this book is getting hard to find. Many books of similar content cost much
more. And, this book provides an extensive dictionary of Latin botanical
names and their meanings that is more than adequate for the average
gardener. William Stearn enlightens us not only on the
epithets of the words,i.e. odorata means smelly, but also on the history of why these names evolved.
The name is the thing with this book just as it is
with all plants. Many plants have species names that describe their leaves,
flower colors, founders and region of origin. There is much history to be gained
from the understanding this volume contributes. It can even be fun to learn what
the names mean. For instance, Melissa (the genus for Lemon
Balm) is also the name of a Cretan Princess who first learned how to get
honey from bees. Because Lemon Balm attracts bees, Melissa is the perfect Genus
for it. Armed with this wordy knowledge, we can actually make more appropriate plant
choices for our gardens.