cloth, two volumes, 1,584 p., $99.95
Flora: A Gardener’s Encyclopedia is an excellent and comprehensive reference source. With more than 20,000 entries and 11,000 color photographs, this two-volume set goes beyond the typical book of plant lists. By including brief sections on such plant science information as global hardiness zones; plant nomenclature; plant groups; leaf, flower and fruit types as well as a glossary, novice and expert alike can navigate this book with ease.
The encyclopedia of plant groups is alphabetically organized by genus and offers concise details, including a description of genus and species, cultivation requirements, growth habit, flowering season, flower color, forms, and symbols for hardiness, width and height. A functional index includes common plant names with genus names for cross-referencing.
An included CD–ROM allows the text to be searched by plant chooser, plant name or season. Less impressive is the Web links section, marred by pop–up advertisements, duplicate entries and a dead link. However, the value of this product is in the text, so Internet search engine problems may be overlooked.
Flora: A Gardener’s Encyclopedia is such a worthwhile tool for gardeners and horticulturists that I highly recommend it for home use as well as for library reference and research collections.
— Leora Ornstein Siegel