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The best book on tropical gardening plants

March 7, 2011

For several years one of my favourite books on tropical gardening plants is Kirsten Llama’s ‘Tropical Flowering Plants’ (2003) Timber Press. 423 pp. Over 1400 species described, 1500 colour photographs

I use it when I go plant shopping in Chiang Mai, because downtown plant vendors do not use scientific names like in the west, and if you learn one or two local names for a specific plant, the vendor usually uses a third. The best way is therefore to show pictures of what you want. With some basic knowledge about plant families, you can also make ID:s yourself on the spot. In fact, thanks to the book I have made friends, i.e. people seeing the book and then come up to me and talk.

The directory is exactly what I want, i.e. all names in alphabetical order, not splitting into scientific names and English names. The book is arranged in alphabetical order of the plant families, using the latest system (2003) which also facilitates a quick ID.

It is very hard to make a flawless book, but Llama’s book is one of the rare cases where it is very hard to find spelling errors or mistakes. I believe this is because Kirsten is a professional with a MSc in tropical botany from University of Miami.

We have sold 20 books at Dokmai Garden (currently sold out, again) but you can buy this book at almost any bookstore in the west or order from the publisher ‘Timber Press’.

Needless to say, Kirsten is a master photographer!

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