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Alpine Plants of North America: An Encyclopedia of Mountain Flowers from the Rockies to Alaska

By Graham Nicholls

Consulting editor Rick Lupp

Foreword by Bobby J. Ward

A terrific book for anyone who loves the high country in the American West.

New York Times Book Review

This is the first comprehensive pictorial look at the American mountain flora from the southernmost Rocky Mountains to the Brooks Range of Alaska. Approximately 650 species in 54 genera are discussed, with many subspecies, varieties, and hybrids also described. Intended to be as useful for the gardener as the traveler, each entry concludes with a discussion of propagation and cultivation information, as well as warnings about pertinent pests and diseases. The 495 color photographs are not only lovely but they also give the reader an idea of the range of alpine plants growing in North America.

Media reviews

"A fine volume for making the most of mountain flora."


"A useful volume ... Recommended."

—C. T. Mason Jr., Choice

"Rock gardeners will appreciate Nicholls's instructions for cultivating everything from Aquilegia to Zauschneria."

—Jim McCausland, Sunset

"Written with rock gardeners in mind but it can be studied as well by people who love the thought of finding these astonishing plants in their native habitat ... This is a terrific book for anyone who loves the high county in the American West."

—Verlyn Klinkenborg, New York Times Book Review

"The text is written in colorful language suitable for any alpine plant enthusiast."

Northeastern Naturalist

"In addition to the 1.8 x 2.6" photos of plants and flower close–ups there are, scattered throughout the book, scenery and habitat shots that make me want to pack up and go plant exploring."

—John Scott, Dodecatheon


—Verna Barr, Delta County Independent

"At last, a truly definitive book on the mountain flora of the western United States ... This compendium will serve as a valuable handy resource for many years to come."

—Ann Bartlett, American Penstemon Society Bulletin

"Designed for plant hunting enthusiasts and growers, especially those seeking alpine plants for rock gardens, this volume provides a detailed catalog of the plants of the alpine North American West."

SciTech Book News

"An extremely valuable contribution to an area of alpine gardening, which is often neglected ... guaranteed to be of interest to any alpine enthusist ... an essential purchase for botanical and horticultural libraries."

—Ron Gilmour, E-Streams

"A comprehensive pictoral look at the American mountain flora."

Biology Digest

"Voted one of the 'Best Books of 2002'."

Salt Lake Tribune

"Beautifully illustrated."

—Jane Villa-Lobos, Plant Talk

"I love this book. You will too."

—Tom Stuart, Hardy Fern Foundation Quarterly

"Botanists will covet this book, as will all lovers of flowers."

—Dan Hays, Salem Statesman Journal

"An invaluable resource for anyone interested in successfully growing or identifying alpines."

—Jan Hale Barbo, Santa Fe New Mexican

"This book will be immensely useful to ... garderners and travellers and covers many plants about which it has not been easy to find information in the past."

Alpine Gardener

"Even those who live in humid climates can profit from his tips on cultivation."

—Lori D. Kranz, Bloomsbury Review

"[Nicholls'] tips on germinating seed and growing plants in pots are authoritative and invaluable to anyone who yearns to grow our native alpine gems."

—Panayoti Kelaidis, American Gardener

"Enriched with 495 spectacular photos, this book is a useful and comprehensive volume for the reference library of any rock garden enthusiast."

—Patt Kasa, National Gardener

"A most handsome book that will supply you with inspiration and provide all the information you need to know. This is simply a superb book and all interested in these plants should have it in their library."

—John E. Bryan, Gardening Newsletter

"If you are one of the thousands of Americans who start thumbing through seed catalogues in the dead of winter and dream of hunting wildflowers during the summer months, then rush out and buy this book."

—Kate Bertin, Forsyth Independent Press

"What an information bank on alpine plants of North America this book is!"

—Barney Lipscomb, Sida, Contributions to Botany

"An invaluable resource!"

—Rebecca Irwin, Plant Science Bulletin

"An excellent field guide ... An attractive and informative companion."

—William J. Scheick, Native Plant Society of Texas News

"This is a book that will grace the shelves of all growers and lovers of alpine plants."

—Christine Ebrahimi, Rock Garden Quarterly

"The encyclopedia will be valuable for large public libraries where there is an interest in rock gardening and also in academic libraries serving either horticulturalists or botanists."

—Diane Schmidt, American Reference Books Annual

"For anyone interested in growing North American alpines this book is a must."

—Malcolm McGregor, Rock Garden Quarterly

"The photos, botanical write-ups and gardening how-tos make [this book] a must for when you decide to put down roots in the mountains."

Hooked on the Outdoors

"Nicholls's book covers new ground and makes available a great trove of previously unpublished gardening knowledge. It should be an essential reference for gardeners and horticulturists, and also has much to offer anyone with a general interest in plants of the Western mountains."

—Loren Russell, Native Plant Society of Oregon Bulletin

"This book will be as useful to rock gardeners as to mountain hikers who want to know exactly what they're seeing."

—Virgil Rupp, East Oregonian

"For anyone with an interest in plants of Western North America, this book is a must have. For anyone who just wants to learn more about alpines from these areas, they can do no better than to study this work ... A very worthwhile publication and a credit to Graham Nicholls and Timber Press."

—Alan Grainger, Alpine Garden

About the author

Graham Nicholls

British nurseryman Graham Nicholls has gained widespread recognition for his cultivation of award-winning dwarf campanulas. A three-time recipient of the prestigious Farrer Medal, he lectures regularly in the U.K. and the U.S. and is a national judge for the Alpine Garden Society (U.K.).

Read more about Graham Nicholls

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