Books on Indian Flora- Details


Books on Indian Trees & Plants: I have combined the feed back received from the members of Indiantreepix for the benefit of everybody & reproduced below (also attached as well as available for download from
You can add the wonderful book "100 Beautiful Trees of India" by Charles McCann (First Published 1959) to the e-books. In additions to describing 100 trees with color drawings, it illustrated various leaf- types, margin-types, root-types, flower-types, fruit-types (drupes, achenes and samaras etc). It is available here:
a new volume vol V pertaining to monocots has already come out by Dr. Almeida as Flora of Maharahstra. I have been informed a sixth volume too wil be coming out on grasses and so on in some time.
The book 2B Flora of Presidency of Bombay - T. cooke, reprint 2006, has two volumes. Vol I is Ranunculaceae to Rubiaceae and Vol II-Compositae to Gramineae.
Dr. Almeida 's Flora of Mah. volumes have added the missing plants in these volumes and also the new and changed names.
In the latest list from Nataraj publishers the book nos 30 and 31 too are available
I just came across a small, 100-page book titled " Wild Flowers of Kashmir" (Series 1) by B O Coventry, Conservator of Forests, printed in London 1953. 50 species of flowers have been described. I don't know if futher series were printed.
Incidentally, I am now working for 'Raptor Research and Conservation Foundation' which is based in Mumbai. My Foundation's focus will be on studies of Birds of Prey of which so little is known in India.
here are 5 more additions to the list, each book is followed by few lines which describes the book:
1: Medicinal Plants: Dr. S.K.Jain. National Book Trust of India, New Delhi. The book lists 84 plants including trees with medicinal properties commonly used, with their latin and indian names, description, distribution, and drug and properties. Must have book and especially useful for this group. Published in 1968, the book has undergone many many reprints attesting to its continued usefulness and popularity. Few colour and black and white photographs.
2. Field Guid to the Common Trees of India: PV Bole and Yogini Vaghani.World Wide Fund For Nature India and Oxford University Press New Delhi. Published in 1986, this little book with line drawing illustrations for every tree(there are approximately 100), gives brief description and identification information. The authors give a key to identification of the trees which is necessary for identification. One of the early books on trees for the layman which leans towards more on the botanist side, than on the layman side. But this is not the issue with this book per se, but the issue with guides on nature as such-trees which are faced with the issue of balance of how to make a layman friendly guide without losing the scientific base.
3. Tree Directory of Chandigarh: RK Kohli, KS Arya, HP Singh, HS Dhillon.Lovedale Educational Publishers, New Delhi, 1994. A wonderful and insightful book on trees of Chandigarh which gives the layout of the city of Chandigarh with its avenue trees, both of which were planned. Maps and many colour photographs. One of the few books on trees of a city in India.
4. Birds and Trees of Tolly: Kushal Mookherjee. Tollygunge Club, Calcutta, now Kolkota, 1995. A lovely little book brought out by the Tollygunge Club, Calcutta, with numerous colour photogrhaphs and hold your breath!-colour paintings of birds and anials found on the premises of the Tollygunge Club. It is an amazing record of birds and animals that are found in an undisturbed space of greenery, even though it has been designed for the use of humans, which still supports such an amazing array of wildlife!! The cover illustration is just lovely! If every other club like that of Tollygunge can make an inventory of its plants and wildlife then these will make their presence in the wildlife support areas of India. A more recent book on a club supporting birds etc. is that of India International Center.
5. Blossoms of Bangalore: TP Issar. Most likely self published with acknowledged financial assistance of many, 1994, Bangalore(now Bengaluru). One of the few books which document a city's greenery from historical, colonial and post Independent times. Vivid descriptions with photographs and colour paintings including botanical paintings(archival material), and by artists such as Rumale and others. A very interesting and lovely Coffee Table book.
6. Common Trees: H Santapau. National Book Trust of India. 1966, but many reprints later!!! One of the earliest books for the layman to identify trees-36 of them with 25 illustrations and some colour photographs. Useful.
7. Brahma's Hair: On the mythology of Indian Plants. Rupa & Co. 1989. A lovely book with mythologies associated with different Indian plants. The 30 plants have stories with folk myths both tribal and non-tribal, and this book is especially endearing because it brings out our tribl mythologies associated with trees. The tribals are forest dwellers and they know and live with their trees. And it is wonderful to slip into their cosmos-albeit one leaf at a time! The book draws the tribal mythologies and cosmos from the ethnographic and anthropological studies. Lovely line illustrations of not just the plants but of the story too! A must have for every plant lover.
I bought this book in 1989, at the princely cost of Rs.30/- and was enchanted, and many many years later with many many plant books in between, when I recently revisited this little book, I was enchanted-again.
PALMS OF KARNATAKA by K Gopalakrishna Bhat reviewed in Current Science dated 25 May 2012. Price rs. 500. About 100 pages. 79 species of palms and canes.
This for your information.
Some books on lichens by Dharni Dhar Awasthi (1922 -2011)
1. Catalogue of Lichens from India, Nepal, Pakistan and Ceylon (1965)
2. Monograph on lichen genus Dirinaria (1975)
3. A Handbook of Lichens (2000) - for beginners
4. Compendium of macrolichens from India, Nepal and Sri Lanka (2007)

