Succulents II: The New Illustrated Dictionary (英語) ハードカバー – 2000/2/1
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Organized alphabetically by species, this volume illustrates and succinctly describes some 900 species that were not included in the first volume ( Succulents: The Illustrated Dictionary ), plus some 300 hundred more that did appear in the earlier volume, with new photographs. Descriptions address shape, form, size, color, country of origin, and CITES status. Introductory chapters discuss habitat, cultivation, and other matters. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Succulents II: The New Illustrated Dictionary has the same layout as the first volume and includes more than 1200 color photographs covering more than 900 species not illustrated in the first book. For every species illustrated, a description is given with details on shape, growth form, size, cultivation requirements, country of origin, and color. The introductory chapters provide information on the habitat of succulent plants and on genera and families illustrated in the Dictionary.
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As another reviewer has already pointed out, these texts are neither useful as identification guides nor are they as cultivation guides; their images are not truly conducive for plant characterization and the text does not touch on plant care in any real capacity. While you may occasionally be able to identify certain unique succulents simply through the likeness of the images that you see in the text, it is all but impossible to make positive identifications of species with more common forms such as the generic rosette form of many sempervivums; this is especially true of species with highly variable color. Even more frustrating are the woefully brief descriptions which are unfortunately generic and vague. Although, together, both texts cover upwards of 2 000 species of succulents and serve to demonstrate extreme diversity (its most laudable feature), it is by no means a catalog, in the true sense of the word, as it is not complete or exhaustive by any stretch of the imagination.
So what is it? The text states that it "constitutes a unique work of reference for succulent enthusiasts and collectors." While I do enjoy the simple fact that these texts are likely to be the most extensive collections of succulents in print, at the end of they day I feel largely unsatisfied; as though I haven't really gained any knowledge having read them. When I look something up in a dictionary, I aim to close the book having newfound insight and clarification. I don't feel these texts accomplish that. This, in addition to its price and datedness, makes these texts disappointing, given its reviews of high praise.
2 Stars - I don't like it. I think most enthusiasts yearn for more than just "Bodies to 4 cm long and 15 mm wide with lighter spots; yellow flowers," a typical description, and a documentary image.