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Mabberley's Plant-book

Mabberley's Plant-book
A Portable Dictionary of Plants, their Classification and Uses

4th Edition


  • Date Published: June 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107115026

£ 59.99

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About the Authors
  • Mabberley's Plant-book is internationally accepted as an essential reference text for anyone studying, growing or writing about plants. With some 26,000 entries, this comprehensive dictionary provides information on every family and genus of seed-bearing plant (including conifers), plus ferns and clubmosses, besides economically important mosses and algae. The book combines taxonomic details and uses with English and other vernacular names found in commerce. The third edition was recognised in the American Botanical Council's annual James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award for 2008 and the International Association for Plant Taxonomy's Engler Medal in Silver for 2009. In this new edition, each entry has been updated to take into consideration the most recent literature, notably the greater understanding resulting from molecular analyses; over 1400 additional entries (including ecologically and economically important genera of seaweeds) have been included, ensuring that Mabberley's Plant-book continues to rank among the most practical and authoritative botanical texts available.

    • A major revision of this essential reference, fully updated throughout and with 1400 new entries, it supersedes previous editions to provide a guide to vascular plants, their botany and relationships, their uses and their common names
    • Provides a balanced review and synthesis of the current literature, covering every family and genus of seed-bearing plant (including conifers), as well as ferns and clubmosses, and economically important mosses and algae
    • Serves as a key to the definitive taxonomic revisions, enabling readers to successfully access primary research resources
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '[The book] brings together the latest information on plant classification, catalogues all generic names of seed-plants, ferns and clubmosses, and economically important mosses and algae, provides concise information on plant morphology and geographical distribution, and has a wealth of information on plant uses. With each new edition, entries for vernacular and trade names are growing in number … In fact the 26,000 entries are so rich in information, that in a way the Plant-book can replace a whole botanical library. … Mabberley's Plant-book remains a treasure-trove of botanical knowledge ' Pieter Baas, IAWA Journal

    'David Mabberley has rendered a singular service to the field of botany through successive editions of his comprehensive and highly accurate Plant-book. The appearance of a thoroughly-revised 4th edition is a welcome event; in the rapidly-changing field of plant names, it completely supersedes all earlier editions and would be a worthy addition to both personal and institutional libraries to serve as a ready reference to the whole range of generic and higher-order names of vascular plants, complete with information on economically and ecologically important species and cultivars … The access to the primary literature that this masterful work makes possible is of fundamental importance for botanical research of any kind … Mabberley has produced an essential reference for botanists, gardeners and naturalists, professional or amateur, that is a pleasure to browse and enjoy as a fine aid to discovery.' Peter H. Raven, President Emeritus, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis

    '… an invaluable and authoritative reference work to be kept close at hand and dipped into regularly for enlightenment and entertainment.' Karen Wilson, Australasian Systematic Botany Society Newsletter

    Praise for previous edition: 'The Plant-Book is now widely established as a classic botanical work and an essential reference for any person, professional or amateur … recommended as an essential and modern reference for anyone interested in botany.' New Zealand Journal of Botany

    Praise for previous edition: 'No-one working seriously with living vascular plants should be without a copy.' Choice

    Praise for previous edition: 'Send your congratulations to Mabberley by purchasing a copy. It may encourage him to produce a [new] edition.' P. Mick Richardson, Plant Science Bulletin

    Praise for previous edition: 'This book is an extremely valuable reference for researchers in plant biology, and perhaps even more for those in other fields involving plants. The compact format of the book adds to its value, making it a portable reference.' Neal M. Williams, The Quarterly Review of Biology

    Praise for previous edition: 'This is first and foremost a reference for taxonomists and is a most handy and useful book for horticulturists wishing for a comprehensive single volume for taxonomic inquiry. The book contains an incredible amount of information and is a credit to the perseverance and work of Dr Mabberley.' Allan M. Armitage, HortScience

    Praise for previous edition: 'The 858 thin (but strong) pages, the hard cover, and the small dimensions … make this book the true portable, practical and most updated reference manual on today's market, and I recommend it to any person interested in plants.' Brittania

    Praise for previous edition: 'David J. Mabberley and his wondrous Plant-Book … being all encompassing and indispensable, the botanical equivalent of Johnson's Dictionary.' Tim Flannery, The New York Review of Books

    Praise for previous edition: 'I am rarely without Mabberley's Plant-Book. Not only my desert-island book, it's one that would actually be useful on a desert island, even if the island had nothing more to offer than the cartoonist's obligatory coconut palm. Essential kit for botanists, gardeners and naturalists … Much more than a gazetteer of global flora, it includes the currently accepted botanical name of each genus, details of its distribution and ecology, its biology and taxonomic relationships, its vernacular names and the uses made of it by humankind. It achieves all this in only 1,040 pages by resorting to a botanical shorthand that's compressed but never cryptic.' Country Life

    Praise for previous edition: '… this is a plant dictionary of a different sort, written for botanists, horticulturalists, ecologists and writers, and listing everything you could possibly need to know about plants.' The Professional Gardener

    Praise for previous edition: 'This book is in a class of its own. … this has long been, and still is, the book to have if you are interested in plants in any way. Should you want to know what family a plant genus is in, or how many species are in the genus Solanum, or what strange uses some plants are put to, this book is indispensable. … This book is unique. It is an indispensable resource that belongs on every plant lover's shelf, to be consulted often and to be enjoyed.' The Plantsman

    'I can scarcely improve on the hosannas sung in my review of the first edition … [it] is the single most used botany book I have, one that gets almost daily consultation.' Rudolf Schmid, Taxon

    '… a fact book for which I shall almost eternally be grateful. Botanists and serious gardeners everywhere should go down on their knees in gratitude for Cambridge University Press and for the travail of Dr D. J. Mabberley who has laboured to produce The Plant Book. I can only join fellow botanists and horticulturists in saying Thank You'.' Stefan Buczacki, The Guardian

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    Product details

    • Edition: 4th Edition
    • Date Published: June 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107115026
    • length: 1120 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 123 x 40 mm
    • weight: 0.87kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    How to use this book and get most out of it
    The dictionary
    Appendix: system for arrangement of extant vascular plants
    Acknowledgement of sources:
    1. Floras and handbooks, websites
    2. Periodicals
    Abbreviations and symbols (used in this book):
    1. General
    2. Authors' names
    New names used in this book.

  • Author

    David J. Mabberley, Wadham College, Oxford
    David J. Mabberley is an Emeritus Fellow of Wadham College, University of Oxford. He was consecutively Director of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, Seattle; Keeper of the Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, London; and Executive Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. He is Professor Extraordinary at Universiteit Leiden, The Netherlands; Adjunct Professor, Macquarie University Sydney; and Honorary Research Associate, National Herbarium of New South Wales, Sydney. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Burbidge Medal 'for services to Australian plant systematics' from the Australian Systematic Botany Society (2003); the Cuatrecasas Medal 'for excellence in tropical botany' from the Smithsonian Institution (2004); the Peter H. Raven Award 'for exceptional contributions to scientific outreach' from the American Society of Plant Taxonomists (2004); the Linnean Medal for Botany from the Linnean Society of London (2006); and the Robert Allerton Award for Excellence in Tropical Botany from the National Tropical Botanical Garden (2011). He was also honoured with a Fellowship of the Indian Botanical Society in 2015.

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