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Stearn's Dictionary of Plant Names for Gardeners: A Handbook on the Origin and Meaning of the Botanical Names of some Cultivated Plants Hardcover – 10 Oct 2002


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 363 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; 3rd Revised edition edition (10 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030436469X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0304364695
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 4 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 856,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

World-famous nomenclature expert, William T. Stearn, left a gap in the horticultural world when he died in 2001. Since publishing his first scientific paper at the age of 18, he has had an enormous influence in the botanical field and was awarded the Veitch Memorial Medal, the Victoria Medal of Honour and a CBE. This is his definitive work on plant names and meanings for the everyday gardener. A vital reference work, he covers the meaning and origins of the most common everyday cultivated plant names, cross-referenced with some 3000 vernacular names to solve what is often a conundrum amongst gardeners. Full of amusing anecdotes related to the naming of plants, it is a fascinating insight into nomenclature and the clues they give to a plant's appearance: aureus - golden, azureus - sky blue, erubescens - blushing. They also give a sense of history with plants named after the discoverer or their patron - davidii - Armand David, knautia - Christopher Knaut and hookeri - Sir William Jackson Hooker. Greek and Latin mythology make appearances too as befits the horticultural mix of the two languages. A fascinating book to dip into and an important work that deserves a place on every gardener's bookshelf. - Lucy Watson

About the Author

William Stearn ((1911-2001) was librarian of the Royal Horticultural Society's Lindley Library, senior principal scientific officer in the Department of Botany at the Natural History Museum and visiting professor in the Department of Botany and Agricultural Botany, University of Reading. In 2000 he was awarded the Asa Gray Award, the highest award of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "dave_d85" on 28 Jan. 2006
This book is fantastic. After looking up just a few names in this book and finding out the fascinating derivations and origins of the names you will find yourself looking up every new plant name you hear just to find out if the name has some interesting history. Also excellent for anyone who wants to project the image of a well-informed plantsman without having to try!!!
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Verified Purchase
A gem. Recommended by Anna Pavord of the Independent, I knew nothing of it and it is a delight. It will go to my classically minded eldest daughter in time. It was second-hand and described as "good" but it seemed to me to be "as new" and arrived very quickly from the seller.
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Verified Purchase
Brilliant book. Bought to assist learning on a horticultural course and used regularly ever since.
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