Another identification manual that is a must while botanizing in the Blue Ridge province is the Guide to the Vascular Plants of the Blue Ridge by Eugene Wofford. Its wide range of habitats within the region extends from northern Georgia to southern Pennsylvania. Over 2000 species are included, representing all major plant groups including ferns, trees, monocots, and dicots. All the families, genera, and species are arranged alphabetically. (Yes!) Although lacking illustrations, the keys are simple to follow. The list of references is quite useful for those who wish to delve further into species identification. Hopefully, a new edition will update the species coverage and include updated taxonomic revisions.
Many years ago, I bought my first plant photo identification book, Wildflowers of the Southeastern United States by Wilbur Duncan and Duncan Foote. Now tattered and worn, I have carried it far and wide through the eastern United States and have used it extensively along with the numerous other guides that I have acquired over the years. Unfortunately, it was out of print several years later. Nothing on the market filled the void until the publication of the Wildflowers of the Eastern United States. I am glad to see that it has been expanded to include all the states east of the Mississippi except for parts of south Florida.
This new volume is well laid out with photos and descriptions of 631 species as well as comparisons with an additional 500 species that are not photographed. Each photograph shows the important characters of each species and a text description allows for easy identification. Plant families are arranged phylogenetically. All major families of wildflowers are represented.
My only major complaint with the book is that, within each family, the genera and species descriptions are not listed alphabetically which makes quick lookups impossible. A bibliography of additional references would have been appreciated.
This is one book that cannot be left on the shelf. It should be carried into the field along with other botanical identification guides previously published by the University of Georgia Press.
Other books published by the University of Georgia that cover the southeastern United States include:
- Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of Northern Florida and Adjacent Georgia and Alabama by Robert Godfrey, 1988
- Aquatic and Wetland Plants of the Southeastern United States (2 volumes) by R. K. Godfrey and J. W. Wooten, 1979 and 1981
New Pronouncing Dictionary of Plant Names. Florists’ Publishing Co.
Bell, C. Ritchie, and Bryan J. Taylor. Florida Wild Flowers and Roadside Plants. Laurel Hill Press.
Blomquist, H. L., and H. J. Oosting. A Guide to the Spring and Early Summer Flora of the Piedmont, North Carolina, 6th ed. Blomquist and Oosting.
Brown, Paul Martin. Wild Orchids of Florida: With References to the Gulf and Atlantic Coastal Plain. University Press of Florida.
Chapman, V. J. Coastal Vegetation. The Macmillan Co.
Chase, Agnes. First Book of Grasses: The Structure of Grasses Explained for Beginners. Smithsonian Institution Press.
Clark, Lewis. Wild Flowers of the Arid Flatlands in the Pacific Northwest. Gray’s Publishing, Ltd.
Clark, Lewis J. Wild Flowers of the Pacific Northwest from Alaska to Northern California. Gray’s Publishing Ltd.
Conard, Henry S. Plants of Central Florida. Publication #1. The Ridge Audubon Society.
Duncan, Wilbur H., and Leonard E. Foote. Wildflowers of the Southeastern United States. The University of Georgia Press.
Duncan, Wilbur H., and Marion B. Duncan. Wildflowers of the Eastern United States. The University of Georgia Press.
Henderson, Peter. Henderson’s Handbook of Plants. Peter Henderson & Company.
Hitchcock, A. S. Manual of the Grasses of the United States. 2nd edition revised by Agnes Chase. Government Printing Office.
Hitchcock, C. Leo, and Arthur Cronquist. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press.
Hotchkiss, Neil. Common Marsh Plants of the United States and Canada. Bureau of Sport fisheries and Wildlife.
Hotchkiss, Neil. Underwater and Floating-Leaved Plants of the United States and Canada. Bureau of Sport fisheries and Wildlife.
Jaques, H. E. Plant Families: How to Know Them. Wm. C. Brown Co.
Jelks, Mary. Allergy Plants. Florida’s Fabulous. World-Wide Publications. 65 pp.
Larrison, Earl J., Grace W. Patrick, and William H. Baker and James A. Yaich. Washington Wildflowers. Seattle Audubon Society.
Lloyd, Francis E. The Carnivorous Plants. Dover Publications, Inc.
Luer, Carlyle A. The Native Orchids of Florida. New York Botanical Garden.
McDougall, W. B., and Herma A. Baggley. Plants of Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone Library and Museum Association.
Niering, William A., and Nancy C. Olmstead. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers: Eastern Region. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Nourse, Hugh, and Carol Nourse. Wildflowers of Georgia. Univ. of Georgia Press.
Peterson, Roger Tory, and Margaret McKenny. A Field Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North-central North America. Houghton Mifflin Co.
Perkins, Kent D., and Willard W. Payne. Guide to the Poisonous and Irritant Plants of Florida.
Rickett, Harold Wm. The New Field Book of American Wild Flowers. G. P. Putnam’s Sons.
Rickett, ed., H. W. Wild Flowers of America. Crown Publishers, Inc.
Shuttleworth, Floyd S., and Herbert S. Zim. Non-Flowering Plants. Golden Press.
Shuttleworth, Floyd S., Herbert S. Zim, and Gordon W. Dillon. Orchids. Golden Press.
Spellenberg, Richard. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers: Western Region. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Starr Dana, Mrs. Wm. Ho+w to Know the Wild Flowers. Dover Publications, Inc.
Stupka, Arthur. Wildflowers in Color. Harper and Row, Publishers. 144 pp.
Taylor, Norman. F. Schuyler Mathews’ Field Book of American Wild Flowers. G. P. Putnam’s Sons.
Ward, Daniel B. Checklist of the Vascular Flora of Florida. Part I. Technical Bulletin 726 July 1968. Agricultural Experiment Stations, Univ. of Florida.
Watts, May Theilgaard. Flower Finder. Nature Study Guild.
Wofford, B. Eugene. A Guide to the Vascular Plants of the Blue Ridge. Univ. of Georgia Press.
Wunderlin, Richard P. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Central Florida. University Presses of Florida.