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Cacti and Succulents (Illustrated Encyclopedia) Paperback – December 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Illustrated Encyclopedia
  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Anness (December 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754800288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754800286
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,525,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
In my never ending quest to find informative, user-friendly guides on houseplants, this one comes up a definite winner! The author's stated intent is to provide a guide to identification and growing, and the entire book is geared to exactly that, with a friendly, informative tone throughout.
The book is prefaced by a brief overview of shapes and forms, natural habitats, and design ideas. The body of the book is comprised of two sections on plants, one for cacti, the other for succulents. Species are presented alphabetically by genus, with an overview of the genus --its basic forms, preferences, and care-- followed by more detailed descriptions of individual plant species within the genus. Description include particulars of height and form, a rundown of cultivation preferences, and often details on propagation. The appendices at the back get a bit further into care and cultivation, particularly propagation, plus there's a glossary of terms, and several plant lists for conditions and interests. The index includes both scientific and common names.
What I liked best about this book was that it discussed growing environments in terms of tolerances, rather than ideals. It is all good and well to know that a plant grows best at 83 degrees, but how far can you push the envelope before the thing drops over dead? Descriptions like "It grows well in a half day of sun and will tolerate light frost without much damage" are ever so much more interesting and useful! Also, my hat is off to the photographer, for a most excellent job throughout.
I would recommend this book to absolutely anyone with an interest in cactuses. My particular interest is growing and identification of the various (unlabeled) things I've acquired over the last few years.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By H. Ford on December 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Expensive for what it is; there is much very good information but I would have liked to see more detail.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By I. M. Friend on July 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
When I first bought this book, I was sorely disappointed, not by the beauty of the blooms (and they are truly magnificent), but by the fact that they hid the body of the plant underneath in most cases. I didn't know as much about cacti as I do now. I also felt that I couldn't equate my humble little 5" pots to the outdoor giants depicted too. Now I know. You need to know about the flower before you can understand the cactus, and quite often, trying to identify one cactus not in flower from another is almost impossible because so many have similar characteristics. Just wait until the flowers start, and then you understand exactly what's what, and why some succulents look like cacti, but aren't. Sound confusing? It is, to begin with, but Miles Anderson brings it all to life in this glory of a book, and gradually, all the pieces begin to fall into shape. I would recommend this highly to anyone with an interest in knowing what they're growing, or with a penchant for beautiful photographs. Read his advice carefully, and you'll soon have the blooms for your identification. A lovely book.
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