New edition of The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms being published

Posted: 5 Jun 2012

First published in 2003 the award winning Encyclopaedia of Cultivated Palms has been a must have reference for all palm enthusiasts.
 
The new second edition brings onboard world renowned and respected palm expert Scott Zona. It takes the opportunity to include many of the new palm species and varieties that have been discovered and introduced into cultivation over the best part of a decade since the first edition was published.
 
Information is given on a general overview of palms before the two main sections that are the heart of the work commence.
 
An initial 250 pages are filled with over 900 colour photographs which serve to inspire any palm collector. Especially worthy are those of numerous Dypsis species, many new to cultivation and blessed with colourful crownshafts. The newly discovered Tahina is also illustrated with both habitat and cultivated plant shots.
 
The second and largest section of the book comprises the alphabetical reference from Acanthophoenix to Zombia. Each entry gives an overview of each respective genus followed by more detailed coverage of representative species within each genus. Covering descriptions of the palms key characteristics, occurrence, seed germination tips and temperature preferences.
 
Genera popular with those of us who grow palms in cooler climates are well represented, for example, Trachycarpus, Brahea and Ceroxylon have 8 species each, Butia 9 and Syagrus 24. Though amongst these Brahea clara and the newly named Trachycarpus ukhrulensis are omitted. In respect of Butia, the revised naming proposed in 2010 is adopted and in particular and explanation of how this impacts the widely grown Butia odorata is explained.
 
The final sections of the book list a range of palms by landscape use such as drought and salt tolerance, speed of growth and colourful palms for example. There is also a list of gardens with renowned palm collections. The scope of the book doesn't cover specific chapters on growing palms indoors or treatment of pests or diseases. Though reference is made within the respective information for any palm that may or may not be suitable for growing indoors.
 
There is also no mention of the impact of the red palm weevil and Paysandisia moth which are now serious pests of mature palms across many gardens in Southern Europe.
 
Whilst perhaps segregation of the palm photographs from the species descriptions may slightly reduce the overall impact it does allow for the maximum coverage of palms to be made. With information on 825 species accompanied by over 900 colour illustrations this is a must have reference for every palm enthusiast and collector. It is great value for money and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
 
May 2012. Tony King, secretary European Palm Society

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