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Tallgrass Prairie Wildflowers (Wildflower Series) Paperback – May 1, 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
If you don't see a common plant in this book, it's likely because it is an imported weed.
There are many, many "wildflower" identification books that include everything-and-the-kitchen-sink, adding to the common confusion about what a 'wildflower' is. (For instance, Dame's Rocket should be on the 'weed' list, but it's in most of the 'wildflower' mixes.)
If you are looking for an all-inclusive book, the Golden Press,"A Guide to Field Identification of Wildflowers of North America", ISBN 0-307-13664-7 is helpful because it includes the weeds, but tells where they came from and how far they have spread across North America. Of course the USDA's PLANTS website (plants.usda.gov) is the best internet source for this technical information.
There is a ten-page chapter on how to use the book, a sort of Botany 101, which is very helpful in explaining how to identify prairie plants via what the author calls their "diagnostic features" -- leaves, flowers, overall shape, scent and, in some cases, the sap. The book's cover is sturdy and water-resistant which is nice if you need to set it down on the ground while you take pictures. Also included is a very useful directory of many of America's remaining tallgrass prairie preserves and parks with descriptions plus phone numbers of the government agencies, universities and organizations that oversee them (I was pleasantly surprised at how many times The Nature Conservancy is listed). The book ends with a short bibliography and a very complete index.
I bought this book as a companion to "Birding Illinois," by Sheryl De Vore (from the same publisher). De Vore's book covers various Illinois parks and wildlife areas, many of which are prairies and woodlands. I figure I can take both books and look for birds as well as beautiful prairie flowers.
I found it easy to use and a necessary addition to my personal library.
If you want just one field guide to get you started with these gorgeous plants, this is the one I would recommend.
This particular work is designed for easy use and, like most other good guides, is arraigned by color which is quite helpful. There are over 320 wonderfully sharp and technically well done photos in full color to help identify each species being addressed. There are 295 very well written descriptions to go along with the photographs which include habitat, range, historical and cultural data and a nice glossary of terms. The book also includes scientific names as well as common names of each plant. BE WARNED though at this point. Many flowers, plants, etc. have many different common names throughout their range. I have found this to be a major problem throughout the years. At times I have seen four people point to the same plant and have four different names thrown at me, each, in their own way, being correct. A wonderful example of this is the common Sensitive Briar (Memosa quadrivalis).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book for identifying the wild flowers. Good pictures and information.Published 4 months ago by Linda~
This is a well researched book, written in a easy to read style, that could easily form the basis of a college level course on the ecology of tallgrass prairies.Published 4 months ago by Russell S. Kinerson
The title of this book is deceptive.
In my world, "prairie" includes the Great Plains states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. Read more
Whether you are an amateur or professional naturalist this is a great book to own. The pictures and descriptions are clear and the book is concise enough that it doesn't overwhelm... Read morePublished 15 months ago by FMS
The description and colored photos help identify flowers in the tall grass prairie.Published 16 months ago by Cathy Vuchetich
This is a Great Book that I would hope everyone would read. I had to give this book five stars and I think you will too.Published on April 20, 2014 by Annette
The book arrive promptly but was a little more used than I had expected but still in good shape. This is an excellent reference for students or just anyone interested in prairie... Read morePublished on February 23, 2014 by Jamie J. Jepsen
This is a great field guide that includes not only wildflowers, but grasses as well. Happy to find this book.Published on November 23, 2012 by leslie