The Genus Arisaema - Guy's book

Petra Schmidt petra at PLANTDELIGHTS.COM
Mon Dec 23 18:20:41 CET 2002

I received an advance copy of Guy's book on Arisaema and I wanted to take
some time to read through parts of it before I shared this with the
group...I already know that I'll have to have 2 copies for myself, one for
the office, one for home...
There is information for everyone, from general arisaema hobbist on to the
focused aroid researcher, and we're all going to learn something from the
information presented.  I happen to like details, and I was gleefully
suprised to learn that arisaema tubers show two patterns of growth, that
there is method to that madness of buds forming around the shoulders of the
tubers.  Guy explains it mathematically (math?) but essentially this means
that growth patterns follow in either two half-spirals or in a
counterclockwise 5-parted spiral...all arisaema follow one or the other
pattern...I will never look at an arisaema tuber in the same way again.
The book is organized by sections, arisaema sections that is, and contains
good botanical descriptive details on stems, shoots, inflorescences,
distribution, habitat, and flowering period as well as a short discussion on
the species background and comparisons to other species.  It also contains
charts and graphs and tables on everything from basic leaf shape forms
[i.e., obovate vs. oblanceloate] to leaf and inflorescence types comparisons
within sections [i.e., A. calcareum leaf and inflorescence, in color
illustrations, vs. A. inkiangense].  The key is easy to use, easily
understandable, and key characters are listed in tables, by plant section,
that correspond to text so that comparing two species within the same
section is just a glance away.  Cultural information on vegetative and seed
production is covered and within the species descriptions, Guy also notes
leaf shape of the emerging seedling, another bit of detail that made smile.
Details galore, in color photos of plants, herbarium specimens, photos taken
of ariasema in their natural habitat, and photos even of their natural
habitats alone...oh, there is so much more here to is thrilling
to have the book in my exceptional book by an exceptional team of

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