A Guide

by W. Arthur Whistler, Ph.D.


Plants of the world are utilized in many ways throughout the world, some of them basic to life, such as for food, shelter, clothing, and medicine, and some less basic, such as for personal adornment and as ornamentals. Tens of thousands of plant species are used as ornamentals throughout the world, and more than 400 of the species most frequently encountered as ornamentals in gardens in the tropics, especially in the South Pacific, are included in Tropical Ornamentals.

The introduction of the book includes a concise survey of tropical gardening situations, with examples of particular plants useful in each. This is followed by the main text of the book, which includes accounts of the about 400 featured species and another hundred or so species that are mentioned and differentiated. Each of the 400 featured species is illustrated by a detailed close-up photograph, as are about 50 of the closely related species. Each account includes a botanical description, making it ideal for identifying the tropical and subtropical ornamental species, and many of the temperate ornamental grown in green houses. Also included is information on propagation methods and ideal growing conditions, making it useful for gardeners in determining how and where to cultivate the plants. Two appendices are included, one on the 20 most common families of ornamental tropical plants, the other an innovative identification key featuring prominent characteristics leading to groups of plants that are tabulated and easily distinguished by flower color and other conspicuous attributes. Identifications are easily confirmed by turning to the alphabetically arranged photographs and descriptions. A glossary and an index of common names and synonyms complete this book.

The book is ideal for tropical or subtropical gardeners, botanists, and tourists who are visiting tropical islands. It was designed to bridge the gap between the many small booklets and books on tropical ornamentals and the large and expensive encyclopedic books that cover nearly all species, most of which are rarely seen by the average gardener.

Pages: 542Color Photos: ca. 450
Size: 6 x 9 inchesBinding: soft bound
Cost: $34.95Publisher:Timber Press
Publication Date: 2000