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I have had this book for years. It is not one I use much, but when I am completley stumped I use it.
It is the "DG Plant files" of yesteryear! When searching for a name to put on a new find observed on the streets or in a garden, I have it and Dr. Graf's 2 vol. "Exotica" by my side in the theatre. This with a glass of wine, always makes for a valuable enjoyable evening. Sometimes I hit pay dirt and find what I am looking for.
Come to think of it, with a laptop and wireless connection, I do the same thing with DG Plant files. DG's names are more likely to be reliable!
Still I have to love these books. Dr. Graf while alive, was a neighbor. His daughter Doris, pictured in the book in several places, operated Dr. Graf's nursery until a few years ago.
He often commented that his home in Bonsall (then north Vista) CA. and his home in Barcelona were the 2 most favorable for growing out of doors and living. He was well qualified to make that statement.
He travelled the entire world seeking out photo ops for the myriad of photos that are used in his books!
Well, this certainly was a grand undertaking, but I think the publishing date of 2003 is a re-publish date, unless there is a new and revised version out there. THe one I have is full of very dated/ old photos of plants, many of which are either incorrectly labeled or have been renamed several times since this book first came out. Yet, still, there is very little else like it (except for Exotica, I think by the same person/people). Very difficult to read in bed (weighs many pounds), but incredible number of photographs. Excellent reference book and a necessary addition to the personal/professional library of anyone into exotic plants.
i agree with everything jnana said. what a big old book to curl up with and feast your eyes. i have had mine for several years and still reach for it for identification. did i mention this was big? 1152 pages!!!
It took me a couple of years to locate this book. Once I did, it took me 8 months of waiting to receive it. It was worth the wait. This book is mainly a visual encyclopedia with only a short description of each plant at the back of the book. This book has helped me in the identification of many rare and unusual plants.