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"When I have money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothes." Erasmus.

Botany in general   Field guides   Great reads   History, lore and uses   Illustrated references   Keyed technical manuals   Other books   Photographic technique  

Kirchoff, Bruce

Woody Plants of the Southeastern United States: A Field Botany Course on CD, CD ROM, WPSEUS

By: Bruce Kirchoff. , Missouri Botanical Garden Press, ISBN:978 1 930723 62 7

Woody Plants of the Southeastern United States, A Field Botany Course on CD, CD ROM, WPSEUS, is a computer based visual training program designed to rapidly and efficiently help users become experts in plant identification. Unlike novices, experts are able to quickly recognize patterns. This allows chess masters to recognize meaningful chess configurations, and field botanists to identify plants at a glance. WPSEUS helps users achieve this mastery in a fraction of the time that is normally required. It does this by adapting active learning techniques from the cognitive psychology literature. WPSEUS uses active learning to promote holistic processing, the visual processing mode used by experts. Active learning has been shown to engage the brain areas associated with visual expertise, while passive learning does not. The training techniques are based on two key competencies of experts. Experts are able to recognize patterns, and have the ability to segment their perceptual fields in order to pick out relevant details. Acquiring these competencies is part of what it means to learn to see. WPSEUS is the only program that trains users in these competencies from its first use. It functions like a field course in plant identification.

Botany in general


Plant Identification Terminology
By: Harris, James G. and Harris, Melinda Woolf. , Spring Lake UT, Spring Lake Publishing, ISBN:0-9640221-5-X

A very complete and well illustrated book of phytography, or terms used to describe plants. Terms essential to the serious botany student are made clear to anyone.

Field guides


By: Boughton Cobb and Illustrated by Laura Louise Foster. 1963, ISBN:0395194318

The relatively small number of ferns as compared to flowering plants make possible this book that is both a technical manual and portable field guide. The illustrated key is excellent and the pen and ink drawings of most species covered are, detailed, accurate and beautiful. A bibliography by states and regions is provided.

Foster & Duke

By: Foster, Steven and Duke, James A.. 1990, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, ISBN:0-395-46722-5

A Peterson Field Guide, this is perhaps the best known field guide type book for plants with medicinal properties. The descriptions are brief with drawings of all plants and color photos of 200 species.


Wildflowers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.


By: Little, Elbert L.. , Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., ISBN:0-394-50760-6

All Audubon Field Guides are portable and provide very complete information on the species covered along with lots of color photos.


By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.


By: Niering, William A. and Olmstead, Nancy C.. , New York, Alfred A. Knoph, Inc., ISBN:0-394- 50432-1

All Audubon Field Guides are portable and provide very complete information on the species covered along with lots of color photos.


By: B. Eugene Wofford and Edward W. Chester. , ISBN:1572332050

Both a key and 380 color photos make this book useful for identifing the woody plants of Tennessee.

Great reads


The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
By: Michael Pollan. May 2001, Random House, Incorporated, ISBN:0375501290

This book is a best seller for good reason. Polland not only makes a case for his view that plants have been no less molded to man's desire than they have, by changing themselves, found ways to use man's desires to further there own aims. In doing so he delves deeply, and interestingly, into related subjects such as the nature of beauty, our desire for intoxication and the pros and cons of genetically modified crops. Polland takes the reader from frontier America to the birthplace of the apple in Kazakhstan, from his own vegetable garden to an illegal grow room near Amsterdam, from Monsanto to McDonald's.

History, lore and uses


By: Densmore, Frances. 1974, New York, Dover Publications, Inc., ISBN:0-486-23019-8

Formerly titled Uses of Plants by the Chippewa Indians. This book was originally an accompanying paper to The Forty-fourth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1926-1927.


By: Dobelis, Inge N. Editor. 1986, Reader's Digest Association, ISBN:0-89577-221-3


By: Erichsen-Brown, Charlotte. 1979, New York, Dover Publications, Inc., ISBN:0-486-25951-x

A fascinating compilation of historical records of the uses of plants in North America by natives and early settlers.


By: Gibbons, Euell. 1971, New York, David McKay Company, Inc, ISBN:0911469036

A classic guide to finding and preparing tasty wild plants.


By: Grieve, Mrs. M. and Leyel, Mrs. C. F. Editor. 1996, Barnes & Noble Inc., ISBN:0-88029-921-5

First published in 1931 and revised in 1973 this book covers not only flowering plants but fungi and ferns as well. Though there is special emphasis on plants, wild or cultivated, known in Britain during the first half of the 20th century the scope is world wide and many of the plants exist in our area or have close relatives here. There is great detail in some of the descriptions and information provided about the history, cultivation and uses of many plants. Over 900 pages. See also: Hyper-text version


Cherokee Plants their uses - a 400 year history
By: Hamel, Paul B. and Chiltoskey, Mary U.. 1975, ISBN:N/A, LCCCN- 75-27776

Illustrated references


By: Stanley L. Bentley. , University of North Carolina Press, ISBN:0807848727

Lavishly illustrated with beautiful photographs and packed with information including range maps of the southern Appalachian area.


