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Pulmonarias and the Borage Family

Pulmonarias and the Borage Family
Masha Bennet
Timber Press
Publication Date: 

cloth, 240 p., $39.95

For anyone with an interest in the genus Pulmonaria, this is a reference book worth reading. Pulmonarias and the Borage Family opens with a most impressive introduction to the borage family (of whichPulmonaria is but a branch), dealing with their geographic distribution, classification by family, plant structure, methods of cultivation, types of propagation, and pests and diseases. Among the genera included are Anchusa, Cynoglossum, Echium, Heliotropium, Mertensia, and Myosotis.

The chapters devoted to Pulmonaria are well-written, describing their characteristics with accompanying line drawings to illustrate the finer points. Sections follow dealing with their distribution, uses in the garden, culinary and medicinal values, cultivation, propagation, and even surprisingly their role in folklore.

It is always interesting to see how a book originally issued in the U.K. will fare with American readers. In this case, pretty well, I think. Only one problem: Should the reader go looking for plants mentioned in this work, they may not find the varieties listed. And more importantly, they won’t find conveniently located nursery sources for them.

Having reviewed enough gardening books by now to have formed a general opinion of what is out there on the shelves, I’d like to take a moment to compliment Timber Press, the publisher, for the clean, crisp, contemporary appearance of this book. From its stylish cover to the handsomely laid-out pages and attractive color plates, Pulmonarias and the Borage Family bears the stamp that distinguishes so many of the Timber Press publications. It is a pleasure to look at!

— Jim Kemper