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Palms and CycadsBOOK REVIEWS

Palms and Cycads beyond the Tropics

By Keith Boyer
Published by Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia, Milton, Queensland, Australia, 1992
$NZ49.95

Reviewed by Max Goodey

With the revival of interest in palms that has taken place in the past 10 years, an authoritative, well illustrated and reasonably priced book was required for the enthusiast.

This volume is all that. It deals with palms and cycads that grow outside the tropics from which choices can be made. The question of availability is another matter and serious growers should join the Palm and Cycad Society of New Zealand which has a seed list offering many of the species so well illustrated in this book.

There is evidence of much research involved in presenting the range of palms and cycads, their characteristics, cultivation, hardiness to cold and pest and disease control. The section on climate I found difficult to follow and I would certainly not rate Auckland and Sydney roughly equal. Auckland is cooler and wetter than Sydney and has much more clay soil areas and long, cold, wet winters with strong south-west winds in comparison to Sydney's warmer temperatures for longer periods and essentially sandy soils. In New Zealand the microclimate is of much more importance than it is in Sydney.

Minor irritations noted include incorrectly hyphenating "gaudichaudia" as a species name and the frequent use of "however" as a conjunction. These apart, the book is an excellent, portable book for the palm and cycad enthusiast and, as such, is highly recommended.

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