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The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms (Second Edition)

By Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, and Scott Zona

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.

825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

Media reviews

"Gallery of full-color plates illustrates precise species characteristics, while the book's second half offers descriptive text organized by alphabetized genus and species."

Library Journal

"Recommended for most large public and academic libraries, especially where there is an interest in horticulture."


About the authors

Robert Lee Riffle

Robert Lee Riffle (1940–2006) was an internationally recognized authority on palms and tropical plants. His landmark book, The Tropical Look: An Encyclopedia of Dramatic Landscape Plants (1998), won an American Horticultural Society Book Award, as did An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms (2003), which he co-wrote with Paul Craft.

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Paul Craft

Paul Craft trained as a chemist and is vice president of the International Palm Society. A resident of Florida, he was the founding president of the Palm Beach Palm and Cycad Society and also a palm nurseryman. He is currently active in efforts to promote palm conservation.

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Scott Zona

Scott Zona is the Curator of the Wertheim Conservatory at Florida International University and the author of nearly 100 articles on palms, both popular and technical. He is also the co-editor of PALMS, the quarterly journal of the International Palm Society, and teaches and lectures all over the world about tropical plants.

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