CBHL Literature Awards Recognize Excellence in Botanical and Horticultural Literature

Contributed by admin on Jul 13, 2018 - 06:59 PM

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June 21, 2018 – New York – The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries, Inc. (CBHL) presented its nineteenth Annual Literature Awards on June 21, 2018. This presentation was made in Brooklyn during CBHL's 50th Annual Meeting hosted by the New York Botanical Garden and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The CBHL Annual Literature Awards, created to recognize significant contributions to the literature of botany and horticulture, this year honored four remarkable works.

The 2018 Annual Literature Award was presented to The Illustrated History of Apples in the United States and Canada by Daniel J. Bussey, edited by Kent Whealy and published by JAK KAW Press. The culmination of decades of research by noted pomologist Dan Bussey, this “publishing marvel in the field of horticulture” indexes, describes and chronicles historically-documented apple varieties in the USA and Canada. These descriptions, origins and histories were transcribed and compiled into 16,350 apple variety listings and include 9,700 synonyms. The historic illustrations presented in these volumes are from the Pomological Watercolor Collection of the National Agricultural Library.

Chinese Medicinal Plants, Herbal Drugs and Substitutes: an identification guide by Christine Leon and Lin Yu-Lin and published by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew was honored with the 2018 Award of Excellence in Plant Identification & Field-Guides. Drawing on the authors’ own fieldwork, careful study of freshly collected reference material, and a mass of Chinese-language literature, this major reference work encourages the navigation of the famously complex world of Chinese herbal drugs. The depth and consistent presentation of information given on aspects such as cultivation, processing, use and toxicity make this book a comprehensive guide to Chinese medicinal plants.

The receipt of the Award of Excellence in Gardening and Gardens was Monarchs and Milkweed: a migrating butterfly, a poisonous plant, and their remarkable story of coevolution by Anurag Agrawal, published by Princeton University Press. This book tells the remarkable story of the natural history and evolution of the dazzling relationship between monarchs and milkweeds. Recounting major discoveries made during the past century in botany, entomology, chemistry, ecology, and evolutionary biology, the author includes his own pioneering research over the past 15 years.

The newly created Award of Excellence in Children and Young Adult Literature was presented to Are We Pears Yet? by Miranda Paul with illustrations by Carin Berger and published by Roaring Brook Press. In this picture book, two pear seeds are followed on their journey to become pears. Using a theatrical performance as the setting, the two seeds narrate information about pears and their growth cycle. Rife with humor and information, the author and artist encourage the reader to look at plants in a whole new way!

The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries strengthens its membership; addressing emerging issues, and providing expertise and value to our respective organizations. For more information, visit its website at

For more information: Contact Rita M. Hassert, 630-719-2430,