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This is the first publication to deal solely with the southern African genus Adromischus; although the plants have long been popular in collections there has never before been a comprehensive, illustrated reference to aid enthusiasts. Written by John Pilbeam, Chris Rodgerson and Derek Tribble, three of the UK’s leading Adro-advocates, this exciting Handbook illustrates the amazing variation to be found within many of the species, and discusses in detail the plants in cultivation and in the wild.
This 80 page book, with 109 full colour illustrations showing the 29 recognized species, plus the subspecies, varieties and numerous variations, provides an unrivalled source of information on this popular and beautiful group of succulent plants. Many of the plants are illustrated both in habitat and in cultivation, and the information on numerous species is supplemented with composite pictures of leaves, showing the amazing variation that occurs within a single species. It is this variation that has deterred authors in the past from attempting to review the genus, and the composite pictures illustrate to good effect the problems that are faced by taxonomists or students of these plants in attempting to determine the diagnostic characters of each species.
The Handbook also includes a number of additional chapters, including:
History and Classification – Adromischus is closely related to Cotyledon and Tylecodon, and the diagnostic characters of the three genera, as published by Helmut Toelken, are detailed. Previous authors have attempted to bring some order into Adromischus by division of the genus according to floral characters, the first being Uitewaal in 1952, followed by important work by Paul Hutchison in the late 1950s and early 60s, Myron Kimnach in 1953, and Hermann Jacobsen in 1960 and 1974. But the works of Toelken in 1978 and 1985 provide the most complete revision of the genus, and the basis for the classification adopted in the Handbook. The 5 sections (1 – Adromischus, 2 – Boreali, 3 – Brevipedunculati, 4 – Incisolobati, 5 – Longipedunculati) are detailed, with descriptions and illustrations of the floral characters of each, and one of Toelken’s keys is reproduced.
Geography – The occurrence and distribution of the plants in habitat in southern Africa is detailed, with individual distributions shown for each of the recognized species and varieties. A distribution summary shows the species which occur in each of the provinces of South Africa, and in Namibia.
Cultivation – The basic requirements of the plants in cultivation are discussed, with information on compost, watering, light and ventilation, temperature, potting, feeding, pests and diseases, and propagation.
A glossary details the meaning of many of the latin names and some of the botanical terms used in the Handbook.
Superfluous and dubious names – As in the other books in the series, the comprehensive listing of superfluous names provides a definitive and invaluable reference to aid identification and the application of the correct name.
Field collection and accession numbers – Lists of the field collection and/or accession numbers of Steven Hammer (and associates), Chris Rodgerson, and Derek Tribble are provided. Also included is an alphabetical list of species, with details of field collection and accession numbers attributed to each, along with details of herbarium and garden specimens.