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Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas (Princetons)

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Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas (Princetons)

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    Available in PDF Format | Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas (Princetons).pdf | English
    Andrew Henderson(Author) Gloria Galeano(Author) Rodrigo Bernal(Author)

This user-friendly and authoritative book will serve scientists, growers, and sightseers as a guide to the 67 genera and 550 species of naturally occurring palms found in the Americas. Its purpose is to give an introduction to the diversity of palms and allow almost anyone to identify a palm from this part of the world. Providing scientifically accurate descriptions and a rich supply of illustrations, including color photos taken in the wild of over 256 species, this guide is extraordinary in its coverage of the plant that has become for many people the symbol of the tropical landscape.


Palms are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they also make up an economically and ecologically important family of plants. In industry, for example, the coconut, oil palm, and date palm have a wide and varied use. In the lowland rain forest, palms are usually one of the most abundant and diverse families of plants. Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas will appeal to professional scientists or students workingin the tropics-including agronomists, anthropologists, ecologists, entomologists, natural historians, and zoologists-as well as to amateur and professional growers of palms, to "eco-tourists" who visit tropical regions, and to inhabitants of these regions who are interested in the native flora.


"This excellently produced guide is a model of its kind, not only in providing keys and description for field taxonomists, but also in containing a wealth of information on the ecology, distribution, and economic uses of this important group of tropical and subtropical plants."--The Naturalist"A very useful summary of the state of knowledge of Western Hemisphere palm taxonomy."--Choice"The reason why this should become a standard reference, as well as a field guide, is that the species concepts are broad and allow for the considerable variation that palms exhibit in the field. Highly recommended."--Henk Beentje, Curtis's Botanical Magazine"What makes this guide so significant is that, until now, the taxonomy of American palms had never been synthesized and simplified to bring order to all species in all genera and provide standard names among countries."--Roger W. Sanders, Sida

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Review Text

  • By Christopher J. Sharpe on 30 November 2005

    Palms are a very conspicuous feature of the tropical landscape, whether in the wilds of Central and South America or in the suburban environments further north. They are also important economically (usually as fruit crops) and culturally (having uses as diverse as roofing, as material for weaving hammocks as fodder for edible beetle larvae!). Since everyone knows what a palm is, yet most non-specialists cannot get much beyond that, this guide to their identification should fill a niche.This is a field guide to the 550 species of palm occurring naturally in the American tropics. The taxonomic treatment seems to this non-specialist to be eminently sensible and many knotty systematic probems appear to have been carefully resolved. A 40 page appendix of accepted names helps clarify what has happened to some of the older synonyms, hybrid names and such.The authors have crammed an awful lot of new and useful information into the three-hundred and fifty odd pages. A main key permits identification to genera with further keys sprinkled throughout the body of the book. There are handy introductions to families and genera. The text is succinct and well oriented towards field identification while the 236 photographs at the back allow the user to quickly narrow down the search by visual means. Maps are provided for every species - this must have been a huge task! - and country checklists provide a further tool for homing in on the plant in question.

  • By palmnut@cableinet.co.uk on 17 February 2001

    This is a very good book that covers nearly all of the Palm cultivars that one would expect to find in the Americas. The book is very well written and seems well researched, it also includes over 250 colour pictures at the back of the book. This book contains a mass of information but is probably of more use to a palm botanist than a palm enthusiast or cultivator as the book contains no cultivation or growing advice whatsoever. That said, this book is still a very interesting reference book.

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