Trees and Shrubs of India

Trees and Shrubs of India

by D.V. Cowen


I am flattered at being invited by the publishers to write a foreword for the sixth edition of this beautiful and popular book which has been out of print for several years and much missed and sought after by tree lovers. Not that a fresh foreword is at all necessary or called for after the book has established popularity and usefulness so unmistakably and especially a Foreword by one who is neither a botanist nor an artist but just an interested layman questionably qualified for the task. However, since the author herself has specifically stated that the book is meant for the layman, I feel less reluctant in airing my opinion, more as an appreciation of the artist-author than a foreword for her book. As a fellow birdwatcher I knew Mrs. Cowen intimately enough while she was residing in India to be struck with admiration for her remarkable versatility, boundless energy and unrelenting activity. For besides being a very busy socialite and do-gooder, she was an artist, a writer, an imaginative and successful gardener, a champion golfer and a keen and competent birdwatcher all rolled into one. And she excelled in everything she did. Her attractive plates in this book are all that a layman needs to help him identify the commoner and more showy flowering trees, both indigenous and introduced, he is likely to find in Indian gardens and on the countryside. The text, shorn of frightening botanical jargon, is simply and interestingly written and says just what a layman wants to know. I have myself used the book with much profit and enjoyment over the years and am therefore glad that now others will also have a chance of doing the same with its welcome reappearance in this new edition. – Dr. Salim Ali

It had been my intention, before leaving India, to bring out a companion volume to Flowering Trees and Shrubs in India but, mainly because of the difficulty of...

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