This fjord region occupies the middle third of Greenland’s east coast. It extends for nearly 500 miles (800 km) from north to south and from 100 (180 km) and 150 (240 km) east to west, from the inland ice to the outer coast. With its rich flora, by arctic standards, its superb mountain scenery and benign summer climate it is a popular destination for arctic botanists, climbers and general lovers of the Arctic. The book consists of 280 pages, 100 plates and dot distribution maps of 245 species, the commonest having more than 400 dots, based on 170 visits by expeditions and individuals since William Scoresby in 1822.
The main part of the book is the accounts of individual species. The taxonomy has been brought up-to-date and largely follows Flora of North America. The accounts include information on altitudinal and latitudinal limits where the latter fall within the region.
The flora is particularly interesting in that it includes many high arctic species at their southern limit and low arctic ones at their northern as well as species which are restricted in Greenland to the east coast or, as in the case of the endemic Saxifraga nathorstii, occur nowhere else. There is a small western element but otherwise the flora is essentially circumpolar and Eurasian. There are sections on geology and scenery, climate, vegetation, altitudinal limits, hot springs, the history of botanical exploration and on possible origins of the flora, with particular emphasis on a group of species such as Draba sibirica, Potentilla rubella and Polemonium boreale which are restricted in Greenland to the region.
This is the culmination of the author’s nearly 60 years of research and six visits. Dr Geoffrey Halliday was a lecturer in the Botany Department of Leicester University for 10 years and the Biological Sciences Dept at Lancaster University for 30. Publications include A Flora of Cumbria (1997) and The Flora of the inland mountains of south-east Greenland (to be published by Museum Tusculanum, Copenhagen)