By: Yvonne Cave
176 pages, 346 col photos
Presenting old favourites along with an enticing range of less common, more collectable examples of these intriguing plants. Descriptions and cultivation information for hundreds of species and cultivars in more than 60 genera.
Expert books on cacti and succulents are few and far between so when a new one appears as good as this, it is very welcome indeed. Yvonne Cave, author, photographer and horticulturalist, presents a concise guide to these invaluable plants, illustrated in colour throughout with her own expert photographs. Ranging from ground cover sedums to structural plants such as agaves and yuccas to those best suited to containers such as lithops, Yvonne takes the reader through the vast spectrum of shapes and forms. With her knowledgeable, intelligent writing she draws one into this strange world of botanical phenomena - plants able to survive periods of drought in which most others would expire. Using their unique CAM feature, they are able to breathe only at night when cooler thus avoiding water loss during their scorching, native days. This mechanism makes them invaluable in these days of global warming, meaning they are capable of surviving erratic watering patterns whilst still offering architectural structure to gardens. For collectors, keen amateurs or those interested in succulents generally, this is a valuable, informative guide to xerophytes and a quick flick through its pages will soon ensnare sceptical gardeners of their horticultural merits thanks to the lavish photographs of the plant's diverse forms. - Lucy Watson
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