In recent years, gardeners have become very interested in growing native plants. Whether these are grown in perennial borders or wildflower meadows, wildflowers are special. With that in mind, here are some wildflower book reviews.
“Wild Orchids of the Northeast-New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey” is by Paul Martin Brown. This was released by the University Press of Florida. With original artwork by Stan Folsom, this also has lush color photos. This revised, user friendly, expanded edition covers over 180 kinds of orchids. It can be used as a field guide and garden reference. On the inside cover is a ruler you can use when identifying orchids.
The plants are arranged alphabetically by Latin name. The plant profiles include sketches and photos, range maps, plant descriptions, common names, habitats and locations, flowering time, and other helpful information.
This has checklists of wild orchids found in different areas. It explains which species are endangered/threatened. For those planning wildflower pilgrimages, this devotes a section to orchid hunting trips. There are maps for each trip and lists of the species that can be found there. The appendices include a calendar of bloom and distribution charts.
In the introduction, readers will learn all the basics on orchids and what makes them special. There is also a botanical key.
“Tahoe Wildflowers” by Laird R. Blackwell makes it so easy to plan your trip. This Falcon Guide from Globe Pequot Press can’t be beat. It lists what is in bloom each month in the Tahoe Basin and surrounding areas. The binding of this weather-resistant guide is guaranteed or the publisher replaces the book free. On the back cover is a ruler giving both metric/inches for identifying plants.
Lushly illustrated with color photos, this essential guide covers over 200 plants. It gives both hiking and driving directions to each location. The plant profiles give the common and Latin name, family name, locations, a plant description, and other identifying characteristics. It also has lists of additional plants you can see in the area.
“Talllgrass Prairie Wildflowers-A Field Guide to Common Wildflowers and Plants of the Prairie Midwest” is by Doug Ladd et al. A Falcon Guide, this second edition has a tough, water-resistant cover. On the back cover is a handy ruler with inches/centimeters measurements.
This easy to use guide covers over 300 different plants. It gives in-depth descriptions, bloom time, habitat and range, common and Latin names, family names, and other information. The plants are organized by color and family so you can easily identify them.
This guide contains all sorts of other helpful information. There is a glossary of terms and a comprehensive introduction to the ecology of the region. The introduction explains how to identify plants. There are helpful sketches showing the different leaf arrangements, leaf shapes, flower types, and so on. This also has maps of the region.
This updated edition also covers the issue of invasive plants and ongoing efforts to restore the tallgrass prairie.
“Mountain Wildflowers of the Southern Rockies-Revealing Their Natural History” by Carolyn Dodson et al was released by the University of New Mexico Press. Sure to become a classic, this book is much more than a field guide.
It features plant profiles for around seventy species. These explain what is so special about each plant. For each plant, this includes a description, information on the ecology, habitat, origins, evolution, survival strategies, importance to wildlife, and plant uses. It also explains how the plants got their names.
There are sketches by Walter K. Graf along with color photos of the plants. This also has a glossary of terms. The introduction has maps of the area. It explains the natural history and ecology of the region and what can be found at the different elevations.