Most helpful positive review
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Ideal for my requirements
on 28 February 2009
Like most reference books the value of the individual book depends on what the user aims to get out of it. My requirements are quite modest and this book is absolutely ideal for my purposes.
I am the web editor of a website for a small urban park which has a wonderful mixture of plant and animal life. I started a blog to chart the park on a week by week basis over the period of a year and found to my absolute horror that even my top level knowledge was a mixture of forgotten childhood facts and absolute ignorance. A number of new books later and I was able to write about what I was photographing for the blog and the website.
I used this particular book to help me to understand the relationship between common and scientific names (if any) and to learn a little about the origin of the plant names, which I have found fascinating. I am not using the book in an academic context, just as a hobbyist, and for that purpose it is absolutely perfect. Very rarely have I looked up a plant name, located first in a plant identification book, and not found a helpful explanation of the scientific name.
Most of the plant names that I am searching for are wild plants. I would imagine that anyone wanting details about garden plants might want an alternative or additional resource, but so far this one has been more than sufficient for my needs.
Being a glossary it reads like a dictionary and there are no illustrations, but they are not needed for my type of activity.
It was originally published in 1931 and I am very glad to see that it is still in print, which I think is a true mark of its ongoing value.