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Gordon Courtwright - Tropicals

This excellent book serves as a visual dictionary of about 400 tropical plants. It covers everything from trees to the orchids that live in them. Each page has three to seven superb color photographs (taken by the author.) The use of multiple photographs per pages makes the book a handier size, and keeps the price down without sacrificing one iota of quality. The photographs are about the best I've seen for accurate identification. Occasionally there are even multiple photos of the same plant - one close up and one more distant. The author is quite conscientious.

The descriptions are brief but complete, noting poisonous qualities, etcetera. He gives the botanical name (and the old botanical name if it has changed) and the English common names. There's even the occasional Hawaiian name - nice. The plant family, place of origin, and zone are also listed, most plants being in zones 9 or 10. The plants are in order by their botanic name, with a cross-reference chart of common names in the back. This book is the usual top-notch quality that one expects from Timber Press.

Timber Press, Portland, OR, (800) 327-5680, www.timberpress.com, 1988, 0-88192-332-x, 155 pages, color photographs, paperback, $24.95

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