Dirr's Trees and Shrubs for Warm Climates: An Illustrated Encyclopedia

Overview


Following the phenomenal success of Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs, written for gardeners in the climates of USDA zones 3–6, this companion volume is a superlative photographic encyclopedia of trees, shrubs, and vines for "warm temperate" zones. In North America, these areas (zones 7–11) stretch from the Mid-Atlantic states to the South, include most of Texas and the Southwest, and encompass the entire West Coast, up to western Canada. Many parts of the British Isles, Australia, and New Zealand experience similar...
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Overview


Following the phenomenal success of Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs, written for gardeners in the climates of USDA zones 3–6, this companion volume is a superlative photographic encyclopedia of trees, shrubs, and vines for "warm temperate" zones. In North America, these areas (zones 7–11) stretch from the Mid-Atlantic states to the South, include most of Texas and the Southwest, and encompass the entire West Coast, up to western Canada. Many parts of the British Isles, Australia, and New Zealand experience similar conditions. In a nutshell, any gardener who lives in an area where average winter temperatures do not fall below 0° Fahrenheit (–18° Celsius) will want this book, and curious gardeners in colder zones may well want to test these select plants in their local microclimates.

This remarkable volume shows both the habit and details — flower, fruit, bark, fall color — of more than 400 species and describes hundreds more cultivars and varieties. Certain genera offer myriad hybrids and selections, and photographs of many of the best of these are included as well — nearly 40 named crapemyrtles, a dozen teaolives, and 11 loropetalums. In all, more than 1400 photographs join with the authoritative text to bring the plants to life.

From Abelia to Ziziphus, gardeners will encounter many new and unfamiliar plants that thrive in warmer climates. Dirr gives special attention to hardy palms that can survive outside the subtropics. The book also reflects the author's inimitable personality, which holds nothing back when a plant deserves outright acclaim ("If prescriptions could be written for perfect garden plants, this species would come close to filling the order"), backhanded praise ("Use for accent, for novelty, or to drive visitors loony"), or frank condemnation ("Splays to the point of no redemption with time").

The book concludes with useful lists for selecting plants for a variety of conditions or for ornamental characteristics, such as flower color and fragrance, fruit, and fall color.

