Overview for Supplement to Illustrations on The Flora of The Palni hills, South India
This Supplement with 273 plates completes the illustrations on the Flora of the Palni hills. The aggregate of 1,223 plates (double the number of the 611 plates in Fysonâ€™s Flora of the South Indian hill stations) represents 1,171 species from 660 genera belonging to 152 Families. Two special features are the use of computer techniques, and the Cumulative Index to scientific names, incorporating those of Illustrations (1996), with the exotic taxa marked by an asterisk (*). The Rupee price continues to be a quarter of the going market rates to enable any interested person in the country to own a personal copy for which the generosity of the funding agencies has been acknowledged. Such low prices are anomalous in the context of inflated prices with attractive discounts on offer by the publishing industry. Our unwillingness to fall in line meant that we were largely left alone by booksellers which was initially considered a set-book, but over the years proved a boon. We have established a link with the users who now understand our objectives â€“ our low intensity publicity which is more enduring. As to the future: slow-selling regional Floras, not the top priority of booksellers, are nevertheless a viral utility for the country. This service we shall continue to offer into the future. Our publications for which we hold the copyright and the negatives, will be available at least at a non-profit basis. At a more technical level, we shall maintain the plant resource database for this part of India through our comprehensive regional collections including living ones, and library with the key international journals, newsletters and exchanges as the external window, as the ready take-off base for original research.
K.M. Matthew (Author)
K.M. Matthew, S.J., F.L.S. is the Director both of The Rapinat Herbarium, Tiruchirapalli (Research base), and of The Anglade Institute of Natural History, Shembaganur, Kodaikanal (Environmental base). Apart from University teaching and research, the lionâ€™s share of his efforts went into the 10-part Flora of the Indian Peninsula east of the Western Ghats, 1976-96, involving over 1,000 field days and 50,000 new collections. The Excursion Flora in English (1991, 1995) and Tamil (1993) was a â€˜lab to landâ€™ effort to make the fruits of research reach ordinary people, a door delivery of knowledge. A 3-day, round-the-year, gratis environmental awareness generation programme from The Anglade Institute of Natural History, Shembaganur, Kodaikanl, that has handled over 35,000 trainees since 1984 (students and villagers) has been our best environmental contribution todate. Shola is the bi-annual newsletter that has been appearing regularly since 1988. Environmental research, especially on conservation of rare and endangered plants on which much original information has been collected during field work in recent years, should receive more attention on completion off the Flora volumes in 1997.