Widely recognized as the world's leading authority on agaves, Howard Scott Gentry (1903-1993) was an agricultural explorer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was also affiliated with the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. His principal works include Rio Mayo Plants of Sonora-Chihuahua, The Agave Family of Sonora, and The Agaves of Baja California.
"Based on twenty-five years of research on the genus Agave, this book combines an authoritative taxonomic treatment and extensive ethnobotanical information with an attractive, readable text. . . . Gentry has gathered together enough material on agave taxonomy, distribution, ethnobotany and cultivation to make two or three books and presented it in an informative and engaging fashion."--Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science "A total of 136 species (197 taxa) are carefully described [with] detailed notes on their native habitat and economic usages, all of which is presented in a most readable manner. It is a book to browse through and enjoy."--Journal of Arid Environments "Professional taxonomists will need the book for the 23 new taxa and 13 changes in taxonomic status that are described. Field biologists can rejoice in the regional keys and easily discernible key characters."--Quarterly Review of Biology "Because of the importance of agaves in desert gardening throughout the world, many gardeners will find this book a much needed guide through what has until now been a most confusing complex of species and varieties."--American Horticulturalist "It is a publication which all serious collectors of succulent plant books must have, and will clearly become a classic reference book on this neglected genus."--British Cactus and Succulent Journal