By: George Argent
382 pages, colour illus, line drawings
This new book is the first full modern scientific account of vireya rhododendrons ever published, and it replaces the last major reference book, Sleumer's Flora Malesiana (1966). A new work has long been overdue as a result of increased horticultural interest and the extensive fieldwork that has been done - not a little of which was carried out by the author. As vireyas make up one third of the Rhododendron genus, this book is an essential purchase for any rhododendron enthusiast, whose library will be incomplete without it.
Vireya rhododendrons are a very attractive group of plants with a greater diversity of flower form than any other group in the Rhododendron genus. They are widely grown around the world for their beautiful flowers, many of which are illustrated throughout the book along with over 300 species descriptions, some of which are new.
Dr Argent has written a user-friendly account that is scientifically sound but accessible to both professional and amateur botanists and horticulturists. For the botanist, it includes artificial keys to the sections, subsections and species, as well as the species descriptions themselves. For the horticulturist, there are two well-illustrated chapters devoted to cultivation and propagation, and pests and diseases, as well as a glossary with line drawing illustrations to clarify the use of technical terms. A chapter on the collecting and conservation of vireyas in the wild underlines the significance of this book, published at a time when habitat loss threatens the very survival of many of these wonderful plants.
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