A Guide to the Wildflowers of South Carolina is a complement to the Wildflowers of the Carolina Lowcountry and Lower Pee Dee. (University of South Carolina Press, 1995). Both books together encompass 1150 photographs of South Carolina wildflowers.
The photographs of this volume represent 711 of the 3160 species of native and naturalized plants that are found in South Carolina.
Authors Richard Porcher and Douglas Rayner have used a habitat approach to identification rather than by color or species taxonomy. They divide the state into three provinces—the Blue Ridge, the Piedmont, and the Coastal Plain. Fifty-one sites are discussed where a variety of species and habitats can be found. What is really nice is that each species is thoroughly described and includes common name, scientific name, pronunciation, range, similar species, and a short comments section.
The history of field botany in South Carolina is traced back to Mark Catesby and covers notable “botanists” such as William Bartram, André Michaux and Wade Batson, all of whom have added much to the understanding of flora of the state.
Porcher and Rayner discuss the future need for more field botanists. In the past twenty years many academic institutions have abandoned training at the graduate level for M.S. or PhD. students in field botany.
It is hoped that books like this one will renew the interest in field botany by amateur students and academic institutions.