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Flowering Plant Families of the World Hardcover – March 16, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A must for those who are studying botany and horticulture [and] a complete encyclopedia... For the quality of the book and the fascinating artwork the price ... is well worth it. (Brenda Ruzycki Edmonton Sun 2007-07-29)

Originally released in 1978, this [updated] reference has remained the definitive guide to flowering plants for amateur and professional gardeners and students. (Science News 2007-04-14)

Useful and wonderful to browse through ... breathtaking detailed diagrams... Flowering Plant Families of the World is a steal for the price and highly recommended for collections that already have the previous work. Large public libraries, academic libraries, and horticulture libraries will find this a core reference title for both avid leisure gardeners and professionals. (Kristen Mastel Booklist 2007-12-01)

The book is an authoritative reference work, but also a fascinating and comprehensive introduction to the world's most colorful flora. [Its] specially commissioned botanical illustrations by professional artists are both beautiful and scientifically accurate. (Landscape Architect and Specifier News 2007-04-00)

Every page contains beautiful color photographs in addition to the wealth of complete information on the plants. (Making Scents 2007-09-00)

Beautiful colored, detailed illustrations are included for each family.... This is a book that anyone with an interest in flowering plants will enjoy. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels. (C. T. Mason Jr., emeritus, University of Arizona Choice 2008-02-01)

The book is not perfect, but it comes close. ... You will not find a better source for these data. (Daniel F. Austin, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Economic Biology, vol 61 2008-02-00)

Flowering Plant Families of the World is an essential reference work for academic libraries, and will be indispensable for the botanist, horticulturist, and gardener. (Danielle Marie Carlock American Reference Books Annual 2008 2008-01-00)

If you want to delve further into [the area of plant classification], don't miss this book. The glorious botanical illustrations are a bonus. (Mary Fran McQuade Beach Metro Community News 2007-12-18)

The predecessor of this book, Flowering Plants of the World, was published to great acclaim in 1978. It became an essential reference for anyone interested in plant life because of its depth and presentation. Its successor, with a slightly different title, treats 506 families compared to the 306 in the original and incorporates significant advances in knowledge, including DNA sequencing, over the past several decades. (Brian E. Coutts & Cheryl LaGuardia Library Journal, Best Reference 2007 2008-04-15)

It still came a shock to me when I discovered this book and realized what an absolute treasure it is. In one large volume, all of the world's 500 plant families are described, mapped and meticulously illustrated.... In one gorgeous text, this book allows you to come to grips with plants and their families and obtain a further appreciation of their relationship. This book has already become one of my most beloved natural history books. (George Bryant, Member, Board of Directors, Past-Pr Field Botanists of Ontario Newsletter 2008-12-00)

The original edition of this reference appeared in 1978, and was updated and revised in 1994. Now, a completely new team of editors and authors has compiled a third iteration of this valuable resource. The original edition discussed 306 families; this one has 506.... General references are included now in addition to those after individual families, a major improvement over the earlier books. The Classification segment has been updated in the past 13 years and recognizes a consensus arrangement of the families markedly different from earlier books. The illustrated glossary is republished and remains a prime short resource for botanical terms... Colors too have been changed on the distribution maps, and it is easier to see where some gaps exist in ranges... The book is not perfect, but it comes close... You will not find a better source for these data. (Daniel F. Austin, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Economic Botany, Vol. 64 2011-06-00)

Review

Authoritative reference work... fascinating and comprehensive ... specially commissioned botanical illustrations by professional artists are both beautiful and scientifically accurate. (Landscape Architect and Specifier News 200704)

[This is] the definitive guide to flowering plants for amateur and professional gardeners and students. (Science News 20070414)

For the quality of the book and the fascinating artwork the price ... is well worth it. (Brenda Ruzycki Edmonton Sun 20070729)

Useful and wonderful to browse through ... breathtaking detailed diagrams... [It] is a steal for the price and highly recommended. (Kristen Mastel Booklist 20071201)

Beautiful colored, detailed illustrations ... This is a book that anyone with an interest in flowering plants will enjoy. Recommended. (C. T. Mason Jr., emeritus, University of Arizona Choice 20080201)

The book is not perfect, but it comes close. ... You will not find a better source for these data. (Daniel F. Austin, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Economic Biology, vol 61 200802)

Every page contains beautiful color photographs in addition to the wealth of complete information on the plants. (Making Scents 200709)

If you want to delve further into [plant classification], don't miss this book. The glorious botanical illustrations are a bonus. (Mary Fran McQuade Beach Metro Community News )

[This book is] an essential reference work for academic libraries, and will be indispensable for the botanist, horticulturist, and gardener. (Danielle Marie Carlock American Reference Books Annual 2008 )

An essential reference for anyone interested in plant life because of its depth and presentation... incorporates significant advances in knowledge. (Brian E. Coutts & Cheryl LaGuardia Library Journal, Best Reference 2007 )

What an absolute treasure it is.... This book has already become one of my most beloved natural history books. (George Bryant, Member, Board of Directors, Past-President, Field Botanists of Ontario Field Botanists of Ontario Newsletter ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Books; Revised edition (March 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554072069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554072064
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.4 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #854,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By P. van Rijckevorsel on May 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The predecessor of this book, Flowering Plants of the World, was a well-known reference for decades to many who love plants. There is a strong sense of continuity between these two books, if for no other reason that both use the same illustrations. In fact the continuity goes further and also involves much of the contents, as evidenced by the error of zebrawood being supplied by a species of Connarus, a myth that was debunked in the 1940's.

Where the earlier book was based on the Cronquist system, with the plant families arranged by order, this book is (loosely) based on APG II (2003), with the plant families arranged by alphabet. As to recognition of families, this book adopts a splitter's philosophy, recognizing 506 families (versus 457 in APG II). The book recognizes families such as Bombacaceae, Cneoraceae, Sterculiaceae and Tiliaceae. The classification in this book will not be found in any other reference, but this splitter's policy may help the book retain its value in these times of constant change in plant classification.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By KoutaR on October 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a massive book with large and beautiful illustrations. The information about the families includes distribution, major genera, number of species, morphological description, placement in the plant kingdom, intrafamilial classification and economic uses. Most of the family descriptions have also illustrations and references are given. The authors have adopted an approach to accept paraphyly in some cases.

However, there are some small drawbacks. The glossary does not contain the whole terminology used in the book. In the family descriptions, there are not few small errors, for example in the distributional information. In some cases the distribution of a given family in the map even differs from that in the text. There are this kind of small errors particularly in the descriptions written by V. H. Heywood. Also, I would have liked to find some basics of ecology of the families, but even pollination mechanism is mostly not given.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrachne on January 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very nice book, only lacks a good key to identify the plants at least to family level. The drawings are all spread through the book, it would be better to put them together in plates for each family.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Greg Barclay on December 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I teach botany at university and this is simply a wonderful resource for me. So many beautiful illustrations to pore over. No, it does not include all of the flowering plants, but with some 300,000 species out there, no book can. I have read quibbles about there being some errors in this work. Botany is complex, the time and effort that went into this new (and huge) new edition must have been enormous, and so errors are inevitable. The price is amazingly low. This book is a great thing to have for back yard gardeners and anyone who loves plants.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Craig F. Barrett on September 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is an impressive, dense, fact-filled book with wonderful illustrations and distribution maps. It is as useful for plant biologists as it is for anyone else, whether you are interested in evolutionary relationships of plants, or just simply wondering where certain foods come from. Citations are acknowledged along with each family description for quick reference to the primary literature.
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