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The Timber Press Guide to Succulent Plants of the World: A Comprehensive Reference to More than 2000 Species Hardcover – October 18, 2011


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The Timber Press Guide to Succulent Plants of the World: A Comprehensive Reference to More than 2000 Species + 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

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press (October 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881929956
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881929959
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Cactus and succulent expert Dortort, a lecturer at the University of California Botanical Garden, has assembled an attractive and user-friendly guide to succulent plants. The book begins with overview chapters on succulents in nature and in cultivation. Subsequent chapters, organized by family and genus, contain an overview of the families and then move into essays on individual species. More than 2,000 succulents are featured, with descriptions, climate information, trivia, and a note on similar plants, if any. There are 750 full-color photographs of plants, most in their natural habitats. Each entry includes information on the plant’s native habitat and its cultivation requirements. Both familiar species and more exotic varieties are showcased. In the final chapter, Dortort covers “odds and ends”—plants not normally known as succulents, such as begonias and philodendrons. A genera-specific reading list is offered, for those seeking further information. Novice plant enthusiasts and those who are already well familiar with succulents will appreciate this comprehensive and accessible volume. Recommended for all public and academic libraries, particularly those with strong gardening or plant collections. --Rebecca Vnuk

Review

“Sure to be valuable for botanists and gardening enthusiasts.”
(Dominique Browning Library Journal)

“A book like this is as restorative as a three-week vacation, minus the hassles with airplanes.”
(Mary James The New York Times)

“…a new reference for newbie fans and avid collectors.”
(Nancy Szerlag San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles)

“A great companion book for beginners as well as avid collectors of these fabulous plants.”
(Ian Hodgson Detroit News)

“Comprehensive and accessible volume … recommended for all.”
(Dominique Browning Booklist)

"This book is a fascinating compendium and homage to succulence, amply repaying exploration to both expert or experienced novice who thirsts to know more."
(The Garden)

"A new reference for newbie fans and avid collectors."
(San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles)

"A great companion book for beginners as well as avid collectors of these fabulous plants."
(Detriot News)

"A book like this is as restorative as a three-week vacation, minus the hassles with airplanes."
(The New York Times)

"Comprehensive and accessible volume ... recommended for all."
(Booklist)

"Without question the best contemporary presentation of this vast group of plants that are primarily from southern Africa and Mexico."
(The Desert Sun)

"You’ll learn about more than 2,000 succulents, their natural history and how to enjoy them in your garden or in your home."

(The Chronicle Herald)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Lots of great pictures and information.
Megan
To be fair I will continue to read and use the book and get back to this review.
Ron Emanuel
It is amazing to look at all the unusual plants around the world.
jmhward

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It is true, as this book points out, that these plants survive in amazingly harsh conditions - where others couldn't and they do have an otherworldly appearance which somewhat contributes to their appeal. The plants pictured are from all over the world. Even with the first picture the appearance of many of them are jaw-dropping. They do make you want to investigate further and maybe try your luck with some of the varieties.

The book contains information about succulents in cultivation, in nature and then the different types, such as; Crassula, Echeveria and Sedum. There is use of their common and Latin names and they are organized by family and genus. The reader is introduced to some basic taxonomy and terms. The pictures are of beautiful specimens, both cultivated and in the wild.
Most of the content does describe the native habitats of the plants. There is some help of what method some of the varieties can be cultivated. There is a specific chapter that gives information on soil, water and propagation; but for the most part if you are looking for a book that gives you very precise and detailed step by steps on how to grow these in your home and yard, you really need to look elsewhere.

What this book gives, for the most part are descriptions of the plants in the wild and what their natural habitat is. There is also an index of the plant names.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Masha on May 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book contains some great reading of Mr. Dortort's travel adventures, where he seeks the rare succulent for his botanical gardens. Kind of an Indiana Jones of the Weird Plant World. I really want to go to South Africa now and see some of these amazing plants in situ. The book is vast and comprehensive, with many pictures of the plants in their native habitats. I particularly value this because it makes it clear how the plants normally live and how we can help them adapt to our world. I will be reading this from cover to cover several times at least, and referring to it often. Lots of good advice on caring for these fascinating plants, also. He even includes a number of geni that are not usually covered in "arid plant" books, like Bursera and Boswellia (copal and frankincense trees). Great stuff!
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44 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Ron Emanuel on November 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well, I want to be fair....So I will say that We own and operate a succulent nursery. At point of sale we often depend upon Ref. books to sell succulents. This is probly not the book for that. The Encloyp. would be better and offers many more pictures and details, it is also a "quick and user friendly" Ref. This book, I would not use while in the field selling. However I would use just to read at home. The selections in each cat. are very limited. Well there are thousands of succulents (including cactus) This book only touches the surface and very few pictures to help identify the plant. To be fair I will continue to read and use the book and get back to this review. If you were buying it to start a succulent garden,It would be little help. There are many books than can address that. This book is printed in China....Go figure? why?

Ok, after further review this is very well done. A lot of work and research went into this book. I changed my rating to five. I was only thinking of my use. I will use this book to further my education of succulents. Also in the back there is a index that will prove very usefull....Sorry, I can and will use this.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Panayoti Kelaidis on December 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
There are never enough good books on succulents, and Dortort writes well and covers the best known traditional sorts. Although 2000 succulents sounds like a lot, I found that the treatment of many groups I value: hardy South Africans, Opuntias, geophytes and North Temperate succulents generally (Sedum for instance) was very skimpy or missing. This is not as comprehensive as the title suggests. For the beginning succulent enthusiast who is focusing on the classic greenhouse and sunroom plants, it is useful...however the photography is a tad small, and not as sumptuous as in other Timber Press books (Debra Baldwin's flashy although much less in depth books for instance). I wish that the picture quotient were upped! Still worth the investment for most serious collectors.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By jd on April 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book leaves you wanting more. There are some great pictures but only highlighted species. Also why bother mentioning one species looks similar to another without putting the photo for comparison? Specific specie cultural information is also lacking. The book does a good job highlighting interesting succulent families but stops at that. It peaks your interest and quits. Not a good choice for someone looking for a lot of specific plant family description and information. I have a small Aloe, Hoya and Haworthia collection. I am a hobbyist and by no means professional. I do admire Mr. Dortort's work and ambition in putting together such a volume. I just wish there were greater details on fewer families. Perhaps this book could serve as an introduction to an encyclopedic series to follow. Would be a good introductory volume for someone unfamiliar with succulents. I did purchase the book from Amazon and I found the price to be quite agreeable. I would feel really bad if I had given the $49.95 price suggested on the books jacket.
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