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The Shrub Identification Book: The Visual Method for the Practical Identification of Shrubs, Including Woody Vines and Ground Covers Paperback – February 1, 1973


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Frequently Bought Together

The Shrub Identification Book:  The Visual Method for the Practical Identification of Shrubs, Including Woody Vines and Ground Covers + Tree Identification Book : A New Method for the Practical Identification and Recognition of Trees + Tree Finder: A Manual for Identification of Trees by their Leaves (Eastern US) (Nature Study Guides)
Price for all three: $37.73

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 379 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (February 1, 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688050409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688050405
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

This book was purchased for office and field use.
Joan Denman
We found an unknown shrub growing in Ives Road Fen Preserve, used this book to identify it as Jetbead, and then eradicated it.
Chuck Pearson
They show great detail and actuall because they're b/w you're not confused by variations in color.
merrymousies

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By merrymousies on July 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought both Symonds' Shrub guide and Tree guide. They are both terrific! The Shrub guide has not only shrubs but also vines and ground covers. It has plants that I've been wanting to be able to id for ages but because the only book I had found until now were wild flower guides, I was always at a loss. This book is fantastic. It has master plant pages a the back so you can look at all the parts of the plants together (I use this when i have an idea of what it might be already and just need to narrow it down) or you can go to the parts sections in the front of the book and go to "leaves" for example and search that way. Its the best approach I've seen and the pictures, although black and white - are terrific. They show great detail and actuall because they're b/w you're not confused by variations in color. Definitely one one my best books - the one I go to first.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By merrymousies on August 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
I think this book is great. I've been able to id almost every tree/shrub we've got in our woods (I also purchased some of the other books by this author so I can id vines and things too). True the pictures are in black and white but it really isn't a big deal. You're looking at leaf shape and vein designs and things like that - it would be green and white if it were in color. I think its a terrific reference and I'd buy it all over again
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
"This is a 'multiple entry' key, a rare type. You can start with any part of the plant - leaf, twig, flower, bark, even armament -- and quickly reduce your possibilities or confirm your id.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
This came highly recommended by the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commisions, so I had my local library borrow it from another town library for a test-read. It proved to be the BEST field guide I've found yet for shrubs. I got my own copy for Chrstmas, but am slightly disappointed by the too-dark printing of the excellent photography, which is why I gave it 4-stars. The author's contribution is immortal, the publisher's effort less impressive. Nevertheless, it is an invaluable addition to a naturalist's collection.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Chef Paul on July 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
While it is nearly a half century old, it is still quite relevent, as well as being easy to use. It is, unfortunely, all b/w photographs (no clumsy line art), but they are very sharp & clear, and the colors are printed next to the pictures. No matter what part of the plant you have available, there is a pictoral key you can use to identify the plant.

Identify, however, is the operative word. The only other information given about the plants is the scientific name, approximate flowering date, range, and height. Once you have identified the plant, you will need to look elsewhere for more info, but it is the most comprehensive book of it's type I have found. There are numerous books on what you can do with any given plant, but first you need to know what plant you have. That's where this book really shines.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rosalind Lowen on July 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is the best manual for the identification of shrubs and shrubby plants. The photographs are in black & white. There are a set of master pages and then sets of pages with flowers, leaves and fruits. All are very descriptive and enable one to identify with only parts of the plant.

We just were able to identify low alpine plants that look herbaceous using this manual.

I have had this book for a long time and like it so much that I just purchased another for a friend. I am pleased to know that it is still available.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Erika Mitchell TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is an identification guidebook for shrubs and woody vines of the Eastern United States. It is organized according to Symonds' visual key. The first part of the book has tab-indexed sections featuring details of plants, including thorns, leaves, flowers, fruits, twigs, and bark. Following this are the main pages, which include entries for individual plants or closely related groups of plants. The entries in the main pages include common and Latin names, notes on range and flowering season, and other notes useful for identification. The book is illustrated throughout with high-quality black-and-white photographs cropped to bring out the important identification details.

This book follows a different methodology than many other identification guides. Instead of following a descriptive key, which forces you to guess on features that may not be observable in your sample, with this book, you first examine your sample to decide which features are most prominent. Then you consult the relevant section of the details guide, whether it is leaves, flowers, thorns, or twigs. When you find a photo that matches what you have in hand, you are then referred to the main pages where you can find more details of the plant to confirm whether you have a match, or if you need to give more weight to other features for identification. Although this system takes a bit of getting used to, especially for those accustomed to picking through descriptive keys, once you get the hang of it, it's simple, fast, and very effective for plant identification. However, given the large size of the book, it's not one you are likely to want to carry into the field with you. It makes a better shelf reference for consulting once you return home with your samples.
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