomasia (38 species), Androclavia (33 species), Commersonia (22 species), Guichenaultia (17 species), Lasiopetalum (62 species), Lysiosepalum (5 species) and Seringia (18 species). Each species has a double page covering description, cultivation, habitat with map, distinguishing features, line drawings and (where available) a photo.

Of particular use is the distinguishing features table. It compares only those features that helps the identification in that particular case. On one page it will be flower size and calyx inner but for another page it will be leaves, stipules and calyx base. In just a few words you can see what species are similar and how to tell them apart. Invaluable! Cultivation notes are also very well written. If it has been cultivated it indicates soil types and conditions it prefers, if not in cultivation, then where it naturally grows. Type and ease of propagation is covered succinctly. These two features make it useful for gardeners as well as botanists.

There is also general information on each genus with keys to work out species but also simplified tables to show the characteristics of each genus.