Cover image for The botanical garden
The botanical garden
Phillips, Roger.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Willowdale, Ont. : Firefly Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
2 volumes : color illustrations ; 29 cm
General Note:
Title from cover.
v. 1. Trees and shrubs -- v. 2. Perennials and annuals.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SB450.97 .P45 2002 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference
SB450.97 .P45 2002 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference

On Order



Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix are pioneers in the use of photography in plant illustration. The Botanical Garden I and II , are exciting and thoroughly modern renditions of illustrated botany books. Ten years in the making, this set combines the finest in photography with up-to-date, expert commentary to bridge the gap between gardener-friendly books and scientific texts. In the tradition of the great botanical illustrations, each featured plant has been carefully photographed -- as a whole and in its parts -- against a white background to reveal the plant's physical characteristics in exacting detail.

Plants from more than 1,200 distinct groups are described -- from oaks to violets and water lilies to grasses -- and are presented in evolutionary order, from the most primitive to the most advanced. Each plant listing includes:

Name: genus, species and common names, date of discovery, and range. Description: detailed and concise in the scientific style. Key Recognition Features. Ecology and Geography. Comment: cultivation needs plus notes about unusual hybrids or developments in the genus.

As a pair, the two volumes are an all-inclusive source of information and photographs of more than 2,000 genera of temperate plants. Thorough introductory text encompasses numerous themes in botany, from the history of plant development to current DNA studies that are revolutionizing plant classification. Each volume includes a detailed index and bibliography.

The Botanical Garden I and II are exciting additions to a gardening bookshelf. They are visually rich and highly accurate references that will remain interesting, useful and current for many years. Offering a discerning insight into the relationship between garden plants and their natural environments and accuracy that is unequalled outside scientific circles, this duo are truly the modern heirs to a long history of botanical references. There are simply no other works of this kind available today.

About Volume I, Trees and Shrubs

Featuring 510 genera of temperate woody garden plants with full details of how they are related, their origins and uses, Volume I covers trees, shrubs and climbers. From plants dating to prehistory -- tree ferns, gingkoes and some conifers - to those more recently evolved, this volume includes early- flowering plants (magnolia and its family), catkin-bearing trees, fruit and nut trees, maples, the cordyline, palm and bamboo species, and many more advanced trees and shrubs.

Author Notes

Roger Phillips was trained as a painter at Chelsea School of Art. He has 30 books to his credit, which have sold well over 31/2 million copies worldwide. Phillips has won numerous awards, including three for book design, and has written and presented the major television series, The Quest for the Rose .

Martyn Rix is a botanist, plant collector and gardener. He studied botany at Trinity College, Dublin, and at Cambridge, where he wrote his doctoral thesis. After working as botanist at the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden at Wisley, he became an independent botanical advisor and writer and has since produced 17 books and numerous scientific papers, as well as 23 illustrated books with Roger Phillips. Rix is on the Picture Committee of the Royal Horticultural Society and has been awarded the Gold Veitch Memorial Medal by the Royal Horticultural Society for his services to horticulture.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The strict botanical viewpoint of Phillips and Rix offers scholarly gardeners an alternative to popular horticulture guides. In two classy volumes illustrated with detailed photos of leaves and bracts, blossoms, rhizomes, and root structures, the text expresses the value of plants to ecology, farming, and the individual orchard, landscape, flower bed, and window box. Arranged into groups in evolutionary order, the plants appear on individual pages or multipage spreads alongside scientific name, concise description, locale, and designation of hybrids and cultivation methods. The commentary is reduced to the blunt shorthand of the scientist, but the 4,000 pictures are pure art. Rounding out each volume are a succinct two-page glossary of such terms as loess, raceme, and umbel and a brief bibliography organized by continent. Examples of elegantly arranged illustrations are found under Albizia, Mahonia, and Yucca in volume 1 and under Acanthus, Dryopteris, and Molucella in volume 2. The accompanying plant data are, as the authors state, definitive and full of exacting details (e.g., the names and dates of botanists who located and classified individual flowers, ferns, herbs, bamboos, and evergreens). What is lacking in each entry and particularly in the index is the human touch. The authors ignore common names for many plants (the only way to find lilac is to know that its scientific name is Syringa) and avoid reference to plant uses in cooking, aromatherapy, and healing, thus confining the value of the set to college and university libraries. Whereas the botanist and grower will be overjoyed to find so brilliant a display of entries and plant photos, the high-school student, librarian, greenhouse manager, and ordinary gardener is more likely to experience frustration. Recommended for large botany collections.

