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Botanical Latin 4th Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0881926279
ISBN-10: 0881926272
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  • Botanical Latin
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

As Stearn states in his "Apologia" of a preface, "this book aims to provide a working guide to the special kind of Latin internationally used by botanists for the description and naming of plants." First published in 1966, Botanical Latin is the standard work in its field, a bible for botanists and a source of useful and trivial information for avid gardeners, etymologists, classical scholars, and others. The fourth edition has a larger format, "minor emendations" to bibliographies and text, and some 400 entries have been added to the vocabulary. This erudite and comprehensive work is recommended only for academic and specialized botanical and horticultural collections.
- Richard Shotwell, Hancock Shaker Vil lage, Pittsfield, Mass.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"This internationally renowned masterpiece is indispensible."—Cindy Roché, Kalmiopsis, August 2005
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated; 4 edition (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881926272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881926279
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Stearn's Botanical Latin is one of those books that every botanist involved with nomenclature and scientific description needs - especially if you never learned Latin in school and even if you did. There's a well-thumbed copy on the shelf in your herbarium, but you'll learn more from having it within arm's reach at all times. His introduction to the history provides the context and background to the elements of traditional nomenclature while the grammar and syntax can get you through the basics of a description. And of course, the vocabulary section is priceless for getting through old literature and descriptions - he provides enough of a skeleton of usage to help you understand the way descriptions are built and Latin terms are used in the botanical field. A typical latin dictionary provides tens of definitions for some words that in botanical Latin only get used one or a few ways, so the terminology section is great for making reading botanical Latin efficient.
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Format: Hardcover
As the quote says: "This book aims to provide a working guide to the special kind of Latin internationally used by botanists for the description and naming of plants." As such it has little or no competition and by itself sets the standard in the field.
Obviously it is not a dictionary, nor is it about plant names. For those wanting to look up current plants and their taxonomic status there is the invaluable "The plant-book" by D.J.Mabberley. For the derivation of botanical names there is "Stearn's dictionary of plant names for gardeners" by this same W.T.Stearn. Another very commendable dictionary (for a related field) is "Composition of Scientific Words" by R.W.Brown.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is probably on nearly every professional botanist's bookshelf, and is considered THE definitive reference for its subject. But it's also a great reference for anybody who is serious about plants and wants to know what their names mean and how they got them.
This most certainly is a reference book and not light reading. Nonetheless "Botanical Latin" also includes many interesting little tidbits, such as the derivation of Linnaeus's name (Linnaeus was the original name, and not a Latinization of Linné, as often thought). There is much more in this book than just vocabulary and grammar.
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Format: Hardcover
A very scholarly and authoritative work to be admired by academics everywhere - almost useless as a quick means to look up what a botanical name means. If you were to take a semester or so studying this work, it would probably turn out to be very useful. For example, the chapters are broken down into Habitats, Geographical Names, Colour Terms, Greek words, Descriptive Terminology, Chemical Reactions and Tests, etc. So, if you happen to already know that sagittatus is a descriptive term, you can go to the chapter on Descriptive Terminology and find out that it means arrow-headed. If you don't already know this, good luck finding out what it means in this book.
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Format: Paperback
I was given this book by a 'fellow plant person' as a helpful hand through grad 'skool'. I truly wish I'd had known about this book years ago when I starting to ID plants, lichens and mosses!! It would have made the process of learning a new language less intimidating! Knowing the definition of a root word is so important and applicable in areas outside of botany. - Knowing the meaning of a root word has been helpful to my English as a second langauge students. Don't let the word 'Latin' scare ya, this book is the dictionary. It is a tool not a great story unless you're into the development and history of language. It has come to be a great reference book, even my grad advisor is interested in it.
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Format: Paperback
Ever wonder what those Latin botanical names actually mean? Well, this book will reveal it all. It's thick and heavy, but that's to be expected of such a thorough and exhaustive treatment of the subject. Not only are there dictionaries, but also chapters on grammar, syntax, and history, and even a section on Greek words in botanical Latin. Whether you're a professional botanist, a student, or a serious amateur, this learned tome will be a valuable reference book for your library.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book, but much understanding of the subject is needed before hand for a person to really get much out of it. It is a great purchase for serious horticulturists, but if you are just a weekend gardener this is not the book for you. If you specialize in a certain Genera and more knowledge of specie name basis is what you want this is a good buy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent for Anyone Seriously Wanting to Know Plant Name Derivations!!!! Even if you are not into language and grammar, this book will walk you through the basics so you can truly understand meanings.
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