Genera Palmarum

Collection Location Perpustakaan Kebun Raya Purwodadi
Call Number 582.545 Uhl g
ISBN/ISSN 0-935868-30-5
Author(s) Dransfield, John
Uhl, Natalie W.
Subject(s) Palm
Classification 582.545
Series Title
GMD Text
Language English
Publisher Allen Press
Publishing Year 1987
Publishing Place Kansas
Collation xxi + 610 hal
Abstract/Notes The idea of this “Genera Palmarum” began with Liberty Hyde Bailey, who spent more than 30 years working on palms. His nomerous papers are still extremely valuable because he so clearly understood the morphology and diagnostic features of palms. Interviewed in 1951, at the age of 93, Bailey described his project as follows:
“I plan to define what is a palm. I plan to explain what are not palms even thouggh we call them so. I plan to talk about their distribition over the face of the earth and to define what a palm is, so that if a man or woman has a specimen, that plant may be determined. And then I expect to make a classification of all the genera, and to describe every genus. It would be a ‘Genera Palmarum’. . .”

Baikey had founded the L.H Bailey Hortorium in 1935, and in 1948 he brought Dr. Harold E. Moore, Jr. To the Hortorium and interested him in the palms. When Bailey died in 1954, he left the dream of a “Genera Palmarum” to the younger man.
Harold E. Moore, Jr. Accepted the challenge enthusiastically. During the late 1950’s and early 1960’s he studied the historic collections of palms in the great herbaria of Europe and the United States and carried out intensive field work in the American tropics, developing an immense and datailed familiarity with palm genera and spesies. It soon became evident to him that palms had been very poorly understood and that in many cases the characters which are essential to understanding their relationships and evalution could not be determined from the herbarium specimens available. Thus he was early impressed that it is necessary to obtain firsthand knowledge of palms in the field and to collect adequate material of these cumbersome plants.
In 1956 the International Palm Society was founded, with Dr. Moore deeply involved almost from the beginning as editor of its journal Principes. The close association and matual support that the Society has promoted between basic research on the one hand and the interest and enthusiasm of growers and fanciers of palms on the other has been of immence value.
Moore collected all kinds of palms extensively, but his main objective was to define their genera and to see and collect as many of them as possible in the wild. He pursued this goal energetically, re turning again and again to poorly known areas such as Madagascar and New Caledonia, trying to rediscover and collect better material of genera known only from tantalizing scraps and fragments. The great savings in time and money that are afforded by modern air travel allowed him to compare palms throughout the tropics on a scale that was not possible to earlier botanists. In the course of his travels, largely made possible through continuing research support by the National Science Foundation, he visited many remote localities, including such places as the upper Amazon, Mauritius, Rodrigues, and the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, northern Queensland, New Guinea, the Solomons, and Juan Fernandez Island. By 1980 he had seen and colected all but 18 of the 200 or so genera of palms in the field, a remarkable achievement that gained his admission to the Explorers’ Club. The results of his expedition in terms of material are unmatched. The L.H Bailey Hortorium now houses a unique collection of dried and preserved material of palms; nowhere are palm genera better represented.
Early in the 1960’s Marion Ruff Sheehan began to prepare diagnostic drawings and plates of palm genera for eventual publication in “Genera Palmarum.” To obtain all the necessary stages and parts for these illustrations Moore often had to return to remote areas in different seasons.
In terms of knowledge, Moore’s expeditions and collections have been the source of importand new ideas concerning the functional significance and relationships of structures. Early in the 1960’s he realized that there were questions from specialists in other disclipines. To this end he inspired many others to study palms, and a loosely associated team of collaborators in palm research developed around him. Subjects studied by his close associates during the next two decades, often using material that he had collected from some remote locality, include the nature of the leaf, the vasculature of the steam and flowers, the phloem and xylem, the inflorescence and the nature of the gynoecium and fruit, and the chromosomes. This research, also to a large extent supported by the National Science Foundation, contributed a large body of information of the family, published in outline form in 1973. It also led to new syntheses of palm geography and evolution.
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