Library Journal Review

Photographer Phillips and botanist, plant collector, and gardener Rix have already collaborated on 23 horticultural books. Their latest project covers more than 1000 genera of plants in the world's temperate regions. Each volume is arranged in evolutionary order by family, from the most primitive to the most advanced. Each genus entry includes a detailed botanical description of the genus, key recognition features, evolution and plant relationships, ecology and geography, and facts about the genus ranging from garden uses to medicinal uses. Most compelling are the spectacular, close-up color photographs that exquisitely detail every plant part. Unfortuntately, the lack of detailed cultural information, USDA hardiness zones, and specific species information makes this work less useful for gardeners than other horticultural works. The price tag will keep this set out of some public libraries, which would be better served by Steven M. Still's Manual of Herbaceous Ornamental Plants and Michael A. Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. For a work with extensive color photographs, public libraries should instead consider Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs. This set is recommended for botanic and academic libraries.-Sue O'Brien, Downers Grove P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

In the latter half of the 1800s, the new technique of photography was hailed as a potential replacement for line illustrations in horticultural and botanical publications. It was not until the end of WW II that color illustrations from film became common, now ubiquitous, in horticultural publications. Various types of photographs (particularly photomicrographs) were used in scientific publications throughout the 20th century--but photography never replaced line illustration for scientific publications of higher plants because accurate, detailed photographs as easy to comprehend as line illustrations were very difficult to produce. Over the past 30 years, Phillips has developed techniques for studio color photography so that it now nearly rivals line illustration in detectable details and clearly equals or surpasses line illustration in verisimilitude. The Botanical Garden provides excellent colored studio illustrations of about 1,000 genera of cultivated trees, shrubs, and herbs. It is designed "to provide new information and a new way of looking at plants and gardening from a more botanical viewpoint. . . ." Phillips and Rix are well known to the horticultural public through their publications on bulbs, trees, perennials, etc., all with a similar format. These volumes will interest horticulturists and botanists alike. All levels. G. P. DeWolf Jr. emeritus, Massachusetts Bay Community College



