- Title: Field Guide to Succulents in Southern Africa
- Authors: Gideon F Smith(Author), Neil R Crouch(Author), Estrela Figueiredo(Author)
- Photographers: Mostly authors
- Cartographers: Authors
- Publisher: Struik Nature, imprint of PenguinRandomHouse
- Year: 2017
- Format: Paperback 464 pages
- Genre: Non-fiction: Flora
- ISBN: 9781775843672
With 850 photos and entries in families and other reviews which say how easy this work is to use, I felt like a bit of an idiot when it failed to talk down sufficiently to make it user friendly to the average gardener in South Africa. With only one page of information for gardeners and no zone maps with lists of all plants likely to be found in that zone, this book is aimed at the more academic user.
It is sumptuous and informative if one has a base from which to start, but simple classification for novices is difficult, if not completely inaccessible.
The book is heavy which makes it an unlikely companion for hikers and picnickers. While I take a veritable library with me to the various national parks, this is not the one I am most likely to pack.
So this is a specialist book, magnificently illustrated with a wealth of clear and informative photographs. Local and common names are given where these exist. My favourite section was the one on aloes, and if this is the only section which initially tickles one’s intellectual curiosity, the modest price for such a generously proportioned book is still worth it.
The Field Guide to Succulents in Southern Africa deserves its place on the bookshelf of lovers of South African flora.