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Comment: Nice Previously Handled Copy with Normal Wear to Covers, Interior and Exterior of Book. May Include Notes, Highlights, Markings etc. Good Used Copy. No discs, codes, or accessories.
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A Field Guide to Wildflowers: Northeastern and North-central North America (Peterson Field Guides) Paperback – March 15, 1998

4.1 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Roger Tory Peterson, one of the world's greatest naturalists, received every major award for ornithology, natural science, and conservation as well as numerous honorary degrees, medals, and citations, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Peterson Identification System has been called the greatest invention since binoculars. These editions include updated material by Michael O'Brien, Paul Lehman, Bill Thompson III, Michael DiGiorgio, Larry Rosche, and Jeffrey A. Gordon.


Roger Tory Peterson, one of the world's greatest naturalists, received every major award for ornithology, natural science, and conservation as well as numerous honorary degrees, medals, and citations, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Peterson Identification System has been called the greatest invention since binoculars. These editions include updated material by Michael O'Brien, Paul Lehman, Bill Thompson III, Michael DiGiorgio, Larry Rosche, and Jeffrey A. Gordon.
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Product Details

  • Series: Peterson Field Guides
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Rev Sub edition (March 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395911729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395911723
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.5 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
I've been teaching in the outdoors using field guides with novices for 18 years, so I offer this advice to assist beginners in choosing a wildflower guide. I have used both this book and the Newcomb book and greatly prefer this one, although Newcomb's is very good. Newcomb's uses a series of keys, which I guess some people find more "sophisticated." Although the key in Newcombs isn't hard to use, I find that the Peterson guide is faster and easier to use in the field. I have also observed that beginners are less likely to make mistakes using the Peterson wildflower guide. The big plus of the Peterson book is the identification system. The flowers are first arranged by color and the book is color coded. Although wild plants may not always be showing their flower colors, 9 times out of ten when the amateur is identifying a flowering plant, it will be in bloom. You can use the Peterson guide to learn the key characterisitics of a blooming plant so that later on when it is not blooming you will still be able to find it in the book and recoginze it.
In the next stage of the Peterson wildflower guide's organization, the plants are arranged by similar visual characteristics. There is a simple outline and description of this system at the beginning of the book. The book utilizes helpful icons, which are featured at the tops of all the descriptive pages for quick thumb-through reference. I have found this icon system very helpful in teaching plant identification because it provides a systematic approach that the beginner can pick up quickly and easily. The Peterson system greatly facilitates intial accuracy of identification at the level of plant family.
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Format: Paperback
Though I personally prefer Newcomb's Wildflower Guide over this one, I have found that when in doubt after reading Newcomb's description of a plant, this book helps me decide whether or not it is correct. It's smart to always use more than one guide for identifying plants because different authors notice different qualities that they think are important. I'm not too keen on identifying any plant by the color of the flower, because it limits the amount of time you have to identify a plant. Newcomb's system is much, much better for finding plants that are not in bloom, though part of the key relies on flower parts. Until someone comes up with an easy key for identifying plants based on vegetation only, I suggest buying both this book and Newcomb's book.
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By A Customer on October 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a very good field guide to wildflowers, but I do have a few gripes about the book. First of all, most of the pictures are black and white line drawings with some color plates. Many students that I have that use the book for identifying flowers have difficulties with many of the drawings. The descriptions of the flowers are a little sketchy. Also, several species that are in my area are not in the book (the author does point out in the beginning of the book that the book may not be accurate at the perimeter of the region due to species from surrounding areas infiltrating these areas. Kentucky is one of those states on the border. I would like to see a book for the Southern US to see if these species are listed there.) The book does have several strengths though. First of all, it lists more species than other books I have used and does a great job of pointing out subtle differences between related species. The book is also arranged by color and grouped by type and arrangement of flower. The inner jacket is basically a picture dictionary of botany terminology. I recommend this book for anyone interested in wildflowers and want to be able to identify them.
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By A Customer on December 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
I own several wildflower identification books, and this one is among my favorites. I often use it in conjunction with other books, but it also does well on its own. I like the fact that the subjects are listed by color - this makes it much easier for me to differentiate species when out in the woods. I have given this book as a gift to flower-loving friends.
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Format: Paperback
I have used this book for 20 years to identify wildflowers successfully; the drawings and paintings capture the essence of the flower in a way no photo does; the book includes many less commonly found plants so you are more likely to find what you're looking for; and it is organized by flower color which is most likely to be what drew your attention in the first place. Excellent reference, easily used.
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Format: Paperback
I have used Petersons books for decades, and continue to update to new

issues while cherishing my issue from the 1970's. Anyone seeking to

comprehensively identify wildflowers from color plate photographs alone

is not only missing the point of field work, but may miss the flower as

well- colors look different in different light and in different photo- op's.

There are many other features to consider in correct plant ID.

The relevant ID features are often more obscure, yet are dutifully pointed

out in the Peterson guides - characteristics such as "mottled stems",

"fringed bracts", various leaf attachment features, size and range of

plant, and so on. As the director of a high quality school dealing in

herbal studies and nature research, as well as a college level teacher,

this and a small cadre of supplemental ID resources, including Steve

Brill's book, are going to remain on my list of required books for

all students , one they will use , along with their friends and family,

again and again.
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