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Wildflowers of California: A Month-by-Month Guide Paperback – May 8, 2012
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A useful resource for wildflower enthusiasts who are planning to visit California's many natural areas. . . . Recommended. --A. L. Jacobsen, California State University, Bakersfield"Choice" (11/27/2012)"
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First of all, the photos are terrible, for the most part (many are not sharp, or clear, or even in focused, and they are not reproduced well in this book). But beyond the photo quality, this book has a basic problem with using the "monthly" approach, since almost all California wildflowers can be found blooming over a period of months.
Then there is the implied idea that this guide is actually representative of California wildflowers in general. There are orders of magnitude more native flower species blooming in California (in any one month), than are shown in this book, and in fact an individual is very likely to not find in this book, the species they are observing out of doors.
In addition, the location and month indicated in this guide, are not always accurate. For instance, the beautiful yellow calochortus, "calochortus monophyllus" is a flower you can (according to this book) find at Table Mountain (near Oroville, CA), but the truth is that you will NOT find this flower at the Table Mountain preserve. You may find it near there, along the roadside, but not at the Table Mountain preserve itself. Furthermore, this particular reserve contains hundreds of native plant species, and you might think the author could at least point out one native wildflower that is actually on the preserve, itself.
I have owned and read scores of nature books published by the University of California, and while some offer interesting text, for the most part their reproduced photography is below average and often useless for identification.Read more ›
His criteria for inclusion are also subjective---flowers "whose beauty or fascination would lead me to go out of my way to see them." Thus his standard leaves out a number of common species. For instance, he omits sweet fennel, a common chaparral plant that has pretty yellow flowers, can grow up to 6 feet high, with a pleasant aroma of licorice. That's unfortunate since its appearance can be confused with that of poison hemlock (containing the same deadly poison that did in Socrates) when both are well past flowering. Blackwell does include poison hemlock, but should include both.
But the real and probably intended use of this book is to find good locations where and when flowers are in bloom. Thus the book is divided into chapters by months of flowering from late January on. Let's say, for instance, that it is now March and you want to find some great places in the state to see some blooms. You turn to the March chapter where you will first see a list of the key habitats in California, such as the coast ranges, central valley, desert, etc., and under each are named some of the outstanding flowers that will probably be out then.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Already used much information from there to find nice walks around bay area for flowersPublished 2 months ago by Busy at Having Fun
This is a rather old version but still the best book on flowers. My old copy was falling apart, so this new one was perfect.Published on June 13, 2014 by fredmaya
Great book and gives a very through listing of Wildflowers in California. This book is great to carry in the car during the season.Published on July 22, 2013 by Beverly Russell
I bought two copies--one for a gift and one for the car for that weekend getaway. With color photographs, Wildflowers is well organized not only by month, but region as well.Published on April 9, 2013 by Amazon Customer