January 24, 2009


Last year, I listed some of my favorite current reading lists, and since it is winter, and cold, perhaps it's time again to get a wish list together and order some more books. In addition to these current titles, there are a few yet-to-be published titles that look interesting.
Some forthcoming titles are worth looking out for.

The Genus Jasminum in Cultivation

Peter Green and Diana Miller
Publisher Kew Publishing, 2009
Description Expected March 2009

This new Kew Magazine Monograph looks terrific, it is edited by Martyn Rix, from the Kew Website " destined for gardeners, nurserymen, botanists, and lovers of botanical art. The Genus Jasminum details the historical and cultural use of jasmine, its role in perfumery and medicine, cultivation in temperate and tropical gardens, and taxonomy, including a key to cultivated species. Full colour illustrations, photographs and maps illustrate the tex.t".

166pp. 244 x 182mm. 35 colour botanical paintings. 30 colour photographs. 18 line drawings. Hardcover.

ISBN 978 1 84246 011 5
Price £0.00 $0.00
This soon to be published work also sounds great....I can't get enough tropical or species Rhododendron inspiration, but this may make me broke.

Pocket Guide to Hardy Rhododendrons and Azalea Species
J F McQuire and M L A Robinson
Kew Publishing, 2009
An enthusiast's guide, which profiles all the hardy Rhododendron and Azalea species in temperate zones throughout the world. At the heart of the book are 750 colour photographs, used to illustrate every aspect of the plants together with succinct descriptions which include flower colour and flowering time, habit, height, performance, and, critically, leaf characteristics to aid species identification when the plants are not in bloom.
Based on the acclaimed descriptions of H.H. Davidian, the book nonetheless takes fully into account modern taxonomic revisions to the genus.

Provisional publication date: April 2009

ISBN 978 1 84246 148 8

This yet to be published book on my list, which I am most excited about is an Alpine Plant monograh entitled: Alpines from Mountain to Garden, but I could not find a cover image for it yet.

Alpines from Mountain to Garden
Richard Wilford (edited by Robert Rolfe)
Kew Publishing, 2009
To be published in the Kew Botanical Monograph series, this book explores the geography, history, botany and cultivation of alpines and rock garden plants from around the world. The story of the discovery of alpine plants and their introduction into our gardens is a tale of exploration, adventure and perseverance. The book is arranged by geographical region, from Europe and North America, to China, Australasia, South America and Africa. Plant portraits look in detail at particular genera and species, accompanied by colour photographs and botanical illustrations.
£0.00 $0.00

A Botanist in Borneo - Hugh Low's Sarawak Journals

R H W Reece & P J Cribb (ed.)
Natural History Publications (Borneo), 2002
An attractively presented book, consisting of the first publication of the plant-hunting diaries of the botanical collector, Hugh Low, who visited Sarawak during the years 1844-1846. The work includes 66 fine colour reproductions of plant portraits which prove Low's ability as a botanical artist, and the scene is set by a useful introductory chapter about Low's life and work.

212pp. 160 x 225 mm. Hardback, with dust-jacket.

ISBN 983 812 065 0

£27.00 $37.80

Exploratrices Intrepides
This book is more art book than Monograph, but it looks inspirational.

Kew Publishing, for the Mona Bismarck Foundation, 2007
A richly illustrated catalogue, produced to accompany an exhibition of works by the two talented botanical artists and travellers on display at the Mona Bismarck Foundation in Paris from May-July 2007. Many of the paintings were previously unpublished in book form, making this an essential addition to the libraries of all interested in the work of Marianne North and Margaret Mee. The text is bilingual French/English.

Marianne North was a remarkable Victorian painter, who, a hundred years ago, documented many of the plants which came to Kew from explorers.

184pp. Colour illustrations throughout. Paperback.

