Latin For Gardeners: Over 3,000 Plant Names Explained And Explored

Hardcover | October 12, 2012

byLorraine Harrison

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Since Latin became the standard language for plant naming in the eighteenth century, it has been intrinsically linked with botany. And while mastery of the classical language may not be a prerequisite for tending perennials, all gardeners stand to benefit from learning a bit of Latin and its conventions in the field. Without it, they might buy a Hellebores foetidus and be unprepared for its fetid smell, or a Potentilla reptans with the expectation that it will stand straight as a sentinel rather than creep along the ground.

An essential addition to the gardener’s library, this colorful, fully illustrated book details the history of naming plants, provides an overview of Latin naming conventions, and offers guidelines for pronunciation. Readers will learn to identify Latin terms that indicate the provenance of a given plant and provide clues to its color, shape, fragrance, taste, behavior, functions, and more. 

Full of expert instruction and practical guidance, Latin for Gardeners will allow novices and green thumbs alike to better appreciate the seemingly esoteric names behind the plants they work with, and to expertly converse with fellow enthusiasts. Soon they will realize that having a basic understanding of Latin before trips to the nursery or botanic garden is like possessing some knowledge of French before traveling to Paris; it enriches the whole experience.

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From the Publisher

Since Latin became the standard language for plant naming in the eighteenth century, it has been intrinsically linked with botany. And while mastery of the classical language may not be a prerequisite for tending perennials, all gardeners stand to benefit from learning a bit of Latin and its conventions in the field. Without it, they m...

Lorraine Harrison is the author of several books, including Inspiring Sussex Gardeners, The Shaker Book of the Garden, How to Read Gardens, and A Potted History of Vegetables: A Kitchen Cornucopia.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9 × 7 × 1 inPublished:October 12, 2012Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022600919X

ISBN - 13:9780226009193

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Editorial Reviews

"I have several books dedicated to Latin plant names but none fall into the category of Lorraine Harrison’s book which is not only informative but entertaining and beautifully illustrated. This is no dull list of Latin plant names—it is a book which begs to be picked up and looked at."