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Plants of Subtropical Eastern Australia by Andrew Benwell and Australian Rainforest Seeds Plants of Subtropical Eastern by Mark Dunphy, Steve McAlpin, Paul Nelson and Michelle Chapman

Rainforests attract admirers, supporters and propagators. On a world scale they are under threat from many human processes so understanding them can help with their conservation and restoration.

The first publication, Plants of Subtropical Eastern Australia, assists in expanding our knowledge about these plants, including the adjoining biomes. The second describes how to collect, process and propagate Australian rainforest seeds.

Eastern Australia has swampy, dry, humid and cool areas. Author Andrew Benwell has 40 years’ experience with this region, enabling him to describe its salient factors and cover each of the major biomes. Within each section of the book many individual species are described, including their common and botanical names, their distribution and notes about habits. Exotic weeds are also included.

In the book on seeds, four authors have contributed their 30 years of research to this invaluable guide, including directions on storage. The photographs are by Hugh Nicholson, an early pioneer in growing Australian rainforest plants. In the user-friendly A-to-Z species guide, there is a short description of the fruit and seed, the interval between fruiting (such as annual, regular, sporadic) and the time of year in which fruiting occurs, when to collect the seeds, how to store and treat the seeds to ensure germination success, the time taken to germinate and the period the seedlings can be held. A few rainforest plants produce recalcitrant seeds and so are not amenable to dry storage but can be held as seedlings. Indeed, in a rainforest, this is the process where some seedlings wait years for an opportunity to make their way into the light.