Books for Wildflower Fans

an annotated bibliography by Jack Sanders

Most of these books were consulted in the preparation of The Secrets of Wildflowers, a book about North American wildflowers (Lyons/Globe-Pequot, 2003).

Because books go in and out of print all the time, I have made little effort to try to denote which books may be currently in print. Check with your bookseller.

Most of these books, however, are probably out of print. Yet, most are probably also available from used book dealers -- it's just a matter of finding the one who has what you want. I suggest trying some excellent online sources of used books, including,,, or All list the wares of many hundreds of used book dealers -- literally hundreds of thousands of titles altogether.

There are also used book dealer lists you can sign up for. Many used book dealers will seek out editions you want. Many advertise in The New York Times Book Review and other literary publications. You can also try the rec.arts.books.marketplace Usenet newsgroup on the Internet; post a message with your want list and keep an eye on the messages that dealers post.

Since this list is rather long, you might want to use the search function of your word processor or editor to scan for topics, key words, authors, or characteristics of interest.

This list may be updated periodically. I'd like to hear your suggestions for books that should be included. E-mail them to me at or snail mail to Box 502, Ridgefield, Conn., 06877. Many thanks!

  1. Addison, Josephine, The Illustrated Plant Lore, London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1985 -- A great book for legend, literature and lore of wild plants; written by an Englishwoman, the book covers European plants, but many of them are North American immigrants. Good reading.

  2. Ahmadjian, Vernon, Flowering Plants of Massachusetts, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1979 -- 582 pages of black and white illustrations; relatively little text. Often seen on used book market. Good for New Englanders.

  3. Aiken, Senator George D., Pioneering with Wildflowers, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1968 -- highly recommended guide to growing wildflowers. Aiken, a former US senator from Vermont, spent many years experimenting with ways of growing native wildflowers. Clear, informal writing style. If not in print, readily available on the used book market.

  4. Anderson, A. W. How We Got Our Flowers, New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1966 -- Excellent background for both wildflower and gardening fans. Covers many plant explorers. Fine index. Angier, Bradford, Feasting Free on Wild Edibles, Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 1972 -- A good guide for using wild plants as food.

  5. Art, Henry W., The Wild Flower Gardener's Guide, Pownal, Vt.: Garden Way, 1990 and other dates -- Art has produced a wonderful series of books, keyed to parts of North America and giving extensive information, including natural history, on 30 to 40 worthwhile species in each area. Texts include color and black-and-white illustrations, sources of seeds and plants, lists of botanical gardens and native plant societies in the regions. Guides have been published in editions that cover the East, the Northwest, and the Southwest. Recommended.

  6. Bailey, L. H., How Plants Get Their Names, New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1963 -- A classic. Will help you understand the Latin names of plants. Great list of specific names, but not generic.

  7. Baker, Herbert G., Plants and Civilization, Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1965 --

  8. Balls, Edward K., Early Uses of California Plants, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1965 -- Interesting little 103 page paperback offers lots of history on how California plants were used. Illustrated. Indexed.

  9. Barbour, Anita and Spider, Wild Flora of the Northeast, Woodstock, N.Y.: Overlook Press, 1991 -- Beautiful photos and interesting essaylike observations on the wildflower scene in the Northeast. Not just herbaceous plants, but also trees and shrubs are covered. Indexed.

  10. Bernhardt, Peter, Wily Violets and Underground Orchids: Revelations of A Botanist, New York: William Morrow, 1989 -- Fascinating natural history of plants around the world. Color photos. Annotated bibliography. Extensive index. Recommended.

  11. Birdseye, Clarence and Eleanor, Growing Woodland Plants, New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1972 -- A good guide for dealing with shady situations. Lots of information and tips. Clarence, by the way, is the creator of the modern frozen food system; he is the Birdseye of the brand name. Recommended.

  12. Blanchan, Neltje, Nature's Garden, New York: Doubleday, Page and Company, 1900 -- Though her prose is somewhat Victorian and "flowery" her observations on the world of wildflowers are enlightening and entertaining. Lots of natural history from this pioneer woman naturalist. Pretty readily available at used or antiquarian book stores at reasonable prices. Recommended.

  13. Bliss, Anne, North American Dye Plants, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1979 -- Great little guide to using wild plants as dyes.

  14. Braungart, Dale C. and Arnett, Ross H., An Introduction to Plant Biology, St. Louis: C. V. Mosby, 1962 -- Good introductory textbook.

  15. Britton, Nathaniel Lord, and Brown, Honorable Addison, An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada, New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1970 -- If you are serious about identifying species east of the Rockies, you should have this on hand. While its three paperback volumes are somewhat dated, being a reprint of the 1913 edition, it's still an invaluable source. Recommended.

  16. Brown, Rowland W., Composition of Scientific Words, Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991 -- If you want a dictionary-like and comprehensive sourcebook on what those scientific names mean, try this. Recommended.

  17. Burn, Barbara, North American Wildflowers, (The National Audubon Society Collection Nature Series), Gramercy Books, 1992. Lots of color photos, relatively little text.

  18. Burroughs, John, The Writings of John Burroughs (19 vols.), Cambridge: The Riverside Press, undated -- If you are "into" nature, be it wildflowers, birds, animals or just communing, read Burroughs. Sets of his works can be picked up reasonably in used book shops.

  19. Castlesman, Michael, The Healing Herbs, New York: Bantam, 1995. A very detailed guide to “100 healing herbs” as well as sundry conditions they and others will treat.

  20. Clute, Willard N., The Common Names of Plants and Their Meanings, Indianapolis, 1942. This is a book meant to be read for its information on the many ways plants acquire their names. It not a dictionary-style encyclopedia of names, though it is fully indexed.

  21. Coffey, Timothy, The History and Folklore of North American Wildflowers, Boston: 1993. Very comprehensive encyclopedia of American wild plants and their uses; fully indexed; extensive bibliography. Recommended.

  22. Coon, Nelson, The Dictionary of Useful Plants, Emmaus, Pa.: Rodale Press, 1974 -- Tells the use, history and folklore of more than 500 species. Lots of illustrations. Indexed. Recommended

  23. Coon, Nelson, Using Wild and Wayside Plants, New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1980 -- More lore from Coon (above). Includes many shrubs and trees. Illustrated. Indexed.

  24. Craighead, John J., Craighead, Frank C. Jr., and Davis, Ray J., Rocky Mountain Wildflowers (Peterson Guide Series), Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1963 -- Another excellent Peterson guide. Recommended.

  25. Crockett, Lawrence J., Wildly Successful Plants, A Handbook of North American Weeds, New York: Collier Books, 1977 -- A guide to wildflowers that are considered pests; while it tells how to get rid of them, you almost believe that Mr. Crocket would rather keep them around to enjoy. Recommended.

  26. Crow, Garrett E., New England's Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Plants, Washington: United States Department of the Interior, 1982 -- Technical details of about 100 very uncommon species. For those who like to stalk the rare ones.

  27. Culpeper, Nicholas, Complete Herbal, Philadelphia: David McKay Company, undated -- This is one of many editions and versions of Culpeper. They are entertaining and instructive, especially if you are interested in historical uses of plants.

  28. Dalton, Patricia A. Wildflowers of the Northeast in the Audubon Fairchild Garden, Greenwich, Conn.: National Audubon Society Inc., 1979 -- Nice black and white illustrations, so-so text. However, includes excellent time-line of when Northeastern plants can be expected to bloom. Indexed.

  29. Dana, Mrs. William Starr, How to Know the Wildflowers, New York: Dover, 1963 -- Both the Dover paperback and original editions from 1893 and 1900 are widely available in used book stores. A nice friendly guide to many common wildflowers, with brief reports on natural history and folklore.

  30. Densmore, Frances, How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine, and Crafts, New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1974 -- A good investigation of Indian use of plants, written by an Indian. Alas, lacks index.

  31. Dietz, Marjorie J., The Concise Encyclopedia of Favorite Wild Flowers, New York: Doubleday, 1965 -- Lots of information on 100 well-known species. However, she annoyingly lists "assets" and "faults." An example of a "fault" is that you can't easily dig up lady's slippers from the wild and move them into your garden. Maybe she should learn that they are better left in the wild, and that's no fault of theirs.

  32. Durant, Mary, Who Named the Daisy? Who Named the Rose?, New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1976 -- Entertaining look at selected wild and garden plants. No index.

  33. Earle, Alice Morse, Old-Time Gardens, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1902 -- While primarily about gardening, includes some wildflower lore of the 19th Century.

  34. Eastman, John, The Book of Forest and Thicket, Stackpole Books, 1992. This is an excellent book on the wildflowers, shrubs and trees of wooded areas of eastern North America. It contains a great deal of natural history, particularly the relationships between plants and other plants, and between plants and other creatures. This is the kind of fascinating science that is not always easy to find when dealing with wildflowers. Recommended.

  35. Eastman, John, The Book of Swamp and Bog, Stackpole Books, 1992. Same as above, except plants are from the titled areas. Recommended.

  36. Elias, Thomas S. and Dykeman, Peter A., Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guild, New York: Sterling Publishing Company, 1990. Many photos, recipes and maps in this concise guide. Indexed. Recommended.

  37. Erichsen-Brown, Charlotte, Use of Plants for the Past 500 Years, Aurora, Ontario: Breezy Creeks Press, 1979 -- Excellent, comprehensive and scholarly reference, with countless citations to how our wild plants have been used recorded since the Europeans first arrived. Recommended.

  38. Fernald, Merrit Lyndon, and Kinsey, Alfred Charles, Edible Plants of Eastern North America, Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y.: Idlewild Press, 1943 -- Extensive, 452-page illustrated guide; lots of plant lore and history.

  39. Fitter, Alastair, Wild Flowers of Britain and Northern Europe, (Collins New Generation Guide), London: William Collins Sons & Company Ltd., 1987 -- A wonderful field guide that goes way beyond just identifying plants; offers much natural history. Even though British, very handy for information on how wildflowers work. Recommended.

  40. Forey, Pamela, Wild Flowers of North America, Limpsfield, Surrey: Dragon's World Ltd., 1990 -- Big, coffee-table book, published in -- of all places -- England. Nice color art, but too much of the text is devoted to descriptions of the plants when it could have been about natural history and folklore. Who's going to haul a four-pound, 12 by 10 inch book into the field? Indexed.

  41. Foster, Steven, and Duke, James A., A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants, Eastern and Central North America (Peterson Guide series), Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990 -- Top-notch field guide with some of the latest medical information on plant uses, including by physicians. Both line drawings and color photos. Plenty of warnings. Indexed. Recommended.

  42. Fox, Helen Morgenthau, Gardening with Herbs for Flavor and Fragrance, New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1970 -- If you like to use your nose, you'll love this book. Lots of lore, planting tips, etc. Recommended. 

  43. Gibbons, Euell, Stalking the Wild Asparagus, New York: David McKay Company, 1962 -- A classic guide to eating in the wild. A good read. Fully indexed, some illustrations.

  44. Gibson, William Hamilton, Our Native Orchids, New York: Doubleday, Page, and Company, 1905 -- A classic guide to our native orchids; fine line drawings. Interesting natural history, lore. Indexed. Recommended.

  45. Gray, Asa, The Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States, New York: American Book Company, 1889 -- Everyone should have one edition of Gray, even if it's antique. 

  46. Grieve, Mrs. M(aude), A Modern Herbal (2 vols), New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1971 -- Two volume paperback edition of an comprehensive encyclopedia of information on the uses to which plants of the world have been put. Indexed. Recommended.

  47. Hall, The Rev. Charles A., Wild Flowers and Their Wonderful Ways, London: A. & C. Black Ltd., 1926 -- Entertaining English essays.

  48. Harrington, H. D., Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1967 -- Extensive guide, complete with recipes. Good line drawings. Huge bibliography. Index. Recommended.

  49. Harris, Ben Charles, The Compleat Herbal, New York: Larchmont Books, 1972 -- An inexpensive herbal.

  50. Harris, Ben Charles, Eat the Weeds, Barre, Mass: 1971 -- Interesting recipes and tips on collecting and preparing common field plants for foods; info on nutritional values; indexed.

  51. Hatfield, Audrey Wynne, How to Enjoy Your Weeds, New York: Collier Books, 1973. American edition of an entertaining and extensively researched book by a British author. Covers about two dozen common “weeds’ found here, all imported from Europe. Illustrated. Index. Recommended.

  52. Hatfield, Audrey Wynne, Pleasures of Wild Plants, London: Museum Press Ltd., 1966 -- Enjoyable essays on wild British plants, many of which are found here. Includes recipes for eating some of them, and even for making wines and soaps. No index.

  53. Headstrom, Richard, Suburban Wildflowers, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1984 -- Readable, informative, short essays on many common wildflowers of the "suburbs." Suffers from lack of organization and an index, but grab it if you see it at a used book store.

  54. Healy, B. J., A Gardener's Guide to Plant Names, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1972 -- Short essays on the origins of many of the generic names of both garden and "wild" plants, plus a dictionary of many of the specific names. Recommended.

  55. Hedrick, U. P. ed., Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1972 -- Comprehensive guide to its subject; 686 pages. Indexed. Originally published in 1919. Recommended.

  56. Hodgins, James L., ed., Wildflower (magazine), various issues, Toronto, Ontario, 1985-2002 – The first and, for a long time, the only wildflower magazine in North America. A quarterly glossy publication, featured articles on wildflowers and other plants from throughout North America.  

  57. Hoehn, Reinhard, Curiosities of the Plant Kingdom, New York: Universe Books, 1980 -- Scads of fascinating, often off-beat facts about plants of the world. Extensively illustrated.

  58. Houk, Rose, Wildflowers of the American West, San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1987 -- Beautiful photographs and drawings, limited but interesting text. Very general. Index.

  59. House, Homer, D., Wild Flowers, New York: Macmillan, 1934 -- Classic coffee-table book. Hubbard, Juliet Alsop, Wildflowers (Burpee American Gardening Series Macmillan, 1995 -- An inexpensive ($9) and lushly illustrated guide to growing many varieties of wildflowers.

  60. Hulm, F. Edward, Familiar Wild Flowers, London: 1881 -- Wonderful old English essays on common wildflowers.

  61. Hutchens, Alma R., Indian Herbalogy of North America, Boston & London: Shambhala, 1991. An extensive study of how American Indians used more than 200 species and -- oddly enough -- how this use compared with how Russians have used the plants. Extensive index by name and uses.

  62. Hutchinson, John, Common Wild Flowers, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1945 -- Comprehensive field guide to English wildflowers; black and white illustrations.

  63. Hutchinson, John, More Common Wild Flowers, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1948 -- see above.

  64. Hyam, Roger, and Pankhurst, Richard, Plants and Their Names: A Concise Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1995. For those who would know the meanings of the Latin and Greek names -- generic or specific -- applied to plants. Aimed primarily at gardeners, it nonetheless covers most wildflowers we're apt to run across in the field. The entries also tell a bit about the genera they define and where they are found. 545 pages. Recommended.

  65. Johnson, Lady Bird, and Lees, Carlton B., Wildflowers Across America, New York: Abbeville Press, 1993 -- The wildflower best-seller. Gorgeous photographs, text is interesting background. Index.

  66. Kalm, Peter, Travels in North America (2 vols), New York: Dover Publications, 1966 -- Fascinating "natural history history." Kalm was very interested in the plants of this continent, "discovered" many, and found out how they were used by the natives.

  67. Kavasch, Barrie, Native Harvests, New York: Vintage Books, 1979 -- Excellent guide to how American Indians used our plants as foods, medicines, cosmetics, tobaccos, beverages, etc.; many recipes. Illustrated. Indexed. Recommended.

  68. Kerr, Jessica, Shakespeare's Flowers, New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1969 -- Will was a big wildflower fan.

  69. Kingsbury, John M., Deadly Harvest, New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1965 -- A good, readable guide to our poisonous plants.

  70. Kluger, Marilyn, The Wild Flavor, Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher Inc., 1984 -- Loads of recipes for wild plants, arranged by season. Fully indexed.

  71. Law, Donald, The Concise Herbal Encyclopedia, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1973 -- Loads of herbal lore and information. Unfortunately, not indexed.

  72. Lloyd, Francis Earnest, The Carnivorous Plants, New York: Dover, 1976. Detailed and scholarly look at the carnivores, with many illustrations. Originally published in 1942. Indexed. Recommended.

  73. Lubbock, Sir John, British Wild Flowers Considered in Relation to Insects, London: MacMillan and Company, 1890. Interesting, illustrated and indexed. Written for the non-botanist.