The Botanical Garden Volume I: Trees and Shrubs Introduction Our aim in this book is to provide new information and a new way of looking at plants and gardening from a more botanical viewpoint. The plant families are covered systematically, and the relationships between them are discussed; readers will be able to put the knowledge they have acquired piecemeal into a framework, and understand the botanical groups and the similarities and differences between them. Genera and plant evolution This book is based on the genus, genera in the plural, the Latin word for family, class, or race. Plants are classified in a hierarchy of many ranks, but the only three commonly used are family, genus, and species. To take an example, the black or water birch Betula nigra is a species in the genus Betula and the family Betulaceae . A genus is usually a very natural and familiar grouping, such as oak, beech, day-lily, or dahlia. Many genera are small and easily recognised by a combination of characteristics not found in another group of plants, for instance the green flowers, lobed leaves, and dry, winged seeds of Liriodendron , the tulip tree. Other genera are large, with tens or even hundreds of species, and can be further divided into subgenera; some botanists may consider these subgenera worthy of division into distinct genera, for example the division of Cornus into Benthamidia , Chamaepericlymenum , and Swida . Modern studies sometimes confirm these divisions, or sometimes show them to be artificial. The plant world can be imagined as a huge, chaotic, and multi-stemmed tree, branching repeatedly, with some branches dying, others thriving and waxing or waning in importance through the millenia. Some branches have survived almost unchanged for millions of years, others that were formerly very important have died out. A few have left just one or two remnants as isolated individuals on remote islands, in gorges, or in mountain forests; others have prospered and now exist as thousands of species. The classical arrangement Botanists are faced with the problem of showing in a list this complex result of millions of years of different lines of evolution. Linnaeus' system was based strictly on the sexual parts of the plant, the number of styles and stamens in each flower. This was convenient and worked quite well, but it was clearly artificial. Botanists soon began to work on more natural systems reflecting the evolutionary ancestry of plants, and ever since have continued the search for more natural groupings. The classical order of families was based on the premise that evolution of flowers was from the simple to the complex; thus magnolia and its relatives, with large, simple flowers, were considered especially primitive; daisies, on the other hand, with many flowers aggregated into a head that looks like a single flower, were considered advanced. New developments To classify modern plants accurately, we need to know their ancestry. Plant remains fossilize very poorly compared with bones or shells, but we can guess from fossils that trees in the coal-forming forests might have resembled giant clubmosses, horsetails, ferns, and conifers. Our knowledge of early flowering plants, probably appearing in the Jurassic, is even more scanty; it is likely many were aquatic herbs with no woody parts. Fortunately, we now have a new tool, DNA, to give clues to ancient relationships. DNA studies have confirmed the classical outline, but also show the true picture to be more complex. The relationships of several groups of plants that did not fit conveniently into any of the old schemes are now being clarified. Some of the major groupings and new evidence concerning their ordering are outlined on the following pages. Volume I follows broadly the order and relationships proposed by Kubitski and adapted by Mabberley in The Plant Book (1997); in Volume 2, I have been able to take into account more recently published DNA studies and have broadly followed the order proposed by Judd and co-workers in 1999. The monocotyledons are placed at the end in both volumes. Tree ferns, ginkgo, and conifers The ancient tropical swamp forests, which have ended up as coal today, were dominated by giant clubmosses, seed-ferns, and tree ferns, with primitive conifers. Few remnants of this flora have survived, probably because of the drastic changes in the world climate between the warm, wet Carboniferous and the dry Permian periods. Only some ancestors of Osmunda and relatives of the huge tropical fern Marattia survived from these warm forests; the modern ferns are a result of active evolution and divergence during the Triassic and Jurassic. Most of the tree ferns (see pp.16-17) are found in wet, cool tropical and subtropical forests, and the hardier ones come from the southern hemisphere. Ginkgo biloba (see p.18) is a remarkable survivor, the only one of its family. The leaves of this species and of many other, now extinct, Ginkgo species are found as far back as the Jurassic, and throughout the northern hemisphere in the early Tertiary. A second species, G. adiantoides , survived until the Miocene in North America, and into the Pliocene in Europe. Ginkgo biloba survived somewhere in China, where it was recognised as something special by early Chinese civilisation and widely planted in temple gardens. Other relicts such as the conifers Metasequoia glyptostroboides (see p.38) in China, and Wollemia nobilis in Australia also show how an ancient genus can survive in a small remote area. Conifers are today by far the most important group of ancient woody plants; they