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Plants Of The Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska Paperback – November 30, 2004


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Plants Of The Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska + Northwest Foraging: The Classic Guide to Edible Plants of the Pacific Northwest + Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Lone Pine Publishing; Revised edition (November 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1551055309
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551055305
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

I consider Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast to be a must-have for anyone who wants to know more about this area, as well as a great educational tool for kids. A handy field-guide, it will give the observer a fast way to look up and identify plants, shrubs, trees, mosses, ferns, lichens, and grasses. --The New Times, Seattle

About the Author

DR. JIM POJAR is executive director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - Yukon chapter. He spent 25 years as an internationally respected forest ecology research scientist with the B.C. Forest Service. He is the author of numerous books and scientific papers related to the boreal forest, aspen parklands and coastal ecosystems.

ANDY MACKINNON is a respected biologist who serves as a technical advisor on old growth forest research to the B.C. Ministry of Forests. MacKinnon, also a registered professional forester, is adjunct professor at the School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University. He is the author of six Lone Pine books on the plants of Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

Customer Reviews

This field guide is excellent.
LyraDanger
The problem is that I live in eastern Washington and this book is about plants of the Pacific Northwest coast.
Wade
Easy to navigate and good photos of plants.
DaddyBil

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Leha Carpenter on January 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is simply the best field guide on any subject I have ever encountered. Photos are clear and often come in both full plant and detail perspectives; text is accurate, clear, well-written, and thorough; and the book is intuitively organized, providing easy-to-use keys, and a text-alongside-photo format that means less page flipping in the field. The cover is water-resistant, too! Packs an amazing number of plant species, including many bryophytes and lichens, as well as ferns and seed-bearing plants. Even covers many grasses! I live in California, and although many of the plants in this book don't reach down to my area, it is still the first field guide I pick up when trying to key a plant, because I am almost sure to get the family here, and usually the genus as well. Once you have those, it's much easier to cross-reference to your local species and varieties. If you didn't love plants obsessively before, this book will make you want to start!
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By J. Branson on May 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
For anyone interested in Northwest Native Plants, this is an essential reference. Arthur Lee Jacobsen's "Wild Plants of Greater Seattle" is another useful book, although not as detailed. "Vascular plants of the Pacific Northwest", by Charles Leo Hitchcock, in 7 volumes for $300.00, is much more detailed but not as handy. I have used my "Pojar" so much that I wore it out and had to get a second copy. I found it useful when I was just beginning to learn about native plants, and now that I can identify over 200 species on sight, I still use it to learn about ethnobotany, which plants are edible, and where to plant them in my garden.

Another reviewer complained that the book does not list common names in the index. This is just plain wrong. You can look up plants in the index by common name or scientific name, or you can browse through the photos until you get a match. You can also use the keys, which is the best way to learn about the relationship of one species to another, but I'm usually too lazy to work through the process. The way the plants are grouped, it's easy to narrow it down and find your plant.

My one complaint about the book is that it is sometimes difficult to pin down whether or not a particular plant is actually a native. This is usually implied, especially when they tell how indigenous peoples used the plants in everday life, but I wish the plants were clearly marked Native and Non-Native.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. L. Hallock on July 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
I used this book extensively in a field class this summer and it was extremely helpful. Everything I would possibly want to know about NW flora was included in detail (even with sketches of individual leaves). Also, the ethnographic information regarding the uses of various herbal medicines was fascinating.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Mitton on December 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is by far the best study and field guide to Northwest plants. Nothing else comes close to being so inclusive. Because of that, I think, the book can be a bit difficult to get through. I little knowledge of plants will help tremendously in using the guide. There are a couple dozen or so keys for various plant families but be warned that keying plants can be difficult. The pictures are great and the notes that accompany each picture are top notch. One thing I like is that the author gives copious notes about aboriginal and regional use of the plants as well as notes about their natural history. There's really a life time of learning here. Great book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kristen in Arizona on October 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a staple for plant identification in the Northwest. As a plant biologist for the National Park service, this was the book we never went into the field without. Because of it's clear color photographs, thorough taxonomical descriptions, and wide array of species, it was the first we would consult, and then cross reference with other resources if we needed to. It's also quite durable!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brandon on August 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
You can't call yourself a naturalist - amateur, professional, or otherwise - until you have this guide. It is clear and concise, with good tools for identification and great secondary information on the plant it is addressing. The pictures and descriptions make identification at least down to the level of family or genus ridiculously easy, but in some families getting an ID down to species or sub-species level takes a more in-depth reference guide. The keys are clear and leave little room for ambiguity, and the sectioning of material follows a logical pattern related to both ecology and familial relationships - rather than the sometimes esoteric partitioning based on strict taxonomy. The book itself is practically indestructible - I have dropped it (by it I mean my first copy, the previous edition) into creeks, mud, dust, sand, swamps and marshes, and down mountains, and it has come out mostly intact. It is also the only fieldguide that I have owned that has successfully resisted mountain rodent appetites (specifically those dastardly yellow-pine chipmunks). Like many field guides these days it also does a fantastic job incorporating native plant use into the descriptions. The only con I see in this book is it doesn't address the mushrooms (even though it includes lichens, which are halfway there).

To sum up it up, buy this guide if you spend any decent amount of time around plants and wonder at all what some of them are. For a more specific and accurate identification guide for the especially diverse or hard-to-identify plant groups (like the grasses), get a guide or key with more specific attention to taxonomy and more in-depth descriptions. It's amazing already what this guide does with the space that it has.
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