Impatiens: The Vibrant World of Busy Lizzies, Balsams, and Touch-me-nots

Impatiens: The Vibrant World of Busy Lizzies, Balsams, and Touch-me-nots

by Raymond Morgan
     
 

Many gardeners know of Impatiens walleriana, the species that lies behind the myriad colorful garden varieties that brighten up containers, window boxes, and shady spots throughout the world. The genus Impatiens is enormous, comprising over a thousand species—many of which, although highly desirable, remain lilttle known to Western

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Overview

Many gardeners know of Impatiens walleriana, the species that lies behind the myriad colorful garden varieties that brighten up containers, window boxes, and shady spots throughout the world. The genus Impatiens is enormous, comprising over a thousand species—many of which, although highly desirable, remain lilttle known to Western gardeners.

Raymond Morgan first examines Impatiens through a botanical lens, describing their physiology, morphology, and seed dispersal mechanisms. He then recounts Victorian-era plant-hunting forays into the Himalayas and notes how modern-day expeditions, with due concern to conservation, continue to bring back species that will eventually find their way into nursery catalogs and gardens.

Perhaps most excitingly, the author describes over 200 species ranging from Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and the Himalayas to New Guinea. Along the way the reader is acquainted with remarkable species, including the giant African Impatiens tinctoria, which grows to 6 feet tall, and Tibet's ultramarine I. nanchabarwensis, which grows in the deepest canyon on earth.

The genus Impatiens contains a wealth of untapped treasures for gardeners. With wonderful photographs complementing the detailed plant descriptions, this book is essential reading for curious-minded gardeners keen to unearth this fascinating and largely unexplored genus.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Morgan goes far beyond giving readers a pretty picture book; he provides extensive information on morphology, taxonomy, breeding programs, pest, and practical gardening tips."

CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries

“[Morgan]. . . also provides solid advice on propagating, growing, treating the few diseases or pests they might fall prey to, and landscaping with these versatile plants.”

CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries - Jill Vig
"The essential guide to this flower."

Martha Stewart Living

Pacific Horticulture
“[Morgan]. . . also provides solid advice on propagating, growing, treating the few diseases or pests they might fall prey to, and landscaping with these versatile plants.”
— Jill Vig
CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries
"Morgan goes far beyond giving readers a pretty picture book; he provides extensive information on morphology, taxonomy, breeding programs, pest, and practical gardening tips."

CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries

Library Journal

Grenfell, cofounder of the British Hosta and Hemerocallis Society, has teamed up with photographer Shadrack to produce a small-sized but informative guide to hostas. The introduction covers hosta botany, what to look for when buying plants, their proper cultivation, and the major pests and diseases that threaten their growth and health. The section "Hostas for Specific Purposes and Locations" helps gardeners choose varieties based on leaf or flower colors or intended use. An A-to-Z guide lists hostas in alphabetical order by scientific name, with clump size and habitat information, followed by brief descriptions of leaves and flowers and references to similar hostas and mutations (or sports). Over 300 color photos bring this guide to life. Two hardiness zone maps, a listing of nursery sources, a short glossary, and a brief bibliography round it out and result in a handy reference for browsing. Suitable for public libraries, academic and special libraries with a strong horticultural interest, and avid home gardeners. (Photos not seen in color.)

In a richly produced volume, retired British nurseryman Morgan examines about 200 of the 1000-plus species of the genus Impatiens (family Balsaminaceae) in detail, describing their life functions and activities, their form and structure, and the fascinating seed-dispersal mechanism that gives the genus its name. Species from across Asia and Africa are included, and Morgan discusses the New Guinea hybrids, first introduced in 1972. There are good-sized sections on gardening with impatiens and pests and diseases, but the real gems of the book are the chapters on the impatiens species of Africa; the islands of Madagascar, the Comoros, and theSeychelles; the Himalayas; Southern India and Sri Lanka; and Southeast Asia. Within each section, species are arranged alphabetically (some with photos), each with descriptive paragraphs of their growth habitat, flowers, leaf arrangement, native location, and ideal uses. The arrangement of the book may make it less accessible to gardeners unfamiliar with the native regions and nomenclature of impatiens; nonetheless, the volume achieves its goal of raising awareness and appreciation of these colorful garden treasures. (Photos not seen in color; index not seen.)
—Eboni A. Francis

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780881928525
Publisher:
Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/10/2007
Pages:
228
Product dimensions:
7.24(w) x 9.28(h) x 0.81(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Raymond J. Morgan is a retired nurseryman with a longstanding interest in Impatiens. In Britain he holds the National Plant Collection of the genus, and he has travelled in southern India extensively researching and photographing them. He has written articles for such magazines as The Garden, The Plantsman, and Curtis's Botanical Magazine. Ray lives with his wife in South Wales.

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