Alchemilla: Lady’s-mantles of Britain and Ireland: BSBI Handbook No. 24 is the first handbook on the genus to be published by the BSBI
The UK and Irish Alchemilla flora stands at twenty species: fifteen natives and five introductions. Of the native species, four are recently-published names by the author of this new work, set to become the standard for the genus in these islands.
Mark Lynes’ long experience with the genus, working with luminaries such as Margaret Bradshaw in Teesdale, and in Scandinavia Hans Rydberg and the late Stefan Ericsson, has put him in good stead to tease out for us the intricacies of this ‘critical group’, with its often puzzling variants and plastic morphologies. Whilst some species are likely still being overlooked – even by those with some familiarity with the group – others may be over-recorded, as Mark explains.
The gradual – sometimes tangled – revelation of our current understanding of our Alchemilla flora is detailed, through the investigations of alchemillologists of the calibre of Buser, Rothmaler, and Samuelsson, and in our own time, Max Walters, and Margaret Bradshaw.
Sections on the Alchemilla plant, guidance on identification, synopsis, dichotomous key, and key-character tables, precede the full species-accounts. Each species has sections on etymology; distribution, habitat and status (for most species, contributed by Dr Kevin Walker); general appearance and full description; distribution map; and the crucial discussions on confusion species.
Diagrams illustrate distribution, density and posture of stem and leaf hairs. Numerous colour images show key comparative features of each species. Appendices expand on the taxonomic circus that has been Alchemilla minima; suggest a number of potential additions to the UK Alchemilla flora; and provide a full synonymy. References, glossary and index round off.
The book is B5 in size (210mm x 150mm).