Morphologically mysterious, palms are among the most fascinating plants, with an almost metaphysical appeal even to people who live in non-tropical regions. Andrew Henderson, a Curator in the Institute for Systematic Botany here at the Garden, has this great plant family in the palm of his hand. He has written the first truly comprehensive analysis of their evolution and ecology. Palms are among the most abundant, diverse, and economically important families of plants in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Their number and diversity in the tropics make them an important part of the ecosystem. Their morphology is intriguing: they have woody stems but are considered neither trees nor herbaceous plants. Their appearance and architecture add grace and variety to the tropical landscape, attracting botanist and non-botanist alike. In this work, Henderson investigates the evolution and ecology of the palm family by analyzing the relevant literature and data, and integrates the information into a cohesive whole.
Paperback, 259 pages, b/w photographs and line drawings, 9'' x 6'', The New York Botanical Garden Press, 2002, ISBN 0893274445