The Tropical Look: An Encyclopedia of Dramatic Landscape Plants (Paperback)
This book is only available through print on demand. All interior art is black and white.
Robert Lee Riffle (1940–2006) was an internationally recognized authority on palms and tropical plants. His landmark book, The Tropical Look: An Encyclopedia of Dramatic Landscape Plants (1998), won an American Horticultural Society Book Award, as did An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms (2003), which he co-wrote with Paul Craft. For 25 years Bob was a strong presence online, answering questions and encouraging gardeners in their endeavors via postings on garden and plant message boards. He generously shared his extensive knowledge gently and with wit as the moderator of the International Palm Society's active PalmTalk message board. Bob was an accomplished pianist, a gifted photographer, and an enthusiastic film buff. He had finished writing the manuscript for the Timber Press Pocket Guide to Palms when he passed away unexpectedly.
“Gardeners and horticultural professionals alike will find much to be excited about in this expansive and significant resource. Riffle’s effort will contribute immensely to the development of many fantastic indoor and outdoor displays around the country. . . . Timely, comprehensive, and beautifully produced.” —American Gardener
“The essential book for anyone interested in tropical plants.” —Newark Star-Ledger
“This compendium of nearly 2000 plants is an excellent resource for learning about hundreds of tropical plants and their cultural needs.” —Orchids
“In the context of the scores of books on horticulture that I own or have seen, Riffle’s comprehensive work is ‘truly unique.’ . . . What makes this work so unusual is not so much its superb, lavish illustration, 409 color photos (their captions happily with Latin names). . . . but rather its inclusion of many horticulturally ‘obscene’ or little-known taxa treated only in the specialist literature. . . . This horticultural encyclopedia is destined to become a classic.” —Taxon
“Although The Tropical Look is directed for Zone 8 and higher, those of you with greenhouses, or who are adventurous may want to try the unusual as annuals or ‘die-back’ plants.” —Garden Spot
“Who knew an encyclopedia could be so much fun!” —Gardening on the Gulf Coast
“From Acacia to Zombia, this hefty volume lists basic descriptions for nearly 2,000 plants—and color photographs of many. The author shares his extensive knowledge enthusiastically.” —Neil Sperry’s Gardens
“One of the most excellent sources for unearthing specific plants and determining whether or not they will suit your needs and growing conditions.” —Palatka Daily News
“This is an informative guide of nearly 2,000 such [tropical] plants that can add drama and excitement to the garden.” —Manchester (CT) Journal Inquirer