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Editorial Reviews

Philadelphia Inquirer
"Useful to those with microclimates or adventurous gardeners who want to test the limits of their zone."—Denise Cowie, Philadelphia Inquirer, November 22, 2002
— Denise Cowie
Horticulture
"An invaluable addition to the library of anyone who gardens in the 'warm temperate' Zones 7-11 ... Drawn from the well-traveled researcher's decades of obsessive observation and liberally seasoned with humor, the richly informative plant profiles provide multiseasonal descriptions and tell how to use and care for hundreds of species and cultivars suitable for Zones 7-9 and warmer."—Carol Bishop Miller, Horticulture, October 2002
— Carol Bishop Miller
Fine Gardening
"Yet another must-have reference book [by Michael Dirr] ... an indispensable resource for both novice and experienced gardeners."— Fine Gardening, November/December 2002
Philadelphia Inquirer - Denise Cowie
"Useful to those with microclimates or adventurous gardeners who want to test the limits of their zone."—Denise Cowie, Philadelphia Inquirer, November 22, 2002
Horticulture - Carol Bishop Miller
"An invaluable addition to the library of anyone who gardens in the 'warm temperate' Zones 7-11 ... Drawn from the well-traveled researcher's decades of obsessive observation and liberally seasoned with humor, the richly informative plant profiles provide multiseasonal descriptions and tell how to use and care for hundreds of species and cultivars suitable for Zones 7-9 and warmer."—Carol Bishop Miller, Horticulture, October 2002
Paula Refi, Paula
A triumph!...Southern gardeners have been known to covet the climate in England or the Pacific Northwest. Dirr's Trees and Shrubs for Warm Climates left me rejoicing that I can actually grow many of these splendid plants.
Perennial Notes
Carol Bishop Miller
An invaluable addition to the library of anyone who gardens in the 'warm temperate' Zones 7-11 . . . Drawn from the well-traveled researcher's decades of obsessive observation and liberally seasoned with humor, the richly informative plant profiles provide multiseasonal descriptions and tell how to use and care for hundreds of species and cultivars suitable for Zones 7-9 and warmer.
ѿ Horticulture
Library Journal
A professor of horticulture and the author of ten books, including the well-known Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, Dirr (Univ. of Georgia) here presents an encyclopedia with more than 1400 beautiful photographs, personal observations of over 400 species, and hundreds more cultivars and varieties of trees, shrubs, and vines that grow in the temperate zones of the Southeast. Intended as a companion volume to Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, this new book will be useful to landscapers, garden designers, horticulturalists, and home gardeners located in the South, as well as the West Coast through British Columbia. Dirr also includes a section on cold-hardy palms that will survive in growing zones 7-11. What sets this book apart from many other botanical encyclopedias is the author's personal writing style, which breathes life into the text. Each plant is described in detail, showing flower, fruit, bark, fall color, and any other distinguishing characteristics. Easy-to-read entries may also include the author's individual experience with the plant, recommended cultural requirements, and growing habits. This practical and comprehensive work indicates whatever unique features a plant has to offer in the garden, both aesthetically and economically. Useful appendixes aid in selection of plants by their various characteristics. Dirr's encyclopedia is strongly and unhesitatingly recommended as a basic reference resource for both public and academic libraries, especially in the relevant growing zones. Deborah Anne Broocker, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Dunwoody Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
Intended for gardeners in the South, as well as the West Coast as far north as British Columbia (primarily USDA zones seven to nine and even to zone 11), this handsomely illustrated reference details the flowers, fruit, bark, fall color, hardiness, cultivation requirements, and landscape uses of some 400 woody plant species and nearly 500 additional cultivars and varieties, from vines and groundcovers to shrubs, sub-shrubs, die-back shrubs, and trees. Especially useful is his coverage of cold hardy palms and extensive coverage of such genera as and , particularly the evergreen oaks. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881925258
  • Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/26/2002
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 8.75 (w) x 11.38 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author


Michael A. Dirr is a professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia. He is the author of twelve books, including Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: An Illustrated Encyclopedia and the text and reference book, Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, and has published more than 300 scientific and popular papers and articles. His teaching, lectures, seminars, garden study tours, and plant introduction programs have contributed enormously to greater horticultural awareness. He has received the highest teaching and gardening awards from the University of Georgia, American Society of Horticultural Science, American Horticultural Society, American Nursery & Landscape Association, Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Southern Nursery Association, and Garden Club of America.
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Read an Excerpt


What a wonderful chance discovery about eight years past at an antebellum home across from the Georgia campus, where a low subshrub with pink wisteria-like flowers was growing in the shade of pecan trees. Another key-out quest was performed, with this species surfacing as the leading candidate. A suckering, spreading shrub with seven to thirteen, 1 to 2 1/2-inch long rich green leaflets per leaf. Flowers, each 3/4 in. long, pink, in 4 to 8 in. long, 20 to 40 flowered racemes, explode in May and continue sporadically into August and September on new growth. Have yet to observe fruit set. I hope to breed this species with the others for improved floral characteristics. Prefers moist, moderately fertile, acid soil in partial shade (best) to full sun. Some foliage lightening in full sun but no diminution in floral production. Displays excellent heat and drought tolerance. Use as a groundcover in shade, at the front of a border, and in bank plantings. Ond of Bonnie's favorite plants. Our fine colony prospers under the shade of a Southern Red Oak, Quercus falcata. Grows 12 to 18 in. high, spreads indefinitely. Zones 6 tp 7(8). China, Japan.

Cultivars and varieties. 'Alba', with white flowers, is in cultivation. 'Rosea' has deeper pink flowers with a hint of lavender.

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