Books on tropicals and semi tropicals

Wharton, TX(Zone 9a)

Hello everyone!!!! I'm wondering if you all can suggest some good books on tropicals and semi tropicals.

Lakeland, FL(Zone 10a)

Three come to mind-

Probably the best-if you can find it and like trees-is Tropical and Subtropical Trees: An Encyclopedia by Margaret Barwick. Fantastic book.

Also very good is Tropical Flowering Plants: A Guide to Identidication and Cultivation by Kristen Llamas. Lots of pictures, covers plants other than trees. Very good.

The Tropical Look by Robert Riffle is pretty good, covers foliage as well as flowering plants. Not as nicely set up as the other two, but informative.

Wharton, TX(Zone 9a)

Thank you popper. I got a change to find and view the books on various places on the internet. I especially like the book Tropical Flowering Plants. It is really laid out very well. I'll have to keep an eye out for a bargain on these books as they are quite pricey although I'm sure well worth it. Thanks again.

Lakeland, FL(Zone 10a)

Finding a bargin on the 1st two, Barwick's on trees and the Llamas Flowering is tough. They are both such beautiful books that they dont get marked dowm too often. Barwick's is out of print, it is hard to find the book at retail price, let aloe on sale. If you jare a memeber of Books-A-Million book club you can get a pretty good discount on Llamas book which is still in print.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

out of print but worth looking for:
Tropica by Graf

Pass Christian, MS(Zone 8b)

Tropical Plants for Home and Garden by William Warren (Thames & Hudson) First published in the UK, as Tropical Garden Plants. Now available in paperback in the US. see link attached. Very good book for the Tropical gardener.

Wharton, TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks for the info all. I'll be moving to the Houston area and don't have a lot of knowledge of the flora there being from New England. I had a wonderful cottage garden for many, many years and a lot of my favorite plant don't grow there.. Time to learn something new. At least I'll still be gardening!!!

Kwajalein, Marshall Islands(Zone 11)

The Llamas book is fantastic, my favorite by far. But another good one is Tropical Ornamentals, A Guide by W. Arthur Whistler.

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)


Some pictures...but EXCELLENT information and is a complete reference!!! Weighs a TON but current and mostly correct (mistake I found was in hoyas...wouldn't you know!!!)

After that one, I like THE TROPICAL LOOK by Rifle.

Hillsborough , NC(Zone 7a)

I have a "Tropical Garden Flora" too! Great book, rather expensive and as Carol says, it's not a lap book! Nice book for us as it gives the local Hawaiian names for the plants as well as the botanical name.

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)

There is a classic reference book here in the Islands... In Gardens of Hawaii by Marie Neal. This was published mid last century...maybe even earlier and it is still used as THE best reference. Tropical Garden Flora began over 20 years ago as a revision of Marie Neals' book and it took off to higher heights with more illustrations, taxonomic keys etc.

Yes...not a lap book for sure but a darn sight better than Grafs books which are good for the pics and possibly the genus...

Wharton, TX(Zone 9a)

After doing some research on ebay, amazon and this is the price range I got for these books.

Tropical and Subtropical Trees by M. Brarwick $67.50
Tropical Flowering Plants by K Llamal $41.95 to $59.45
The Tropical Look by R. Riffle $48.25 to $55.00
Tropica by Graf $175.00 to $361.25 (wow, what's in this book?)(I want it but can't have it)
Tropical Plants for Home and Garden by W. Warren, all were around $17.00
Tropical Ornamental by W. Whistler $9.95 to $17.46( I did get this one)
A Tropical Garden Flora by G. Staples and D. Herbst, all were around $54.00

I guess I'll splurge for Tropical Flowering Plants and Tropical Garden Flora. Pictures look good for a beginner......

Kwajalein, Marshall Islands(Zone 11)

The pictures really do help, not only in identification (which was my big problem), but also in what a healthy specimen should be doing....some times with tropicals, a curl or spiral that looks like an indication of disease, is exactly what that plant should be pictures are very helpful.

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)

Grafs' books used to be all the rage...HAD to have them! Since living here I find I use the other books much more - I also use the internet a lot!!!

Wharton, TX(Zone 9a)

I now know why that book is so expensive. I got to see inside of it on a website. It has over 7000 plants in color photos. Very well laid out like a dictionary. WOW.....It's really amazing. The KING!! I'll have to sell some stuff on ebay to get it. I really want it now.

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)

Be careful and get an inexpensive one. We were sent a new one, printed somewhere where they don't let the ink dry before they bind the book. Ergo................... grrrrrrrrrr. Pages all stick together.

Graf's book is good IF you have a basic idea of what genus your plant may belong to....and you don't mind paying that money for repetitive photos....more grrrrrr.


Wharton, TX(Zone 9a)

Great to know that info Carol. I will make sure to get an older copy and ask the sellers of smudged printing. That would really make me go GRRRR too to pay all that money for bad printing.


Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Sunset's Landscaping with Tropical Plants is a good one. You can buy it at Lowes for under $20. It has a lot of pictures and excellent information!

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