Photo book captures magnificence of these shapely trees

Palm Trees: A Story in Photographs (Westwood Pacific Publishing, 2005; $40) by author and photographer David Leaser is a celebration of these shapely trees in all their sizes and forms, from the tall and graceful to the short and stout. Close-up photographs show feathery fronds and textural trunks, while panoramic images capture the drama of mature palms both in manicured gardens and in their native landscapes.

Illustrated with 135 mostly large color photos, the book shows palms in their varied habitats around the globe, from California and Hawaii to Madagascar. Engaging bits of palm trivia and history are included.

While packed with eye candy, the book is practical too, containing information on palms that do well in home gardens as well as ways to use them. A list of public gardens with noteworthy palm collections is included, so you can visit the magnificent trees in person.