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It is hard for me to give a book on palms a negative rating, so that's why this one doesn't get one from me... but it has little to offer most palm enthusiasts except another book on the shelf. However, for beginners, it has a modicum of information- most seems OK, some incorrect. There are a lot of photos- at least one color photo per page of this 160 page book. The cover is not too attractive, being a stark, flat red and green, making it look a bit like a junior high school text book. And the photographs inside vary from excellent (few) to terrible (many) to non-existent (one was just left out leaving an embarrassing blank spot).
The accuracy of the palm photos is something NO palm book can seem to master, no matter how qualified the authors. So for this book to only have 5-6 photographic misidentifications is not so bad. One photo (under the synonym name, sadly) turned out to be mine, which was a surprise as no one told me it was going to be in this book... nor was it referenced to me, which is a bit upsetting (taken off this website, even).
There are a number of poorly done color illustrations, again ala junior high text quality. And some chapters on germinating seeds, planting palms, super basic anatomy and physiology, and the usual 'what palm goes where' chapter all books seem to have now. But the meat of the book consists of individual photos of some 90 palms, some put in almost at random it seems, though most are the common stuff every one starts growing. What is interesting as many palms listed elsewhere in the text or on lists are not included in the 'meat' part, so how a beginner is to know what palms those are is beyond me.
There is also a way-too-short section on cycads that just barely skims the surface. Some nice photos, a few mistakes, and a lot of bad advice about how to grow them.
The claim to be a 'complete' guide is just ludicrous... but it is a fair beginners text and introduction to palms and cycads for those who are looking for a first book to just get started, that is relatively affordable. Just don't believe all you read!