Comprehensive, accurate, attractive, and useful are all ways to describe this newest addition to the "Eyewitness Handbooks" series. Over 700 plant species from around the world that have known medicinal value derived from some part of the plant are covered in this compact work by Bremness, a well-known herbalist and author. After a brief introduction to herbs and their useful parts (leaves, roots), each plant is described in a concise entry arranged by scientific name within sections covering trees, shrugs, herbaceous perennials, annuals, vines, and non-seed producing plants. Annotated photos of the individual plant and its parts convey significant characteristics valuable in utilizing and identifying the plant, while the text provides a variety of information on the plant itself and its uses. As a browser's delight, a useful herbal handbook, or a quick reference source, this is a welcome addition to any library with a perennially popular herbs section.-Teresa Elberson, Lafayette P.L., La.
YA-Seven hundred species of herbs are presented through full-color photographs and artwork. Each section- trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, annuals and biennials, vines, and fungi and non-seed bearing plants-is arranged alphabetically. Each entry identifies botanical and common species name and provides a physical description, uses, related forms and varieties, key identifying features, natural habitat, and detailed pictures. This is a handbook for knowledgeable herbalists as well as for beginners. The latter should be cautioned since the notations concerning toxic or poisonous plants and dangerous dosages are buried in the text. An excellent guide when coupled with competent instruction.-Mary T. Gerrity, Queen Anne School Library, Upper Marlboro, MD
Gifted English writer and herb-garden designer Bremness (Complete Book of Herbs) here produces a work of some interest, but little use. In an attempt to fit more than 700 herbs from all over the world into one glossy little book, no aspect of plant knowledge is more than merely touched upon. Although the photographs are numerous and crystal-clear, this is not a dependable field guide for plant identification, nor does it tell us what we can do with the herbs, in spite of many references to what they have been used for in various parts of the world. Editorial consultant Holly Shimizu's introduction makes wonderful reading, covering plant anatomy and much else. While the main entries include clear illustrations of what the entire plant looks like-a feature lacking in some other herb books-we don't learn whether the herb in question can be coaxed to grow for us. Beautiful it is, but the book isn't useful enough. (Sept.)