ISBN 9781842462119
£19.95 $27.95

Genera Euphorbiacearum
A. Radcliffe-Smith
Kew Publishing, 2001
This taxonomic account of all 339 genera currently recognized in the family, is illustrated with 50 full-page line drawings. Many of the generic descriptions are based on the work of the late Dr John Hutchinson, but the classification follows that of Webster as modified by the author.

464pp. 245 x 155mm. Paperback

ISBN 1 84246 022 6
£45.00 $63.00

Another Key monograph,tops on my list and now ordered....

The Genus Cymbidium

David Du Puy and Phillip Cribb
Kew Publishing, 2007
Description from Key site:
Cymbidiums are among the most important and popular orchids in horticulture. Starting in late Victorian England, the variety of form and colour in the species encouraged hybridisation that has provided a great diversity of novelties for the nursery trade over the years. They are versatile plants, marketed as cut-flowers, buttonholes and as pot plants, producing many large, long-lasting flowers.

Cymbidium growing in the Far East can be traced back to the time of Confucius (about 500 BC), but the first species were only introduced to Europe and China at the end of the 18th century. Relatively few species were seen in cultivation in Britain until the time of the Industrial Revolution, which provided both the leisure time and the money for an explosion of interest in orchid growing. From the mid-19th century onwards, extensive exploration and collection of new species took place. The genus Cymbidium currently comprises some 52 species distributed throughout south and east Asia, the Malay Archipelago and north and east Australia.

A revised classification of the genus and an assessment of specific delimitation and nomenclature within the genus are presented in this monograph. The evidence from DNA data has clarified the relationships and classification of the species. The resurgence of interest in Cymbidium species has highlighted the taxonomic questions that still remain in the genus. The recent rush of new species names in the literature is assessed and nomenclature is clarified.

Extensive fieldwork in tropical and subtropical Asia, the Malay Archipelago and Australia has allowed the examination of many species in their wild habitats, contributing valuable information concerning the ecology, natural variation of wild populations and conservation assessments for Cymbidium species, and are provided here for the first time.

Cymbidiums are easy to grow, undoubtedly one of the main reasons for their popularity in horticulture. Suitable environmental conditions and composts for cultivation are recommended, while detailed cultivation techniques for the species are discussed by Michael Tibbs, a leading commercial orchid grower.

369pp. 254 x 185mm. 38 full colour paintings. 200+ maps. Hardback.

ISBN 978 1 84246 147 1

£47.50 $66.50

And another book on the remarkable flora of Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, the amazing National Park where the infamous Paphiopedilum sanderianum ( a species with three foot long sepals which collectors kill over and which brings FBI agents into greenhouses if one has a wild collected form), this book seems like a must have even though it may sound obscure. Since my greenhouse is cool, many of the plants in my collection happen to be from Mount Kinabalu, from Vireya species of tropical Rhododendrons, to Paphs and other orchids.

As a companion to the other Mt. Kinabalu/Borneo book above, this book is pricey, but looks interesting. It has other companion books which address other genus. Since this is the most costly, since it has more color photos, it moves to the top of my list since I think it will be hard to find soon.

The Plants of Mount Kinabalu: 4. Dicotyledon families Acanthaceae to Lythraceae

John H. Beaman, Christine Anderson and Reed S. Beaman
Natural History Publications (Borneo) in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2001
The Plants of Mount Kinabalu provides an inventory of all vascular plants in the flora of Mount Kinabalu. Volume 4 contains historical aspects of plant collecting on Kinabalu, a biographical sketch of two of the most important collectors, Mary Strong and Joseph Clemens, analysis of the collections, and enumeration of half the dicotyledons (83 families, 430 genera and 1575 species, subspecies and varieties - just over a quarter of the total Kinabalu flora). The book is particularly authoritative because of the collaboration of 25 noted specialists in various plant groups.

Forty-five plates (containing over 170-colour photographs) enhance the text.

588pp. 250 x 160mm. Hardback, with jacket

ISBN 983 812 051 0
£67.00 $93.80
All are available at the Royal Botanic Gardens web site for Kew Books.

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