Books for Nature Lovers
Cut Flowers of the World
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Review By: South African Journal of Botany 77 (2011) 80

Briza Publications have, in the last few years, produced several compact reference books with a level of information that would be suitable to a general plant enthusiast as well as any person involved in work related to the topic. Cut Flowers of the World is another such delightful offering that will appeal to a variety of readers including florists, horticulturists and flower enthusiasts. 
It is the fourth in a series on useful plants of the world, following Medicinal Plants of the World (2004), Food Plants of the World (2005), and Mind-altering and Poisonous Plants of the World (2009), and is presented in much the same style and layout (with more than 700 colour photographs). 
The book was compiled with the aim of presenting the basic information on the most important commercial cut flowers, foliage plants and potted flowers that are sold in florist shops worldwide. Thus, the main portion of the book covers 330 popular plants from around the world that are arranged in alphabetical order by their botanical (scientific) names, ranging form Abies procera (noble fir) to Zinnia elegans (zinnia). A useful index of common names is included to direct the reader to the correct botanical name entry, where each description provides an overview at species level (or in some cases at genus level). 
There are several short introductory chapters at the beginning of the book covering the history of flowers, the "language of flowers", regions of origin, the modern cut flower industry, production areas, information on cut flowers cultivation and production, harvesting, transport, basic information on cultivars and breeding, and principles for flower selection and handling. 
Each plant description is arranged on one page, with full colour photos showing the distinguishing features of the flowers/foliage and concise information on the plant. The information given covers the plant description, origin and history, parts used, cultivation, properties (e.g. colours, scent and vase life), quality criteria, and care and handling. A glossary explaining specialist terms is also included at the end of the book, as well as a useful list of suggestions for further reading. The general index contains both botanical and common names, as well as other terms, which is a very useful feature. 
Cut Flowers of the Word would certainly be a nice addition to any Public or University Library. Furthermore, it is highly recommended as a first-time buy for someone looking for a book on popular cut flowers. 

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