Bruce Bayer continues to explore, study, think critically, and write; here is his latest compilation. 166 A4 pages, gloss art paper, thermal bound between two 250g A4 white card covers. Well over 500 photographs and maps, all of which are color except for a few archive and SEM photos. Photos are mainly 8 to an A4 page. 18 chapters cover a wide range of topics on these popular Southern African plants. Several topographical maps help illustrate the points Bruce makes. Since the publication of Haworthia Revisited Bruce Bayer has located and studied nearly 1000 new Haworthia populations. He uses this information to revise his own classification of Haworthia and to comment on the taxonomy of others, who will not have had the benefits of his extensive field research as a basis for their work. Available from:
Editor, Alsterworthia International
Woodsleigh, Moss Lane, St Michaels on Wyre, Preston, PR3 0TY, UK
Charles Craib and Umdaus Press have done it again! Grass Aloes in the South African Veld is a wonderful collection of field notes and species descriptions that makes for a wonderful read for those of us unable to get out into the veld. The watercolors by Gillian Condy and the pencil drawings by Murry Ralfe make this technical presentation a work of art as well. The book is large format, 23x32cm (9×12.5 inches) with 150+ pages, 59 paintings and drawings (although no photographs). In addition to a number of articles on habitat ecology 28 species are covered, each with a distribution map and a full page watercolor. The chapter Taxonomy and the sociology of botanical knowledge is a hoot. That is I had a lot of fun reading and thinking about what Craib has to say. He writes, "Families, genera and species are concepts defined by the purpose they serve in organizing and classifying knowledge. These concepts in botany need not be demonstrated empirically and their historical use in taxonomy is probably closest to an art form rather than a science." Oh?? So much debate, so much anxiety and ink spilt over classifications I had thought the battles were over scientific "truth". I guess I’m relieved that taxonomy is but a form of political science discourse. Well done Mr. Craib! Would you please give Haworthia a look?
Artist Gerhard Marx
Watercolors painted by Gerhard Marx in 2003 of photos taken by Lawrence Loucka while on field trip in October 2002.
H. cooperi var. pilifera from Brakkloof, Grahamstown District. From the cover of Haworthia Update vol.1 by Bruce Bayer.
From the collection of David Martin.
From Penrock Newsletter, September 2009