Synopses & Reviews
Meant primarily for gardeners in USDA zones 8-10, The Tropical Look
encompasses most of the southern U.S. and the West Coast. This groundbreaking encyclopedia of lush plants will also be useful to gardeners in other zones who are interested in growing tropical-looking plants (as opposed to strictly tropical plants, which cannot endure a frost) as half-hardy, annual, or conservatory plants.
The Tropical Look is a truly unique compendium of nearly 2,000 plants that evoke languorous landscapes of swaying palms, dripping banana leaves, and vibrant frangipani blossoms. Over 400 stunning photographs included. Helpful lists in the appendix break down plants into various categories, and a full glossary of botanical terms is also included.
This unique compendium of nearly 2000 plants is meant primarily for gardeners who live in USDA hardiness zones 8 and higher, but those living in cooler zones will still find many plants to bring color and interesting foliage their gardens.
About the Author
Robert Lee Riffle (1940-2006) was an internationally recognized authority on palms and tropical plants. His landmark book, The Tropical Look: An Encyclopedia of Dramatic Landscape Plants (1998), won an American Horticultural Society Book Award, as did An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms (2003), which he co-wrote with Paul Craft. For 25 years Bob was a strong presence online, answering questions and encouraging gardeners in their endeavors via postings on garden and plant message boards. He generously shared his extensive knowledge gently and with wit as the moderator of the International Palm Society's active PalmTalk message board. Bob was an accomplished pianist, a gifted photographer, and an enthusiastic film buff. He had finished writing the manuscript for the Timber Press Pocket Guide to Palms when he passed away unexpectedly.