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A Peterson Field Guide to Wildflowers: Northeastern and North-central North America (Peterson Field Guides) Paperback – March 15, 1998
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With most other guides you need to know many things about the plant/flower BEFORE you can ID it. And, for several of the most popular (Newcombs, especially) you really first must learn to use the key or just page thru the book and hope you find your flower/plant. Because Newcomb's uses a series of keys, some people who have never tried to ID a flower may have problems. Although the key in Newcombs isn't really that hard to understand, I still find that the Peterson guide is just plain easier to use at home or in the field. I carry a copy in my vehicle with my other field guides.
With this book, if the flower is blooming you ID by flower color. Yes, an 8 year old can easily use it. The I've used nearly all of the Wildflower guides but this one is the best in my opinion, was my first wildflower guide and it will always be my favorite. I've gone thru 3 copies of it since 1962.
This guide has really well written descriptions of each plant and the important subtle differences between species are explained and pointed out, with arrows and text for each of the drawings. This book has more illustrations than the Newcomb's book, and the easy to use highlighted habitat/range descriptions also help in quickly figuring out a plant's ID. The black and white drawings are very easy to use- you already know the flower color, and line drawings show key characteristics very precisely. What's important is that you know the color of the flower if it's blooming and the shape of the leaf. The flowers are organized by color and also by family so with a minimum of experience it's just plain easy to make an ID.