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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars18
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on December 31, 1998
This key for PNW flora is the key used by Washington State University. Text is scientific in nature, and is not intended for pleasure reading. An excellent but complex key, it follows a standard dichotomous (two choices for each step) format. Although not intended for the layman, the text includes a good glossary and has helpful black and white illustrations. This book would not be a good introduction to dichotomous keying as it is designed for the serious botanist.
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on April 22, 2003
Contains excellent illustrations. The terminology and abbreviations may be confusing to some. Needs to be updated as some of the family nomenclature has been changed. I wouldn't recommend this for the average "what's this plant" person.
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on January 21, 1999
This botany key is used by University of Idaho's botany classes. It is still "the" book reached for by the professional in the work force. Afterall, what else is there that is so comprehensive? However, it is in need of revision due to changes in genus and specie names since its fifth printing of 1981.
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on February 18, 2000
EXCELLENT first-book to reach for when needing proper scientific terminology. Does include some common names in the descriptions. Extremely detailed and uses extensive abbreviations. I used this book in Univ. of Idaho botany classes in the 1980's and still use it in my daily job now (year 2000). However, it does indeed need to be updated for current terminology and names, including lower-case spellings.
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on July 25, 2014
This Flora must have set a standard for Western Floras that was not surpassed until the Jepson Flora's for California were published, and has not been equaled elsewhere despite the fact that it's forty years old now. To put it simply the detailed and really beautiful drawings are an incredible aid as are the detailed plant descriptions.

The taxonomy, of course, is outdated and it won't contain many of the non-natives that have surely entered the area or expanded their ranges since the book was published.

Like all professional floras this flora is not for a laymen who's not willing to take the time to learn considerable terminology. If you are though this would be the book - in combination with more recent general floras with color pictures to - do it.

Why a flora of this magnificent region has not been updated and where the Hitchcocks and Cronquists of today are is a unsettling question as particularly global warming brings changes that will surely dramatically affect species distributions over time. I see updated floras for California (Jepson), Montana (Lesica) and Colorado (Weber and Whitman) but for Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and New Mexico you're going to rely on works that are decades old (even 100 years old - New Mexico, or nothing - Nevada).
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on August 30, 2009
Until this manual is updated, it is the most authoritative and complete book for the identification of the flora or the northwest. The keys are excellent and if you do not mind learning nomenclature that is decades behind, the determination of which plant it is will be effected. The binding is good and having used it many times on my tours the the west, the book has held up very well (much better than binding of current publications).
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on August 1, 2015
You better be a serious botanist before acquiring this book. You clearly need to be familiar with the copious abbreviations used. But the book appears to be very complete after getting over that hurdle.
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on December 13, 2013
Although forty years have resulted in rearrangements of related large groups such as family, more rarely genera, the identification remains very useful. This is the only really useful reference to the flora of the entire region. There are many regional floras, but "Hitchcock and Cronquist" remains the go-to book.

In the nomenclature a good example of better understanding of botanical history resulting in modern upset is with the Fireweed, so popular in the press as Ste. Helen's revegetation was hyper-described. Was Epilobium. Is Chamerion. Why? Better understanding of its relationship to the family members. There are and will be many more name changes as better understanding of the limits of species is built. But for identification of the plants in the PNW, in almost all cases H&C's Flora of the Pacific Northwest remains the best place to begin with the identification of plants. An advanced amateur's understanding of botanical terminology is needed. That's the price of accurate identification.
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on February 22, 2009
This is a wonderful easy to use flora. It has very well done line drawing for all the plants and easy to use keys. Very good.
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on May 27, 2013
Useful, utility book. Only book that fulfills the purpose of plant i.d. in the Northwest. Unfortunately, there is a quality issue with my volume. I was keying out a plant, and discovered, much to my chagrin, that some of the type was missing, making it difficult to proceed with keying. I would give it a 5 if it was in perfect condition.
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