2. Monographie der Gattung Taraxacum. By Dr. H. F. von Handel-Mazetti. 4to. Leipzig, 1907.
In the “Genera Plantarum “Hooker and Bentham remarked that about forty species of Taraxacum, had been described, and that some authors reduce these to six. Hoffman, in “Die Naturlichen Pflanzenfamilien,” gave the number of valid species at from twenty to twenty-five, and more recent writers have made various estimates, ranging from twenty to forty-five. Dr. Handel-Mazetti, who is generally acknowledged to be the leading authority on the genus, admits no less than fifty-seven, contained in eleven sections. Forty-two of the species are found in Asia, twenty-eight in Europe, three in Africa, six in North America, two in Australia, and one in New Zealand (in addition to the introduced T. vulgare). The New Zealand
species was first observed by Banks and Solander, who applied the manuscript name of Leontodon glabratum, to it. Hooker associated it with the introduced T. officinale Wigg (T. vulgare Schrank). Kirk, in the “Students' Flora,” separated it as a variety, under the name of glabratus, while more recently Dr. Cockayne has given it full specific honours as Taraxacum glabratum. Neither Kirk nor Cockayne appears to have compared our plant with the South American T. magellanicum Comm., which ranges from Chile to Fuegia and the Falkland Islands. Dr. Handel-Mazetti, however, has done this in a very complete manner, and has satisfactorily established the identity of the two plants, which must in future bear the name of T. magellanicum. He points out that T. magellanicum can be readily distinguished from T. vulgare (T. officinale) by the outer bracts of the involucre being broad, conspicuously margined, and always erect and appressed. In T. vulgare. the exterior bracts are linear, not margined, and usually reflexed.
Dr. Handel-Mazetti's monograph must be regarded as an excellent example of careful and painstaking systematic work, and will probably long remain the standard authority on the genus.
T. F. C.