Suggestion required:  Apart from investing time in field I also spent time in reading books related to Indian flora, specifically on flora of Western ghats. I have recently bought around 3-4 books on basic botany, plant ecology and taxonomy and field guides. I am willing to buy another book and would like to have experts opinion if I should buy it or not. To mention that the book I want to purachse should be easy to understand for non-botanical individuals like me. Kindly suggest, would this fit the bill !

Have you ever tried buying common practical botany books by Kumar and Bendre. Try it. I found it very useful.
Please stop looking into picture books on first go. Check the plants using good keys then to confirm only use the picture guides. It will certainly increase your knowledge.

Excursion Flora of Simhachalam Hill - D. C. S. Raju:
I have photographed the entire content of the book, "Excursion Flora of Simhachalam Hill" by Raju Sir. This pdf file is little over 5 MB download. Please go to "FILE" menu of the "google doc" page to download the original pdf file.
Attaching here a picture of the cover page and the link -
Manual/Monograph on Asplenium: Can any body please suggest me any monograph or manual on Asplenium?
I dont think there is as such any monograph of Asplenium for Asian species. There is one for American species (Neotropical).
My be Dr Jenkins Fraser can help better.
Some references could be:
Monograph of the Neotropical species of Asplenium
Fern Flora of south India
Himalayan Ferns: A Guide to Polystichum
New species syndrome in Indian pteridology and the ferns of Nepal etc.
Individual papers - Sledge on Sri Lanka (Bull. BM NH), lots or papers - some listed in my Taxonomic Revision of 300 species.  Khullar's book on W. Himalaya; Manickam on S. India etc. etc.

Dictionary of plant science: I used to get confused with typically complex botanical terms and often gave up many times in understanding them. This led to a lot of discouragement and also at some times declined my interest in flora. I have recently bought few books after recommendation from Balkar ji and few more great botanists. One among them I would like to highly appreciate is the Oxford published "Dictionary of Plant Science". I ordered it through Flipkart and got it delivered at my residence. The author of this publication is Michael Allaby which got published in 1992 with constant revised editions in 1998, 2006 & the most recent 2012. This book is really helping me a lot in understanding the botanical terminology.

Flora of Madhya Pradesh: Eranthemum sp from Panni Knoh Water falls Near Maihar MP:

Thanks ... for information. I dont have this flora. It will be kind of you if you pls send me the name of Author(s) and Publisher so that I can procure this.
the information regarding two floras is as following
1. FLORA OF INDIA - Series 3.
2. FLORA OF INDIA - Series 3
Published by - BOTANICAL SURVEY OF INDIA, Department of Environment.