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Plant Book Recommendations

Darren R. Gold wrote:

>I'd be interested in hearing opinions about good reference books on
>aquatic plants.  I'm refering not so much to those "How-To" books or the
>little 20 page wonders, but a good species identification book (with
>photographs, of course).

The best one by far is Christel Kasselmann's book, "Aquarienpflanzen".
Unfortunately, it's not yet available in English, although it is in the works.

If you can't wait for those, the most comprehensive source is probably to
buy all 3 volumes of the Baensch Atlas.  If you can only afford to start
with one, the second volume covers the greatest number of species.

For a _lot_ less money, the Tropica, Oriental Aquarium and Dennerle
catalogs cover most species in commercial production.  The Tropica catalog
gives by far the most information on each species, and is probably most
correct taxonomically.  Rather than photos, there are very detailed
drawings, which are  more useful than many photos for plant ID's.  Of the
other two, I slightly prefer the Oriental Catalog, but this is probably
personal preference.  

I own all the above books, use them all and like them all even though they
all have different strengths and weaknesses.  If I had to pick just one,
and I didn't want to deal with a foreign language, my choice would be the
Tropica catalog based on quality and value for the $.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association