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Book Review

Plant Names: A Guide to Botanical Nomenclature - Roger Spencer, Rob Cross and Peter Lumley

Book cover

Plant Names is a plain English guide to the use of plant names and the conventions for writing them as governed by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature and the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. It covers the naming of wild plants, plants modified by humans, why plant names change, their pronunciation and hints to help remember them. The final section provides a detailed guide to web sites and published resources useful to people using plant names.

There is no equivalent publication in the English speaking world, and it has been well received by botanists at the Royal Horticultural Society and at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, both in the UK. It incorporates the latest information in the most recently published Botanical and Cultivated Plant Codes, both of which are technical scientific publications that are difficult to read for all but the most dedicated botanists and horticulturists. Plant Names offers the professional horticulturist the first guide to using the multitude of names, including marketing names, on plant labels.

A 13 page sample of the book can be downloaded from the CSIRO Publishing website.

Author Information:

Roger Spencer is Senior Horticultural Botanist at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne in the Plant Identification Service. He has written many popular and scientific articles on horticultural topics and books on Elms, Grey and Silver Foliage Plants, and a recent 5-volume Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia.

Rob Cross is a horticultural botanist at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne where he works on the conservation and horticultural development of Australian plants, and has previously worked in the landscape design, garden maintenance and nursery areas of horticulture. Rob has written scientific papers, a booklet on Japanese Flowering Cherries and contributed to other horticultural books.

Peter Lumley was formerly a Senior Horticultural Botanist at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. He was also the senior author on the two previous editions of Plant Names.

Plant Names: A Guide to Botanical Nomenclature
Third Edition

Roger Spencer, Rob Cross and Peter Lumley
CSIRO Publishing, 2007.
RRP $39.95
Paperback, 176 pages, colour illustrations

From 'SGAP Queensland Bulletin', the newsletter of the Society for Growing Australian Plants (Qld), March 2008.

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Australian Plants online - 2008
Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants