SIM (Thomas Robertson).— FOREST FLORA AND FOREST RESOURCES OF PORTUGUESE EAST AFRICA. Ilustrated by 100 Olates, drawn by the Author representing 158 Species. Published under the Authority of the Government of the Province of Mozambique. Aberdeen, Scotland. Taylor & Henderson, the Adelphi Press, Lithographers and Printers by Royal Warrants to His Majesty King Edward VII. and H. R. M. the Prince of Wales. M cm ix. In-4.º [Dim. aprox. 30,5×24 cm.] de VI-VI-166-II págs. e C ff. de estampas. E.
“In June 1908 the Governor-General of the Province of Mozambique did me the honour to invite me to join a Scientific Expedition which was then being sent by Government to inspect portions of the Province, with a view to assisting the development of such resources of the localities as are more or less allied to agriculture. Previous familiarity with the forests of other parts os South Africa, and their constitution, rendered such an opportunity to supplement that by a personal knowledge of the more tropical forests along the east coast desirable, so I accepted with pleasure, and spent several months during the winter visiting the various districts of the Province, in so far as time would allow, and making the forests, the botany, the arboriculture and the horticulture special objects of study. The result, in so far as the forests and forest flora are concerned, is embodied in the present work, which, beyond my own observations, records previous collections to the extent of allowing it to be a handbook of the forest flora based on available data, and indicative of the vast forest wealth of the district. (…)
“I hardly require to repeat the warning given in so many forest works that venacular names alone cannot be relied upon for identification, but they are useful aids if taken along with the botanical description. In the districts visited I found the vernacular names surprisingly constant within a tribe, and every man, woman and child knew that name; indeed the exact knowledge of the trees and the nature of their music were the two outstanding and surprising features in the sometimes very low type of humanity.
“The reduction of the vernacular names into order has been a most difficult task, since the stem in most names is preceded by one of many prefixes which are used alternatively in accordance with grammar, usage or individual choice, while most of these prefixes begin with indistinct sounds not reducible to English letters, and often not fully pronounced, or lisped more or less one sound into another; in such circumstances indexing is very unsatisfactory, either by the prefix or by the stem. The exigencies of portuguese politics, and the necessity to publish while funds are available, has rendered impossible the collation of specimens with other herbaria than my own, or even with works of reference not immediately at hand; the specimens and information collected had, therefore, either to be dealt with at once or probably never, and I prefered the former, even though in some cases — such as Ficus and Acacia, it involved describing under a new name species which may possibly have been described before.
“My aim has been to allow each of the trees yielding important economic products to be easily identified under some name,— which previously was not the case, through the publication of many names in scattered scientific pamphlets — the reduction of these, where necessary, to the first published name must wait the opportunities of those who have time and data in unlimited quantities. (…)
Junto com o exemplar vem uma carta de oferta do exemplar, com timbre do ‘Governo Geral de Moçambique’, datada de 26 de Agosto de 1909 e um mapa manualmente desenhado e colorido de Moçambique, com os nomes indígenas de algumas povoações.
Encadernação original, um pouco desgastada.