decorated boards, 504 pp., $49.95
Distinguished Irish botanists John Parnell and Tom Curtis provide readers with a helpful, sturdy handbook on the subject of Irish flora, originally created almost seventy years ago by noted Irish botanist David Webb (1912–94). This updated reference for the student and amateur botanist contains a clear guide that identifies the higher order of plants, growing wild in Ireland, as well as many of the commonly cultivated ones. There are some notable changes in this edition; among them, there is a reduction in the number of families from 132 to 118. The number of species and subspecies has risen to 1,543. Wisely, the authors have taken a step toward clearing up the common language confusion. Common English names, currently in use, follow the scientific nomenclature, replacing literary and other forms of reference. Colorful illustrations occasionally identify species on pages in this comprehensive text.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden