Rainforest Trees of Samoa
W. Arthur Whistler Ph.D.
Softcover, 210 pp.
The Samoan archipelago is divided politically into a western portion known as Samoa (formerly known as Western Samoa) and an eastern portion known as American Samoa. Extensive south Pacific rain forests comprising several hundred species of native trees occur in these volcanic islands in the heart of Polynesia. Rainforest Trees of Samoa is designed to enable the layperson and scientist alike to identify the most common trees (mostly native species, but also the naturalized alien species) in the lowland and mid-elevation forest (i.e., the vast majority of trees one is likely to encounter in the Samoan forest). The book is based on the author's work in Samoa that spans the last three decades.
The information on the species presented (about 140 of them) includes the scientific name, Samoan and English names (if any), synonyms, the botanical family to which the plant belongs, and the range of the species. This is followed by the habitat, ethnobotanical uses in Samoa, and a complete botanical description, including a condensed “Distinguishing Characters.” Each species is covered by one to four color photographs of the leaves, fruits, and flowers to aid in the identification of the tree. In addition, there is a botanical key presented that can aid in determining the identity of any unknown species. A table is provided that shows the island distribution of each of the species within the Samoa archipelago. Also included are a bibliography of pertinent literature and a glossary of botanical terms.