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The Plant-Book: A Portable Dictionary of the Vascular Plants [Hardcover]

D. J. Mabberley
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

19 Jun 1997 0521414210 978-0521414210 2
The Plant-Book is widely accepted as an essential reference text for anyone researching, growing or writing about plants. In over 20,000 entries this comprehensive dictionary provides information on every family and genus of seed-bearing plants (including gymnosperms) plus ferns and other pteridophytes, combining taxonomic details with invaluable information on English names and uses. In this new edition each entry has been updated to take into consideration the most recent literature and over 2,500 new entries have been added, ensuring that The Plant-Book continues to rank among the most practical and authoritative botanical texts available.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 874 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (19 Jun 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521414210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521414210
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 12.3 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,614,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'… a fact book for which I shall almost eternally be grateful. Botanists and serious gardeners everywhere should go down on their knees in gratitude for Cambridge University Press and for the travail of Dr D. J. Mabberley who has laboured to produce The Plant Book. I can only join fellow botanists and horticulturalist in saying 'Thank You'.' Stefan Buczacki, The Guardian

'This new edition of The Plant Book is to be enthusiastically welcomed.' International Botanic Gardens Conservaton News

'… a modern classic … an up-to-date accurate and user-friendly dictionary of great value to both botanists and horticulturalists … amazingly good value for money.' Dick Seamons, Science and Technology

' … I confess to being a major fan of this book, now updated in the second edition with 2500 entries. In fact I can't imagine being able to function efficiently without it!' Quandong

'The author has clearly kept abreast of the most recent developments, not only in plant classification, discovery, and popular usage, but even with aspects of genetic engineering. This new edition gives the reader an additional 2500 entries and 150 more pages of very condensed but well-presented plant information - an invaluable resource.' Kew Bulletin

'^n my opinion, this book should find a respectable place in personal collection of fellow botanists and on the shelves of all libraries.' N. N. Bhandari, Phytomorphology

'The Plant-book is now widely established as a classic botanical work and an essential reference for any person, professional or amateur.' P. B. Heenan, New Zealand Journal of Botany

Book Description

Completely revised and rewritten, this new edition features over 2,500 new entries, ensuring that The Plant-Book continues to rank among the most practical and authoritative botanical texts available.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars essential if you work with scientific plant names 27 July 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For anyone working with scientific names of plants, this is an essential tool. It gives you the scientific name for many a common name. At family level it gives you synonymy, technical details such as systematic position and main characters, it tells you numbers of genera and main uses. At genus level, it gives you synonymy, similar details for the more important genera, numbers of species, main uses (used as copper indicator in Russia; suitable for marmalade) or interesting little snippets (often found on greenhouse floors; hollow twigs inhabited by ants) plus comments on relationships, chromosome numbers etc. This is, as it states on the title page, 'a portable dictionary of the higher plants'. It is a goldmine.
My room is filled with books on plants; this is one of the books that has to be at hand at all times. In fact, I have two copies - one at home, one at work. A great little volume.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
An essential reference for anyone training in horticulture. Easy to work with, comprehensive index making information easy to locate within the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential tool for botanists 8 Jan 2014
A great deal of work has gone into this book and it is a valuable tool, especially for keen botanists
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review is superfluous 9 July 2000
By P. van Rijckevorsel - Published on
This book does not need a review. Anybody who is involved in plants, other than the garden kind, knows full well that this is an essential reference. Quite up to date too, which is pretty amazing in view of the pace that science sets. There is an enormous mass of data in here, printed on very thin paper, making for a very handy book that will fit a spot near where you need it, which is likely to be often.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My most used reference book 7 Nov 1999
By A Customer - Published on
As a graduate student in ecology I often encounter unfamiliar genera in the literature, and a quick peek in Mabberley gives me enough taxonomic grounding to keep plowing ahead. By constantly referring to this book, I have greatly improved my knowledge of plant relationships.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once more 5 stars 16 July 2010
By Troy Mullens - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A little bit too pricey for a casual purchase, therefore I would be surprised if it ever gets less than 5 stars. I have been using this book at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) for adding collections of specimens to the herbarium at BRIT. It is generally considered the standard work and definitive answer to current plant family names. It is also great for looking up abbreviations of botanists' names (you know, those little abbreviations at the end of the plant's scientific name).

It was time to get my own copy. Essential reference and "the word" for taxonomy.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the Best! 30 July 2003
By A Customer - Published on
I purchased this reference a few years ago. Once I received it and began using it, I wondered how I'd ever gotten along without it. The author's British and so the dictionary's common names are more often "British" than "American", but it is still the handiest plant dictionary I have. It is a little larger than pocket size, but it is still small enough to be held comfortably in one hand.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good technical manual. 27 Jan 2011
By J.S. - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a reference book only. Do not expect any light reading. If you must have descriptive information on a huge list of plants, this is the book.
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