Natural History Publications, 2007. 280 pages, 332 colour & black and white photographs and colour & black and white illustrations.
Argent, George. et al.
This book is the product of many years of fieldwork by the authors. It can be used at three levels. Firstly, it is a comprehensive account of Sabah rhododendrons which can be appreciated for their form and variety in a purely visual manner. Secondly, the book will enable identification of the species seen by walkers and climbers, especially on Mt. Kinabalu. Thirdly, it aims to be a scientifically up-to-date account of the morphology and known distribution of the rhododendrons for the whole of the state which can be used for further scientific study, educational purposes and conservation.
Rhododendrons are some of Sabah’s most attractive plants and are a significant part of the rich heritage of natural history of which the country can boast. This book describes the 42 species known from Sabah, 16 of which are Sabah endemics, some known only from single localities. There are two artificial keys enabling identification of the species. The first is a simplified key to just those species known from the main Kinabalu massif which is designed for the many tourists visiting the mountain to enable them to easily name the rhododendrons that they see. The second includes all the known species from Sabah and is more technical.
This book is lavishly illustrated with colour photographs of all but two of the species, mostly taken in the wild by the authors. In addition, there are many watercolour paintings of the more colourful species which have been done by various artists. There is a very detailed introduction, and chapters to cover the vegetation types in which rhododendrons are found, and transects to cover all the main mountain ranges. This book will be of interest to botanists, horticulturists, Rhododendron enthusiasts, ecologists and conservationists, and it is hoped that it will stimulate further studies of these plants and a wider appreciation of their natural environment.