Conifers Around the World

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
June 3, 2013

Conifers Around the World


Conifers Around the World
by Zsolt Debreczy and Istvan Racz; edited by Kathy Musial

Until now, there has never been a single publication, with a standardized format, that has captured photographs of the world’s temperate conifers in their natural habitats. Zsolt Debreczy and Istvan Racz traveled the world over four decades to document temperate woody plants for a planned Dendrological Atlas. Their 2-volume Conifers Around the World will appeal to a wide range of readers, from scholars to armchair travelers.

The conifers are presented by geographical region, offering an account of their natural distribution. Starting in Europe (including North Africa, Anatolia, and Macaronesia), the reader is invited to discover the conifers of Asia, the Americas (explored from west to east and then south), and finally Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand.

These two hardcover volumes offer the reader over 3700 color photographs in 1089 pages, including:

  • An in-depth, richly illustrated introduction to conifer conservation, classification, morphology, climate, and distribution
  • A chapter on the seven conifer families and 56 genera discussed in the book, including 1,300 detail drawings and six pages of illustrations depicting pollen cones from each genus
  • 175 habitat photographs showing the most representative and picturesque conifer habitats on six continents
  • 474 distribution maps showing the natural range of each taxon
  • A bark gallery with 646 color photographs; the species plates (541 species, subspecies, and varieties covered) are arranged geographically into 11 regions, each plate with several detail photos that highlight the most characteristic features of the taxon and one image showing each in its natural habitat. A brief text accompanying each plate provides essential descriptive and historical information.

The Appendix in the second volume includes images and concise descriptions of 28 additional taxa, followed by a glossary, and extensive list of references, lists of the covered conifers by scientific and common names, and a quick finder index.

Many of Racz and Debreczy’s photographs of plants at the Arnold Arboretum and elsewhere are also available to view in our Reading Room.

Conifers Around the World is the 2013 winner of the The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL) Literature Award, Technical Interest Category, and is included in our New Books List for June 3, 2013.

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