The Genus Roscoea
Author: Jill Cowley. 198pp. 246 x 190mm. 20 colour paintings. 94 colour photos. 29 distribution maps. Hardback, ISBN 9781842461341, Kew Publishing 2007.
Roscoeas, native to the Himalayas, Burma and China, are striking orchid-like hardy gingers and one of the outstanding gems of the plant world. Written with passion and enthusiasm, this is an accessible and comprehensive book, whether you are a gardener, grower or botanist. All twenty known species are described in detail - their structure, form, nomenclature, history, synonyms, habitat and distribution, and many of the various colour forms are illustrated for the first time. Additional chapters cover the history of Roscoea, their morphology, ecology and conservation. The hands-on aspect of cultivation in the garden is dealt with by Richard Wilford, Kew's Alpines and Herbaceous Collection Manager, and Roland Bream, keeper of the national Roscoea collection in the UK, gives an up-to-date account of the species, cultivars and hybrids in cultivation. The author has included a biography of William Roscoe, the man who gave his name to the genus, and has augmented the text with an extensive bibliography. Twenty exquisite full page paintings, 17 by the esteemed artist Christabel King, 29 maps and 94 colour photographs illustrate the text.
'The gorgeous 20 full-page botanical paintings, mostly by Christabel King, makes the book worth having not only for horticulturists and botanists, but also to lovers of fine botanical art.' Jana Leong-Skornickova, Gardenwise Vol. 30, January 2008
'Jill Cowley is an expert in her field, the ginger family... and this work is the culmination of her many years of study, research and travel.' Anne Chambers, Scottish Rock Garden
Jill Cowley trained as a horticulturist at Merrist Wood Farm Institute before moving to Kew Gardens where she specialised in the propagation of temperate plants. From there she moved to the Kew Herbarium to pursue her passion in gingers – Zingeraceae – which lead to wide-ranging work in Korea, Turkey, China and Brunei. Jill retired in 2000, but still maintains very close links with Kew as an Honorary Research Associate.
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