Brazilian Flora: Arecaceae (Palms)

Volume 1 of a New Flora

Reviewed by Bob G. Cannon II

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I recently acquired another book from Harri Lorenzi and it is obvious that he has made the production of his books a labor of love and dedication that spans almost four decades. The book is Brazilian Flora: Arecaceae (Palms) by Harri Lorenzi, et al.

Floras are generally perceived by the general public as dusty tomes filled with small difficult to read print and line drawings. Not exciting and not all that exciting to a person whose interests are casual or only semi-professional. This is regrettable as floras contain a wealth of information under this uninteresting disguise.

With the advent of the new century some flora are departing from this design in exciting ways.

Brazilian Flora: Arecaceae (Palms) is the first volume in a new flora of Brazil and is a truly beautiful book that boasts color photographs of the plants and presents the information clearly in a font large enough to read for sheer enjoyment. This is not only a flora but it is fun to read.

Palms are associated by most people as tropical – and the flora covers Brazil's many tropical palms well. An equal amount of care and presentation is also given to palms that live in Brazil's cooler regions. Most species are presented with three clear color photographs that detail the plant's appearance and a map that shows the habitat. Most of the text account provides information that assists in figuring out just how to identify the plant. There is also attention given to propagation and even uses of many of the plants – something lacking (or relegated to a single terse sentence) in many older floras.

Floras don't need to be dull and this one promises a series of well made (the binding and printing are quality), well thought out books that should appeal to Botanists, plant collectors, nurserymen and arm-chair travelers alike. The quality of the binding, and archival paper, should provide years if not generations of service.

Brazilian Flora: Arecaceae (Palms)

by Harri Lorenzi, et al. 368 pages (352 full color) Profusely illustrated with color photographs. Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora Ltda. Copyright 2010 ISBN 85-86714-35-1 $60.00 : or from your bookseller. The book is also available in Portuguese.

Overall Recommendation 5/5  Rated 5 of 5

My recommendation is that this book belongs in any serious botanical or horticultural collection as well as collections on palms,  South America and Brazil. Price is $60USD (plus shipping). Order from the author at his web page through a virtual store in both Portuguese and English: or from your bookseller. Use the ISBN numbers on this page for English text. (Use o número do ISBN desta página para o texto em inglês..

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Please mention this review when ordering.

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In the event of any conflict the English version of this review is to be used as official.

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