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The Complete Book of Cacti & Succulents Paperback – July 7, 1997


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The Complete Book of Cacti & Succulents + Succulents Simplified: Growing, Designing, and Crafting with 100 Easy-Care Varieties + Succulent Container Gardens: Design Eye-Catching Displays with 350 Easy-Care Plants
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: DK ADULT; 1ST edition (July 7, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789416573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789416575
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This is a great book for anyone who is interested in Cactus and Succulents.
Amazon Customer
The book thoroughly covers the needs of these plants, including what kind of soil, how much water, what temperature and amount of light they prefer.
Robert M. Peffer
Beautiful pictures and helpful information are what makes this such a fantastic book.
Jason Howard (nicu@psn.net)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

206 of 208 people found the following review helpful By Tracy L. Powell on February 10, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Terry Hewitt's Complete Book of Cacti & Succulents may not exactly be complete (it is not an encyclopedia), but it is thorough and is an excellent book especially for beginners. Hewitt discusses the anatomy and discovery of cacti/succulents, how to plant them, propogate them, how to keep them healthy, and even discusses how best to display the plants. And of course the most important part: the plant catalog. He covers hundreds of cacti and succulents in full color. In addition to the many desert cacti I'm happy to say that Hewitt also covers epiphytic cacti including aporocactus, aporophyllum, epiphyllum, and the Christmas cacus. In the back of the book the author includes Plant Selection Lists. In these lists he lists the plants that are best for beginners, as indoor pot plants, those that are easy to flower, those that grow best in the different climates, etc. And I again want to stress the many, many beautiful, clear full color photos throughout the book.
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79 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Robert M. Peffer on February 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
If you had to limit yourself to just one book, this should be that book.
For novices, this book has excellent basic advice for getting started, including many pictures and of how to display and plant them. For those with more experience, the book is a handy first reference before searching a specialized botanical tome.
This book makes the specific point that (popular, commonly available) cacti are no more difficult to grow than any other house plant.
The book thoroughly covers the needs of these plants, including what kind of soil, how much water, what temperature and amount of light they prefer.
The largest section has all of the popular genera, including the tropical varieties. This section has excellent photography of the plants at their best. If a person had a cactus that's in this book, that person would very likely be able to identify it from the descriptions and pictures. The book usually describes the distinguishing feature that classifies the plants of that type.
Typical and maximum sizes are given, along with the plants' growth habits and the age at which they first flower (some varieties do not flower until they are many years old).
Also included in this section is the hardiness, or how cold the plants can get before they die. If you don't live where these plants naturally grow, this is very important information. For instance, many kinds of cactus grow where it snows in the winter and can be grown outdoors in most of the USA.
At least one of each of the different general forms of cactus is shown: columnar cacti, prickly-pear types, barrel types, etc.
Following the section on specific cacti is a fairly representative section on popular succulents.
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92 of 93 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
I recommend this book to all cacti collectors, especially beginners. I have more than a dozen cacti book on my shelf but this book, with its colorful plant catalogue, stands out to be my most referenced book. The other book than I also refer to frequently (and would also highly recommend) is "Cacti: The illustrated Dictionary" by Preston-Mafham. There are a few reasons for my love for this book by Terry Hewitt. Firstly, its plant catalogue, while not matching Preston-Mafham's book in terms of number of species illustrated, contains more than a 100-plus of the most commonly grown cacti and succulents. You will therefore, still most likely find a new plant that you've just acquired in the book. Incidentally, this is in contrast to Preston-Mafham's book, which only illustrates globular cacti; it has nothing on other form of cactus and succulents. Secondly, Terry Hewitt gives a very succinct description of each species, giving information such as their natural habitat, flowering habits and other characteristics and needs of the plant. Thirdly, the book contains other equally useful chapters on propagation, care and pest control. This beautiful book should definitely be on the shelf of all cacti and succulents collectors.
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful By J. Chippindale on October 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
The book is very well produced and the photography is very good. The author is well known and respected in Cacti circles and the book reflects his knowledge and status. The first section relates to the history and discovery of cacti and shows some amazing photographs of cacti in their habitat. It goes on to show how best to display your cacti in suitable containers and then a chapter on the differing shapes of the plants and their flowers The plant catalogue itself does not show too many of the different genera, but the popular ones are there and what it does do is show photographs of a number of species within a certain genera and this appeals to me. Too many books try to over-reach themselves and try to cram in as many genera as possible, showing a photograph of one species and very short descriptions of one or two other species. In this book the descriptions of each plant give the average height, flower colour etc. and also the min. temp. each plant will stand. The book shares space equally between true cacti and succulents and they are presented separately which makes the book layout clean and easily readable. At the end of the book are several pages on plant selection in sections, i.e. Plants for beginners; Plants for the Greenhouse; Free Flowering plants etc. This is another plus. One criticism I have is that many of the plants are photographed from directly overhead, this may be aesthetically pleasing, but does not give a true reflection of the size and shape of the plant and is not really my cup of tea. But this is a small moan about what is otherwise an excellent book. At this price the book is a good buy and there is something for everyone interested in the care of these unusual plants. I am happy to have this book in my collection.
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