paper, 640 p., $49.95
A distillation of the six-volume The European Garden Flora (Cambridge University Press, 1998-2000), this book collects in concise form details on 2,220 genera of flowering plants that might appear in gardens in Europe (and by extension in those kindred zones in North America). With 136 black-and-white drawings, this reference work is a basic manual containing precise, accurate and, most importantly, brief descriptions. An introduction provides a key to the organization of this volume, along with a translation of the shorthand for each genus and family. For example, "Pachysandra Michaux. 5/4" means that the genusPachysandra includes five species, of which four may be found in cultivation in northern Europe.
Cambridge University Press is to be commended for assembling this valuable paperback field guide in a portable and well-designed format. It includes wide margins for notes and is bound so that the book easily opens — and remains open — on a desk or in the field. Amateur and professional gardeners alike in Europe and the United States who are ready to decipher their local ornamental floras will find many uses for this guide.
— Edward J. Valauskas, Manager, Library and Plant Information Office, Chicago Botanic Garden