Wildflowers of Tennessee
By: Jack B. Carman. , ISBN:0970841809

With 780 species illustrated with excelent color photographs and 1100 species decribed to some extent this book has the greatest number of species of any illustrated guide to Tennessee wildflowers which can be carried in the field.

Duncan & Duncan

Wildflowers of the Eastern United States
Wildflowers of the Eastern United States

By: Duncan, Wilbur H. and Duncan, Marion B.. 1999, Athens Georgia, University of Georgia Press, ISBN:0-8203-2107-9

An updated version of Wilbur H. Duncan's earlier book Wildflowers of the Southeastern United States. This book covers more area and has over 600 species and nice color photos. (The photos are in one section and the text in another.)


By: Hemmerly, Thomas E.. 1990, Nashville, Tennessee, Vanderbilt University Press, ISBN:0- 8265-1240-2

The essential guide to the plants endemic to the central basin of Tennessee. There is no other full color guide that I know of that identifies so many rare glade plants and other species found only in the central south. Also by this author: Appalachian Wildflowers.


By: Thomas E. Hemmerly. , University of Georgia Press, ISBN:0820321818

Another book by the author of Wildflowers of the Central South. This informative field guide covers the wildflowers of the entire Appalachian region, which stretches from Quebec to northern Alabama. Using this book, readers will learn to identify this regions' wildflowers by shape, color, family, and habitat." "Ecologist and botanist Thomas E. Hemmerly encourages us to "read the landscape" in order to learn about plants' habitats, distribution, and use. In his brief introductory chapters, he describes ecosystems such as mountain forests and wetlands to provide a context for the information on individual plant species that will be valuable to both professional scientists and amateur naturalists.


Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual
By: Noel H. Holmgren. January 1998, ISBN:0893273996

This book consists of 827 plates containing meticulously rendered black-and-white botanical illustrations specially arranged and labeled to cross-reference with Gleason and Cronquist's Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada, Second Edition. Four years in the making, the Illustrated Companion is based on the original artwork of the New Britton and Brown Illustrated Flora of the Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada, published in 1952. The new volume includes illustrations of several species not treated in the earlier work as well as many useful diagnostic details previously omitted from the old illustrations.

Winner of the 1998 AAP/PSP Best Book in the Biological Sciences


By: David B. Lellinger. , ISBN:0874746035

This exhaustive work describes over 400 species, subspecies and varieties and includes color photos for most. The author is the Curator of Ferns at the Smithsonian Institution and A Murray Evans, Professor of Botany at the University of Tennessee took the excellent photographs traveling all over North America to accomplish the task. If you want to know the ferns this is a must have book.

Protected Plants of Georgia

Protected Plants of Georgia
By: Patrick, Thomas S and Allison, James R. and Krakow, Gregory A.. 1995, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, ISBN:N/A

Detailed information including drawings of 103 species liststed by the state of Georgia as endangered, threatened, rare or unusual. This well done work is in loose leaf (3 hole punched) form and can be obtained from Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 2117 US Hwy 278 SE Social Circle, Georgia 30025 Phone: (770) 918-6411 or (706) 557-3032 Fax: (706) 557-3033 E-mail: jon_ambrose@mail.dnr.state.ga.us.


Wild Flowers of the United States: Southeastern States
By: Rickett, Harold William. 1967, New York, The New York Botanical Garden / McGraw-Hill, ISBN:0893272779

This long out of print reference is the most complete illustrated guide to plants of the Southeastern United States. A project of the New York Botanical Garden it is a large format hard cover book printed on heavy paper with almost every other page a color plate. This 2 book set is volume 2 of a 5 volume set covering the entire United States. You may be able to find this book at Barnes & Noble.com in the out of print books as I did. Expect to pay well over $100 and perhaps over $200 for copies in good condition as these books are valuable not only to the plant enthusiast but book collectors as well.

Keyed technical manuals


Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada
By: Henry A. Gleason and Arthur Cronquist. 2nd, July 1991, NY, New York Botanical Garden, ISBN:0893273651

The most useful and accurate technical key available for plants of Eastern North America. The geographic area covered is north of our area but the majority of the plants in all but the most southern parts of the eastern US are described. See The Illustrated Companion.


By: Albert E. Radford and Harry E. Ahles and C. Ritchie Bell. , Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, ISBN:0807810878

Over 3,300 species described in technical detail with many nice drawings and good keys. This book is excellent for the serious plant enthusiast in the southeast as it covers species that Gleason does not and has some helpful drawings. Also range maps for the Carolinas.

Photographic technique


By: John Shaw. , ISBN:0817440593

All of John Shaw's books are great reads for both the experenced photograper and the beginner. They cover the basics and advanced tecniques that nature photographers must master to do well.


By: John Shaw. , ISBN:0817440526

As in all his books on photographic technique Shaw covers the basics of photography and then explains how he was able to create the sharp and beautiful close-ups with which the book is lavishly illustrated.


By: John Shaw. , ISBN:081743710X

© 1999-2000 Daniel Reed
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