Item description for Pines: Drawings and Descriptions of the Genus Pinus by Aljos Farjon...
There has been a steady demand for the first edition of the conifer book Pines, which sold out in 2002. Therefore, a second edition, which is a modest update, was written. The book Pines was never an attempt at monograph in the taxonomic sense. Rather it was an overview with line drawings of the commonly known species of pines, giving concise but essential information on identification, distribution and ecology. Introductory texts explained botanical characteristics of pines and a chapter on classification, one on phylogeny and biogeography, and a glossary, index and short bibliography completed the book. This scope and structure have been maintained in the second edition. It was necessary to make several taxonomic changes, to add or omit a few species, present a new chapter on phylogeny and classification and amend or correct, even expand, some of the information given in the first edition, especially in the species accounts. Conservation aspects have been added to species accounts in a concise format, following IUCN evaluations. The author has maintained the original drawings and made amendments only to correct errors; drawings for additional species have been added in the same style. The book contains a total of 92 drawings and 103 distribution maps. With these amendments the information should have been updated to a satisfactory level, without altering the original format and scope.
Readership: This book is an introduction to the genus Pinus that should appeal to dendrologists as well as to botanists and students who take an interest in this remarkable genus.
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Aljos Farjon headed the temperate section of the herbarium at the Royal Botanic gardens, Kew 1996-2006. He has published 10 books and more than 120 papers mainly, but not exclusively, on conifers. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, Chair of the Conifer Specialist Group of IUCN (the World Conservation Union) and a member of both the International Association for Plant Taxonomy and the Royal Horticultural Society's Conifer Registration Advisory Committee.
Reviews - What do customers think about Pines: Drawings and Descriptions of the Genus Pinus?
Good content but not the best print quality Feb 10, 2007
The 2005 edition provides a valuable overview of the pines, and each species gets a full-page plate with line-drawing illustrations and a facing page with a concise summary of morphology, ecology, and distribution. All of the plates include a cone, a fascicle of the needles, and a drawing of the complete tree, and sometimes a seed or another organ. The drawings of the complete trees are especially nice to have. I would have liked more illustrations of seeds and isolated cone scales for every species, which would be helpful for those of us who work with fossils, since that is often what we see in the fossil record. There are no captions for the illustrations, and in most cases this is not a problem, but there are a few instances where it would have been informative to have a short description. There is no scale for the illustrations, but you can get this in the description of the morphology for the various organs. The arrangement is alphabetical by species. The cited references are a bit limited (less than two pages), but several references as recent as 2003 are included in this second edition. Typcial of many books published in the Netherlands, the price is extremely high and the quality of printing is low. It is annoying that the underlying page print shows through conspicuously and is very distracting when you are looking at one of these fine illustrations, but this can be corrected if you keep a black sheet of paper in the book and place it behind the page you are viewing. I would give the book 4 to 5 stars for content, and 2 stars for print/paper quality. The author is to be commended for compiling such a fine work, and it's a wonderful book to have if you like pines!
Great pictures, less useful content Jan 7, 2004
The author's illustrations are among the most accurate pen and ink drawings of pines available. For many species native to Third World nations, these are perhaps the best illustrations available. For Mexican and Central American species, though, the author's 1997 book, coauthored with Styles, is preferable. The information on pine species is sketchy and incomplete, and the taxonomic information is dated and even in 1984 was debatable. If you want to know a lot about pines, you are better off with Richardson's book "The Ecology and Biogeography of Pinus" or the out-of-print classic by Mirov, "The Genus Pinus."
Pines and more pines Jun 10, 2003
This is an almost unique book. The author trekked around the world to personally look at all the species of pines (true pines, members of the genus Pinus) in their natural habitat and this is the result. The book consists, per species, of a page with line-drawings of the habit (by the author) and an opposing page with supporting text. These are big pages, by the way. At the time of writing it was a complete overview of the genus, but since this time the author wrote two additional books on neotropical pines. These are more up-to-date in all respects. In the part in the Flora Neotropica there is even a bit on the wood of Pinus. In this, the author's first book, it is noteable that the nomenclatural details are a bit iffy.
On a practical note this is very expensive for a book without a single color picture (just the line drawings, which are pretty good but not stunningly so). It is a somewhat clumsy size (it does look good next to the volume on Pinaceae by the same author). All in all, this is a book that will be at home with a specialist on trees or conifers, but hardly anywhere else.
the most informative pinus book of all time! Mar 2, 1999
i am fascinated by the subject of the pinus. tis book showed detailed illustrations of the beautifull wood. i would recomend it to anyone who has ever wondered about the magnificent pinus. you know, my father always used to tell me that God never created anything more beautifull than the mighty pinus, and now i know that he was truely right. thanks for saving my pinus.