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Aroids: Plants of the Arum Family (Second Edition)

By Deni Bown

Captures the essence of this extraordinarily weird and wonderful family in a mouth-watering way.

Gardens Illustrated

Originally published in 1988 as the first truly comprehensive review of one of the largest and most popular plant families, Aroids was enthusiastically welcomed by botanists and horticulturists alike for its attention to scientific detail and delightful writing style. Now in this completely updated second edition, we learn of discoveries made in the last decade as the family has grown from about 2500 species to nearer 3200. The latest taxonomic and nomenclatural revisions are noted in the checklist of genera, and all the original drawings are included plus twice as many color photos. A new guide to the cultivation of ornamental aroids completes this well-rounded introduction to a remarkable family.

Media reviews

"It is actually gripping. ... By the end I was filled with admiration for the arum family and their elaborate ruses for pollination."

—Frank Ronan, BBC Gardens

"It makes for some fascinating reading."


"A scholarly review of this amazing family ... Puts into context the origins and habits of aroids and their cultivation."

—Stephen Pategas, Ornamental Outlook

"The new edition of Bown's Aroids conveys so much interesting information with as much clarity and wit as anything botanical I've ever read."

—Guy Nesom, Botanical Research Institute of Texas

"This book will take you to a new level of understanding about genera within the aroid family."


"Will astound readers with the unusualness of the plants ... Most interesting."

—Marty Figley, Michigan Observer and Eccentric

"If you have any interest in this large plant family at all, Deni Bown's book is a must-have for your library."

Hawaii Horticulture

"The first [edition], published in 1988, was greeting as 'ground-breaking' and this is equally compelling."

Hull Daily Mail

"Once you read this book you'll start noticing aroids all over the place. And the stories told by Deni Brown will bring either a knowing smile to your face or a smirk of amusement."

Hawaii Horticulture

"Aroids: Plants of the Arum Family, published in 1988 by Timber Press, became a bible to lovers of philodendrons, elephant ears, anthuriums and related plants. It was the first time someone had compiled that plant family into an understandable, comprehensive and entertaining reference. This year the book has been revised, enlarged and enhanced with Bown's exquisite photographs."

—Georgia Tasker, Miami Herald

"A well produced high quality book with masses of useful information ... worth buying (or persuading someone to give you it as a present) for the hardy species alone."

World of The Rhodedendron Newsletter

"A tantalizing and wide ranging read on the natural history of aroids ... Evocative, stimulating and accessible even on the most scientific aspects of her work. Captures the essence of this extraordinarily weird and wonderful family in a mouth-watering way."

—Fergus Garrett, Gardens Illustrated

"This second edition of Aroids offers the same high quality of information, photos and writing that made the prior edition a classic."

Amateurs' Digest

"Aroids flies far above many academically oriented books. Written with an easy flow and packed with fascinating and useful facts."

Plant Science Bulletin

"It belongs in any college or university library. Any amateur interested in plants, not just those who are amateur botanists, will find this book hard to close."

Plant Science Bulletin

"A well produced high quality book with masses of useful information."

Scottish Rhododendron Society Newsletter

"I started out reading this book with an interest in aroids. I finished so excited about them I started looking in the phone book and on the Web for an aroid society to join here in Hawaii."

Hawaii Horticulture

"Revisions cannot get much better than this one. How does Timber Press of Portland, Oregon, which consistently releases botanical and horticultural masterworks, continually defy the laws of economics to produce excellent works that are so inexpensively priced?"

—Rudolf Schmid, Taxon

"This book is extremely well written ... It's a fascinating book, and you'll be a better gardener for having read it."

—Clear Englebert, FungShway.com

"What a fascinating book!"

—Susan Knorr, Garden Views

"While she certainly doesn't stint on scientific information, Bown has given us an eminently readable book."

—Susan Knorr, Garden Views

"In 1988, Deni Bown published the first edition of this book, to universal acclaim. Now Ms. Bown has come forward with a second edition that is far richer than her first."

—Allen Lacy, Homeground

About the author

Deni Bown

Deni Bown is a freelance writer, photographer, and consultant based in Norfolk, England. She specializes in botany, gardening, herbs and natural history; her work covers many different aspects of the plant world. She has photographed botanic gardens in Europe, the United States, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, India, and Australia, and is also a regular researcher and photographer at both Kew and Edinburgh.

Read more about Deni Bown

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