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RHS Latin for Gardeners: Over 3,000 plant names explained and explored Hardcover – 1 Oct 2012

74 customer reviews

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RHS Latin for Gardeners: Over 3,000 plant names explained and explored + RHS Botany for Gardeners: The Art and Science of Gardening Explained & Explored + Plant Names Simplified: Their Pronunciation Derivation and Meaning
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley (1 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184533731X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845337315
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 2.3 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

"Extremely helpful and makes the study of plants much easier" -- The Telegraph

"Confused by botanical names? The new RHS Latin for Gardeners explains all." --The Times

Book Description

This beautifully illustrated guide unlocks the mysteries of botanical Latin explaining what plant names mean and the descriptive clues they conceal.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Sweet Chestnut on 22 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Whilst this is informative and does give some interesting historical notes on featured plants it was not quite as I expected, which was a break down or root (no pun intended) of the plant names ie Sempervivum - latin semper meaning always and vivus meaning alive = to live forever. On some 'featured' plants it does this, but generally it doesn't, which I found disappointing, but then I do have a particular fascination with word origins.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By AndrewL94 VINE VOICE on 6 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like many other RHS publications, this is a beautifully produced book, with a lovely cloth binding, decorative endpapers, and oodles of coloured engravings and paintings. The RHS has cornered the market in this type of book, a combination of serious reference work and coffee-table browser.

By the way, I'm a huge fan of the RHS and all the work they do in promoting horticulture in the UK. I'm constantly visiting their online Plant Selector. And the two-volume A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants should be on every gardener's bookshelf.

My quibble is with the content of this particular volume, which is quite limited. It claims to explain over 3,000 plant names. However it is restricted to extremely brief explanations of the second part of the Latin binomial (the double name given to every species). I was hoping for a comprehesive reference work fully describing both elements of a plant's latin name. For instance, I was researching ''Hacquetia epipactis'', and wondering about the source of the name. Sure enough, the book comes up with an explanation of ''epipactis'' (plants thought to curdle milk). But unfortunately there is nothing about ''Hacquetia'' and I'm still in the dark about the derivation of this intriguing name.

It looks as if I will have to invest in something weightier, drier and duller, to satisfy my quest.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By wilfpuckdale on 22 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Gussied up for the gift shop market, Edwardian Lady style, this will no doubt sell well. But anyone who actually bought it because they are curious about the origins of plant names will be consistently frustrated. Here's a few I just tried to look up and found not included: potentilla, clivia, ranunculus. A great deal of space is taken up listing rather obvious terms such as Clarkei, or indeed ranunculoides, while rather common plants are ignored. There is some interesting information contained in this book but as a work of reference it will disappoint.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By highlandlady on 8 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very interesting - explains how plants got their names and links plant families to other ones with the same roots. Excellent for people who like flowers called by their proper names!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Strigidae on 2 April 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book is absolutely stunning to look at and a joy to dip in and out of. It's hardcover and features lush, heavyweight quality full colour pages. I was seriously shocked to see the one star review here for this product claim that the pictures are "rubbish". They are lovely proper botanical illustrations! You can't ask for much better! I was pleasantly surprised to find the book was illustrated in this manner.

The book does not go into a huge amount of detail about the root of words, but the meaning is given and helpfully masculine, feminine and neuter forms are fully listed for you. As a note, Botanical Latin is quite different to Classical Latin as some of us were taught in school - so there are a lot of words that are not Latin at all. Botanical Latin is very recent and has had to adapt to describe plant parts that the Romans never described and therefore did not have words for, so there will be some big differences. Please consider this before complaining it's not Latin - it IS Botanical Latin, and that's a different beast altogether!

The names of some notable plants are explored more fully throughout the book for interest as well, making it a very nice book to hop about in as you are looking names up.

Overall this has been a very useful purchase for me. I consider it to be excellent value for money given how much I will be referring to it and the quality of the book itself. It's a perfect gift or lightweight reference book for the interested gardener.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Diane Cole on 7 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book leaves out a lot of commonly used plants. Some of the pronunciations are laughable. The layout is not easy to use either.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. W. M. Speirs on 25 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
was a christmas present for my gardener wife.
however, I did Latin, so can positively review the book.
I will still have to be the purist and correct her onnpronunciation.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Caliban on 10 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautifully illustrated and superbly bound, this book is a sheer delight both to hold and to behold - even a ribbon attached to the binding dispenses with the need for a potentially damaging bookmark. Used with care, this book would become a beloved heirloom!
The typeface and design is well-chosen for comfortable reading, and the layout of the content is clearly illustrated and explained.
The author's style is clear, precise and very engaging, and demonstrates a thorough knowledge of her subject.
The content is exactly as described above. This delightful book is both a door that opens onto a beautiful garden, and a guide that gently and easily leads us through the now fascinating, but hitherto labyrinthine, subject of plant nomenclature.
Thank you to all involved in its production!
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