I love field guides. I am still learning about identifying plants and trees (besides mushrooms, birds lol), that I customarily have my favorite field guides in my vehicle. Living in town I usually have to go out to the parks or a friends country property, to really get out in nature,so works for me just to store them there. The added bonus is more book space on the shelves inside the house:) I am sorry that I am unsure just how useful these specific books will be for all my friends, all over the world. But, for other friends, I hope these might be useful recommendations, especially if you are rather new to having a fascination with plant names, and want to find and use plants and trees from the wild places, like me:)
Botany in a Day, The Patterns Method of Plant Identification by Thomas J. Elpel, Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families of North America
His webpage is excellent also. I knew I was getting a bit more serious about learning when I got that book!
My newest finds made me do a happy dance! Winter Tree Finder for Identifying deciduous trees in Winter, by May Theilgaard Watts and Tom Watts. And Tree Finder A Manual for the Identification of Trees by Their Leaves, by May Theilgaard Watts. While these two books are aimed specifically for the Eastern two thirds of the U.S., I found that there was one specifically for the Pacific Coast of the U.S. also. There are other areas covered in other editions also, so look around Amazon if you are interested:)
These little books are just amazing! The keys for using the pages are simple and methodical. You select a typical leaf or twig from the tree you wish to identify and proceed in an orderly fashion to being able to key in on the tree you are wishing to identify.
These books are just must haves for portability, reasonable price and wealth of wonderful information. May Theilgaard Watts’ book Flower Finder was one of the first field guides I ever started using regularly, and still do.
Botany is not to be feared, and I think these books would be very beneficial with children also. I mean, the parts of a twig; terminal bud, lateral bud, leaf scar, lenticels, vein scar, bud scale scar and pith are really no harder to learn than something like the old ditty “Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes”:) The keys in these books are very helpful, with little drawings to represent the usual habitat, the place of a tree in association with people, native or introduced symbols, shapes, etc etc which I find very helpful.
The Sibley Guide to Trees, another excellent book for identifying trees. I am sure most of you are probably familiar with Sibley’s Guide books! The other book in the picture Illinois, Iowa and Missouri Wild Berries and Fruits Field Guide by Teresa Marrone is just too much fun to take into the field and is color coded so a snap to thumb through if I encounter a berry or fruit tree I am unfamiliar with. Check out Amazon, again, if you are interested, as she has written similar type guides for various parts of the country.
Two other books I usually have in my vehicle, are Medicinal Plants of North America, by Jim Meuninck and Medicinal Plants and Herbs by Steven Foster and James A. Duke
Well, I have a few others I will talk about later. The sun is finally shining, the bees are flying, and nature is beckoning me out for a walk, so talk to you later!
By the way, always be mindful of your harvest practices. Sometimes we just have to be satisfied with looking :)
Hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages xx