Evergreen Information on Conifers

A handbook exploring various species of conifers.

A handbook of the world’s conifers 2nd, rev. ed

Farjon, Aljos. Brill, 2017
2v bibl index, 9789004324428 $300.00, 9789004324510 $293.00

conifer book cover

Botanist Farjon (formerly, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, UK) is a conifer authority. This second edition, one of numerous publications—including Pines (CH, Nov’05, 43-1555) and An Atlas of the World’s Conifers, coauthored with Denis Filer (CH, Jun’14, 51-5353)—has been revised and expanded to reflect recently completed critical research and the reevaluation of the status for all conifer species reflected in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species at http://www.iucnredlist.org/. The revision adds species distribution and conservation information to the content of the 2010 first edition. All of the 614 described species of conifer are included in this handbook, and each entry details the taxonomy, synonyms, and location of the type specimen—a valuable resource for taxonomists. The author also describes species’ distribution, ecology, conservation, and uses, although what is lacking—strangely, for such a renowned botanical artist as Farjon—are illustrations or photographs for identification. While each volume contains several full-page, black-and-white illustrations and several sections of color photographs, these are just partial-page figures and in no way encompass the majority of species. The handbook includes a lengthy introduction, expansive glossary and index, and clearly written keys to family, genera, and species (for some difficult-to-determine groups). This set is an invaluable resource for intensive conifer research, plant taxonomists, and herbarium curators, but for general research it is likely that the information provided can also be found in alternative resources (including the first edition).

Summing Up: Essential. Upper-level undergraduates through professionals/practitioners.
Reviewer: L. Goode, William & Mary
Interdisciplinary Subjects: Food and Agriculture
Subject: Reference – Science & Technology
Choice Issue: Nov 2017