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Hortus Third: A Concise Dictionary of Plants Cultivated in the United States and Canada 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0025054707
ISBN-10: 0025054708
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Still recognized as one of the foremost plant encyclopedias, Hortus Third consists primarily of alphabetically arranged botanical (Latin) plant names along with physical descriptions. It also has an excellent common name index and glossary. [Please note that Macmillan sold this title to IDG Books; it can be ordered from IDG at 800-434-3422.--Ed.]
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

Hortus Third is a book unique in the field of North American horticultural literature. Written from a botanical point of view for the horticultural community, it is a record of the astonishingly rich and diverse flora of cultivated plants of the United States, Canada, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Hortus Third is part of a longstanding program of research, initiated before the turn of the century by Liberty Hyde Bailey, that has given rise to a series of authoritative encyclopedic horticultural works, including Hortus and Hortus Second, published in 1930 and 1941 respectively. Hortus Third continues in the tradition of these publications, but it is much more than a revised or updated version. It is an essentially new work. Obsolete entries of previous editions have been omitted and have been replaced by many more entirely new entries. All other entries, with the exception of a few of the general articles, have been entirely rewritten and expanded to reflect current knowledge of the world's cultivated plants and the conceptual changes that have occurred in systematic botany over the past thirty-five years. The new system of nomenclature for the cultivated variants of species is used. Other innovations include the citation of the author or authors for each botanical name, diagnostic illustrations of representative species of most families, a glossary of botanical terms, and an index to common names. Hortus Third accounts for the botanical names of 34,305 families, genera, and species, and a large but uncounted number of subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars. Each entry with a description includes the correct botanical name with its author or authors and, as appropriate, botanical synonyms, common names, indication of nativity, and notes on use, propagation, and culture. Separate articles deal with important crops, such as blueberries; groups of plants—for example, conifers; and methods and materials, such as pruning and soils. As with previous editions, Hortus Third will be for years to come the standard reference to the plants of North American horticulture.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1290 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; 1 edition (November 1, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0025054708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0025054707
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 2.6 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Hortus Third isn't perfect. I wish it had more drawings and I wish it included more non-cultivated plants.
That said, Hortus Third is probably the most important garden/botany reference book I own. I am a professional garden writer & speaker (author of Allergy-Free Gardening) and Hortus is one book I turn to almost daily. I now and then do find some things in it that I don't completely agree with, but by and large it is very accurate.
Hortus is an expensive book, and not really one for the casual gardener, but for those whose interest is deep, it is worth the money--and then some.
My own copy of Hortus Third is pretty well dog-eared by now from so much use. I have given it only 4 stars as a rating, and that is because I, like many, wish it included more natives, but still, there is no other book quite like it and it is a very useful, important reference that I simply could not do without.
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Format: Hardcover
If you're *seriously* interested in plants (i.e., a plant "nerd")and love learning about the technicalities of plant families, similarities, differences, etc., then this book is for you. It's not for wimps! It's fascinating to study, and a great read if plants are your world.
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Format: Hardcover
With all the scholarly info now available on the web and in newer reference books, Hortus Third is still the most convenient authority available. None of the most expensive plant "Encyclopedias" come close. However, while using it, you have to be aware that it (at least my copy) was updated in 1976 at Cornell from the original compilation, "Hortus", done in 1930. (Hortus Second was issued in 1941.) If you're a current information freak, you may consider Hortus Third old-fashioned, and it is. It's old fashioned like Mozart is old fashioned. You may prefer the USDA website for very current, but very dry listings and lots of environmentally-skewed opinion. But remember, basic, authoritative plant information never changes. Hortus Third is beautifully organized, easy to use, and always answers my questions. After running a now-internet plant business for 25 years, where we care about accuracy and complete information, I couldn't live without it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great resource. Must have for anyone interested in garden curatorial work. Loaded with reference information for a vast amount of genera. No other "current" book I have found lives up to the vastness of this volume.
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By Kathy Henry on December 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very very technical but information is invaluable when needed. Difficult for amateur use, should have botanical knowledge.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Though it is old, this is the bible of horticulture. For the age of the book, it was in excellent condition!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From what I understand, this book is the standard. And I don't need an excuse to buy another book. This one was very inexpensive from the seller, and came in excellent condition; better than used books I've bought in old bookstores.

Interesting info in the book, concise, and I would have liked a little more info in some areas. It's unlikely someone is going to run across this book "browsing" in the plant book section. If you're here you're probably know what you're looking for already.

It's a dry read, but it's a big book. If nothing else, my kids can use it as a booster seat at the dinner table.
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