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An Illustrated Encyclopedia

Author: Michael A. Dirr

Following the phenomenal success of Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs, written for gardeners in the climates of USDA zones 3–6, this companion volume is a superlative photographic encyclopedia of trees, shrubs, and vines for "warm temperate" zones. In North America, these areas (zones 7–11) stretch from the Mid-Atlantic states to the South, include most of Texas and the Southwest, and encompass the entire West Coast, up to western Canada. Many parts of the British Isles, Australia, and New Zealand experience similar conditions. In a nutshell, any gardener who lives in an area where average winter temperatures do not fall below 0° Fahrenheit (–18° Celsius) will want this book, and curious gardeners in colder zones may well want to test these select plants in their local microclimates.

This remarkable volume shows both the habit and details — flower, fruit, bark, fall color — of more than 400 species and describes hundreds more cultivars and varieties. Certain genera offer myriad hybrids and selections, and photographs of many of the best of these are included as well — nearly 40 named crapemyrtles, a dozen teaolives, and 11 loropetalums. In all, more than 1400 photographs join with the authoritative text to bring the plants to life.

From Abelia to Ziziphus, gardeners will encounter many new and unfamiliar plants that thrive in warmer climates. Dirr gives special attention to hardy palms that can survive outside the subtropics. The book also reflects the author's inimitable personality, which holds nothing back when a plant deserves outright acclaim ("If prescriptions could be written for perfect garden plants, this species would come close to filling the order"), backhanded praise ("Use for accent, for novelty, or to drive visitors loony"), or frank condemnation ("Splays to the point of no redemption with time").

The book concludes with useful lists for selecting plants for a variety of conditions or for ornamental characteristics, such as flower color and fragrance, fruit, and fall color.

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Specific Details

Hardcover: 448 pages
Illustrated
Title: Dirr's Trees and Shrubs for Warm Climates
Author: Michael A. Dirr
Publisher: Timber Press
Date: 2002
ISBN: 088192525X
Language: English
Weight: 4 lbs 1.9 ounces

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