Palms throughout the World

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Presenting an up-to-date introduction to this complex group of plants, Palms Throughout the World describes 800 species in 123 genera and discusses the distribution, biology, propagation, cultivation, and economic importance of palms. The individual species descriptions are arranged in alphabetical order and include common synonyms and references to origin and distribution. Providing multiple species accounts for many genera, David L. Jones focuses on species that are commonly grown throughout the world, species that are collector's items and are mainly grown by enthusiasts, and species that are awaiting introduction to cultivation.

From the familiar and impressive species of Johannesteijsmannia to the dwarf and small palmlets found in the genera of Pinanga and Licuala, Jones presents an authoritative and accessible reference for botanists, horticulturists, and palm enthusiasts. Palms Throughout the World is lavishly illustrated with color and black-and-white photographs and rare engravings.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Its descriptions of 800 species in 123 genera include cultivation and propagation information as well as descriptions, and its 350 color photographs are conveniently located next to the species they illustrate.”—Library Journal
Library Journal
Palms are an important plant family. Ornamentally, they symbolize a tropical landscape to most of us; economically, they provide important products to millions of people in both subsistence and modern commercial economies. Although both of these books provide a wealth of information on palms, they differ in coverage. Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas takes a botanical approach to help readers identify palms naturally occurring in the Americas. A brief introduction and a key to the genera are followed by descriptions of 67 individual species, including identification, characteristics, habitat, and interesting notes. A separate section of 64 color plates, a distribution map for each species, checklists, and a detailed bibliography and index are also offered. Species descriptions are written by taxonomists but are reasonably comprehensible and interesting to the amateur; unfortunately, there is no glossary to explain technical terms. Palms Throughout the World, an expansion of Jones's popular Palms in Australia (1984), takes a horticultural approach. Its descriptions of 800 species in 123 genera include cultivation and propagation information as well as descriptions, and its 350 color photographs are conveniently located next to the species they illustrate. The long introductory section includes information on the structure, biology, and economic uses of palms as well as their disease and cultivation requirements. A glossary is provided. Both works would be useful in academic horticultural libraries. Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas is the only comprehensive field guide for its area, although Natalie Uhl and John Dransfield's definitive Genera Palmarum (Allen Pr., 1987) provides more detailed botanical information. Palms of the World is a more attractive book and would have greater appeal to general readers.Marit MacArthur, Auraria Lib., Denver, Col.
Describes the distribution, biology, propagation, cultivation, and economic importance of 800 species of palms. Devotes more attention to the species that are most commonly grown, whether for food, fiber, or decoration. Highly illustrated, mostly with color photographs. Includes a glossary without pronunciation. Of interest to botanists, horticulturalists and enthusiasts. First published by Reed Books, Chatswood, NSW, Australia. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
George Cohen
Jones divides this encyclopedic work into two parts. The first part deals with structure, economic importance (many communities in the tropics and subtropics depend on palms for their livelihood), cultivation, and pests and diseases. The second part is a 265-page alphabetical listing of about 800 species in 123 genera. Each entry offers information on the plant's origin, distribution, and habitat and describes its general appearance (height as well as the configuration of fronds, leaflets, flowers, and fruit). Included are 445 color photographs, 60 black-and-white line drawings, and a detailed glossary.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560986164
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1995
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

David L. Jones is a professional horticulturalist and the author of many fine books, including Cycads of the World: Ancient Plants in Today's Landscape, Second Edition (Smithsonian, 2002).

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