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A Guide to Britain's Rarest Plants

A Guide to Britain's Rarest Plants

Christopher J Dixon

For centuries, botanists have been drawn to the rarest species, sometimes with dire consequences for the species' survival. In A Guide to Britain's Rarest Plants, Great Britain's rarest flowering plants are discussed in turn, including the stories behind their discovery, the reasons for their rarity, and the work being done to save them from dying out. It is hoped that it will help to throw light on some of the species that normally gain little attention, and foster an appreciation of our most threatened plants.

Describes 66 native species of plants that have the most narrowly restricted ranges in Great Britain. These range from continental, warmth-loving species in the south of England to those found only on the highest Scottish mountains. Each species is shown together with its habitat to allow the reader to better understand the ecological context. Other scarce plants in the same area are indicated.

"Many of the pictures were taken abroad and give a false impression of what their British counterparts actually look like. The Welsh Radnor Lily, for example, rarely or never has multiple flowers as shown in the author's Austrian example. [...] The author's choice of species is eclectic [...] The accounts seem accurate enough, each containing a short history, and a sketch of the plant's habitat and attempts to conserve them, but there is not much here that an interested reader could not browse from the internet or the Red Data Books. The remarks on conservation are uncritical; if 'measures' are taken, there is an implication that the species will respond accordingly. If only! There are no references or guide to further reading, which is hard luck on this reviewer. A stiff price, too, for a small paperback."

 - Peter Marren, British Wildlife 29(1), October 2017

153 pages.

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