are thought to have originated as far back as the Devonian, but most of the present-day families can be traced back only as far as the Jurassic or Triassic. Magnolia, bay, and Calycanthus This group of families is interesting in having various combinations of primitive characteristics, that is, features that may have been present in the earliest flowering trees to grow on earth. Primitive wood anatomy, aromatic leaves, spirally arranged floral parts, and simple stamens with undifferentiated filaments are characteristics common in the group and thought to be primitive. In Magnolia , Michelia , and Liriodendron (the Magnoliaceae, see pp.56-59), the flowers are large and often showy, with numerous spirally arranged petals, stamens, and ovules. The related family Annonaceae (see p.65) is mainly tropical, and contains the custard apple, Annona , and the North American pawpaw, Asimina triloba . Winteraceae (see pp.60-61) which includes Drimys , is also primitive in many characteristics and probably belongs with the magnolia group. Also related to the Magnollaceae are the small but interesting families Illiclaceae (see p.63) and Schisandraceae (see p.62); Schisandra , with its unusual red, fleshy fruits in hanging chains, and Kadsura , with similar fruits in a round head, are the only genera in the latter. The bay tree family, the Lauraceae (see pp.66-71), contains over 2500 species, mainly in the tropical forests. Most species have small flowers but sometimes large fruit, for example the avocado tree Persea americans . Others are aromatic, including the bay itself, Laurus , and Cinnamomum , the cinnamon. Related to Lauraceae is the Calycanthaceae (see pp.72-73), containing both the chocolate-brown flowered Carolina and California allspice, Calycanthus , and the lovely white-flowered Sinocalycanthus , recently discovered in China. Witch hazel and Liquidambar The witch hazel family, Hamamelidaceae (see pp.99-109), and the related Cercidiphyllaceae (see p.96) are superficially similar in many characteristics to the catkin-bearing plants such as hazels (Betulaceae, see below and p.119). Hamamelis itself has clusters of strongly scented flowers with ribbon-shaped petals; in Corylopsis the scented flowers are aggregated into hanging, catkin-like spikes; in Sinowilsonia , the flowers are even more catkin-like, scentless, unisexual and pollinated by wind. One of the outstanding features of most of the group is the fine red and golden colours produced by the leaves in autumn. Modern theories suggest that the similarities between the catkin-bearing plants and Hamamelidaceae are superficial, the result of evolution producing similar results from different ancestors, and that the Hamamelidaceae are related to the Saxifragaceae (see Volume2). Beech, oak, birch, and walnut These catkin-bearing trees are dominant in temperate forests of both hemispheres. Most are wind-pollinated and have edible, nut-like seeds. The male flowers are massed together into catkins, primarily for wind-pollination, and the female flowers are usually reduced to scales with protruding stigmas to catch the pollen. Five well-known families make up most of the group. Fagaceae (see pp.110-118) includes the beech, oak, and sweet chesnut ( Fagus , Quercus , and Castanea ), and Lithocarpus and Castanopsis , in all of which the nuts are held in a cup or husk, which may be smooth or spiny. Dispersal depends on squirrels and mice hoarding the seeds, having found too many of them to eat at once. The Betulaceae (seepp.119-123) have rather similar catkins, but often smaller seeds. There are two groups within the family; alders and birches ( Alnus and Betula ) have very small, often winged seeds, dispersed by wind or water, while hazel ( Corylus ), hornbeam ( Carpinus ), Ostrya , and Ostryopsis have larger seeds, often with wing-like bracteoles to help dispersal. The Juglandaceae (see pp.124-126), which include walnuts, hickories and pecans ( Juglans and Carya ), Platycarya , and Pterocarya , differ clearly in their pinnate leaves. Both large, heavy nuts and small, winged nuts are found in this family. Myricaceae (see p.127) and Casuarinaceae also have reduced flowers, and somewhat cone-like seed heads. Myricaceae, the bayberries or bog myrtles, produce aromatic wax. Casuarinas, the strangely named she-oaks, have jointed stems, reduced leaves, and nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the roots; originating in the Pacific area, they are now widely distributed in the tropics, particularly in sandy coastal areas, where some have become aggressive weeds. In spite of their reduced flowers and the presence of similar pollen in Tertiary deposits, DNA evidence indicates that these families are not primitive, as they were previously thought to be, but relatively advanced and most closely related to large-flowered plants such as melons and begonias (see Volume 2). Mulberry, fig, and elm The Ulmaceae (see pp. 16o-63) and Moraceae (see pp. 164-67) are closely related. In the Ulmaceae, the elms, Ulmus , and the hackberries or nettletrees, Celtis , are close, the former with dry, winged fruit, the latter with small berries. The Moraceae contains mulberries and figs ( Morus and Ficus ), and the tropical Artocarpus , the breadfruit tree; all have milky sap and seeds embedded in sweet and juicy flesh. Modern studies link this group with the Rosaceae. Rose, apple, and plum The rose family, Rosaceae (see pp.228-71), contains most of the familiar temperate fruit trees, such as apples and plums ( Malus and Prunus ), and a range of edible fruit of differing structures, including