Sunday, April 05, 2009

Flora of the Central Sahara and elsewhere

Ever found yourself trying to sort out a plant name you've elicited, not knowing any botany worth mentioning? Well, it turns out the botanists are a step ahead of the linguists on the digital libraries game, at least in Spain: the Digital Library del Real Jardín Botánico CSIC has a pretty remarkable array of books to browse online. The one that just saved my etymology of the Kwarandzyey plant name tsifəṛfəẓ is Etudes sur la flore et la végétation de la Sahara centrale. Vol. III: Hoggar, which gives both Tamasheq and binomial names for each plant mentioned. Unfortunately it's clear that not all the works give translations of the names, but it's still worth a look.

On a similar note, I've found Sahara-Nature handy sometimes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How true! I wrote a children's book in English about the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil. As I found each plant, I asked local people the name, which they gave me in Portuguese. I would then google it and find the Latin, then from the Latin find the English, so I could put it in the story. Often botanical books were better than the internet, but nothing tops the binomial naming of species for clear identification and communication!

You can see the book on:

Thanks so much for the link to the Jardin Bibliotheque as well. What a treasure. Nice blog too. Here's mine:

All the best,