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RHS Latin for Gardeners: Over 3,000 Plant Names Explained and Explored Hardcover – 1 Oct 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley; 01 edition (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 (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want to know the meaning of various names in English this is a very useful book. It lists over 3000 Latin names and gives their explanations and always an example of a plant where the name is used. The book has a few articles on important botanists, plant families and how for instance taste and flavour are described or how Greek and Latin numbers are used in names. The book has nice hand-painted illustrations, a couple on each page, so it looks nice. I would have preferred a more grammatical approach explaining the proper formation of latin names and their correct conjugation (masculine, feminine, neuter etc.), but if you want to know what brevipedunculatus, hypochondriacha or penicillium originally meant this is your book.
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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book - full of detail and extra snippets of information on why plants are named the way they are, The RHS can always be trusted to give reliable information with a wealth of experience and resources behind them to back up all their publications. It is the sort of book you may move on to from other more user friendly books of similar ilk as it is written in a more field specific way, a very good source of reference material.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Despite studying botany many years ago I have found this is an excellent source of reference and gives many, many explanations that I never previously understood. I would recommend this book to any keen gardener anyone interested in natural history.
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