strawberries and rasberries (see Volume 2). Apple-like fruits, so-called pomes, with soft seeds, are found in pears, quinces, and mountain ash ( Pyrus , Cydonia , and Sorbus ), while the stone fruits, such as plums, peaches, and cherries (all Prunus ) have a single hard-shelled seed. Several hard seeds are found in hawthorn, Crataegus , eaten in both Mexico and Asia, where there are species with larger fruits than are usual in western Europe. Dry seeds of various types are found in Exochorda and Spiraea and in many familiar herbaceous plants such as meadowsweet, lady's mantle, and Aruncus (see Volume 2). Dogwood, Nyssa, and Davidia Recent accounts of the family Cornaceae (see pp.324-29) recognise two major branches; one contains Cornus and Alangium , the other Nyssa and Davidia . All are recognised by rather small flowers, sometimes advertised by conspicuous bracts. Cornus itself is interestingly diverse, and has been divided into several separate genera based on details of the flowers and fruit; it is common in both America and Eurasia. Alangium is a mainly tropical genus, widespread from Africa to Asia and Australia. Nyssa demonstrates the closeness of the floras of eastern North America and southeastern Asia; of its eight species, six are American, two are Asiatic. Davidia is an isolated genus of one species, and survives in the wild only as scattered trees in the mountains of western China. Studies of DNA suggest that Hydrangea , Deutzia , and Philadelphus , in the Hydrangeaceae (seepp.216-23), are related to Cornaceae rather than Saxifragaceae, with which they are usually linked. Maples and buckeyes The family Aceraceae (see pp.354-59) contains just two genera. Acer , the maples and sycamore, is a genus of over a hundred mainly temperate trees and shrubs, renowned for their beautiful leaves, bark, and autumn colour. The flowers are small and either insect- or wind-pollinated, the leaves are opposite, usually lobed, and in one or two species deeply cut into separate segments. The fruits are characteristic pairs of seeds with a long wing on one side that acts as a propeller, slowing the fall of the seed and enabling it to be blown further by the wind. The second genus is Dipteronia , which contains a single species with pinnate leaves and a seed with a wing all the way round. The Aceraceae is sometimes included in the Sapindaceae (see pp.349-51), a family that includes a number of important trees and shrubs, such as are Koelreuteria , Dodonea , and the tropical fruits rambutan ( Nephelium ) and litchi. Also closely related, and sometimes included in this family, is Hippocastanaceae (see pp.352-53), containing Aesculus , the horse chestnut and buckeyes, with typical, big, brown, shiny seeds enclosed in an often spiky capsule. Viburnum and honeysuckle The final group of advanced flowering plants often have heads of small flowers, clustered together and resembling a single flower; the daisy is the common and most extreme example of this, where the "petals" are part of the outer flowers, and the centre is made up of a mass of minute flowers. Many species of Viburnum , in the Adoxaceae (see pp.448-51), which belongs to this group, also show these larger outer flowers. Closely related to Viburnum is the honeysuckle ( Lonicera , in the Caprifoliaceae, see pp.438-47), in which the flowers are in pairs, often crowded into whorls; the petals are joined and often form a long tube containing nectar for visiting bees, moths or birds. Recent research indicates that the ivies ( Hedera , see Araliaceae, pp. 380-81), with all the flowers in a rounded head, and the Umbelliferae, where the outer flowers in the flat head are often larger than the inner, and hollies ( Ilex , see Aquifollaceae, p.179), the relationships of which have in the past been uncertain, are all related to Viburnum . Cordyline, palms and bamboos The distinctness of the monocotyledons, which include grasses and bamboos (see pp.472-83), has been recognised for centuries. They cannot grow thick, woody trunks, so-called secondary thickening, so have produced few proper trees. Palms (see pp.464-65) are the main woody genera, and there are a few tree-like members of other families. In bamboos the grass-like stems become hard and tough, branching only where leaves are formed; all new shoots appear from the rootstock below ground. Palms build up a wide growing point before they begin much upward growth, so their trunks are parallel sided, continuing indefinitely upwards; only a few species branch. The most tree-like monocotyledons are the dragon trees ( Dracaena ) and Cordyline from New Zealand, which make some secondary growth and build up thick trunks with many branches, reaching a great age. Excerpted from The Botanical Garden: Trees and Shrubs by Roger Phillips, Martyn Rix All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Due to the number of plants covered, listings given here cannot be comprehensive but instead cover the major plants.
Tree ferns
Gingko, Larch, Cedar, Pine, Yew, and Cycas
Magnolia, Bay, and Calycanthus
Berberis, Mahonia, Clematis, and Romneya
Liquidamber, Corylopsis, and Witch Hazel
Beech, Oak, Hazel, Birch, and Walnut
Box, Willow, and Hibiscus
Elm, Mulberry, and Fig
Camellia, Rhododendron, and Heather
Hydrangea, Rose, Apple, and Cherry
Acacia, Wisteria, and Broom
Elæagnus, Myrtle, and Eucalyptus
Nyssa, Davidia, and Dogwood
Ceanothus, Buckeye, Maple, and Choisya
Kalopanax, Ivy, and Bupleurum
Oleander, Solanum, and Desfontainia
Lavender, Ash, Jasmine, and Buddleja
Honeysuckle, Viburnum, and Olearia
Palm, Cordyline, and Bamboo