  74. Lust, John, The Herb Book, New York: Bantam Books, 1974 -- A classic, affordable encyclopedia of information on how are plants have been used for foods and medicines. Should be in print.

  75. Martin, Alexander C., Weeds, New York: Golden Press, 1987 -- Small paperback with color illustrations of many common weeds. Okay, but not great deal of text.

  76. Martin, Alexander C., Zim, Herbert S., and Nelson, Arnold L., American Wildlife and Plants: A Guide to Wildlife Food Habits, New York: Dover, 1961 -- Excellent guide to how wild birds and animals, even fish, make use of our wildflowers and other plants. Great for designing a yard that will attract birds. Includes illustrations, range maps, lists of what species eat, cross-referenced index. Recommended.

  77. Mathews, F. Schuyler, Familiar Features of the Roadside, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1897 -- Turn-of-the-century naturalist introduces you to the world of roadside nature. Line drawing. Index. Recommended.

  78. Mathews, F. Schuyler, Familiar Flowers of Field and Garden, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1915 -- A fine, readable guide to eastern wildflowers. Plenty of natural history and lore. Recommended.

  79. Medsger, Oliver Perry, Edible Wild Plants, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1966 -- Extensive food guide. Has great index of edible plants by sections of the country, and then by kinds of uses (salads, beverages, nuts, etc.) Includes mushrooms.

  80. Meyer, Joseph E., The Herbalist, Glenwood, Ill.: Meyerbooks, 1960 -- For those interested in herbs, a good basic guide. Often seen on used book market.

  81. Millspaugh, Charles F., American Medicinal Plants, New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1974 -- Comprehensive, detailed report on how our native plants have been used as medicines by physicians, Indians, and others. This is a reprint of an 1892 book. Recommended.

  82. Mohlenbrock, Robert H., Where Have All the Wildflowers Gone?, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1983 -- Very readable and interesting account of many of our endangered wildflowers. Illustrated. Index. Recommended.

  83. Moldenke, Harold N., American Wild Flowers, New York: D. Van Nostrand Company Inc., 1949 -- Extensive guide to our wildflowers. Alas, he uses scientific nomenclature for many species that is no longer in use. Many photos. Extensive index.

  84. Morris, Frank, and Eames, Edward A., Our Wild Orchids, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929 -- At 464 pages, one of our most comprehensive guides to native orchids. Written in an informal style of an explorer. Many black and white photos. Indexed. Recommended.

  85. Muenscher, Walter Conrad, Poisonous Plants of the United States, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1939 -- An extensive catalogue of poisonous plants and what they can do. Indexed. Recommended.

  86. Newcomb, Lawrence, Newcomb's Wildflower Guide, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1977 -- An excellent field guide. Recommended.

  87. Nicholson, B. E. et al., The Oxford Book of Wild Flowers, London: Oxford University Press, 1960 -- Handy for seeing which of our plants are found in England. Color drawings. Indexed.

  88. Niehaus, Theodore F., and Ripper, Charles L., Pacific States Wildflowers (Peterson Guide series), Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1976 -- Excellent field guide for West Coast. Recommended.

  89. Niehaus, Theodore F., Ripper, Charles L., and Savage, Virginia, Southwestern and Texas Wildflowers (Peterson Guide series), Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984 -- Another excellent Peterson guide. Recommended.

  90. Niering, William A., and Olmstead, Nancy C., The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979 -- While many people don't like photographic field guides (they are not really as good as drawings at pointing out field marks good for identifying plants), this guide has lots of information and even folklore and name origins. The photos are good and may help you confirm an ID you've selected from a Peterson or Newcomb guide. Recommended. (See under Spellenberg for West Coast edition)

  91. Pellett, Frank C., Success with Wild Flowers, New York: A. T. de la Mare Company, 1948 -- An old guide to gardening with wildflowers. Illustrations not very good, but growing tips may be valuable.

  92. Peterson, Lee Allen, A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants (Eastern/Central North America), Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1977 -- Excellent field guide; not a recipe book, but does tell you in general how to use different kinds of plants as foods. Both fine line drawings and color photos. Index. Recommended.

  93. Peterson, Roger Tory, and McKenny, Margaret, A Field Guide to Wildflowers, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1968 -- My favorite field guide -- I've worn the hard-bound covers off two already! Fine line drawings. Indexed. Recommended.

  94. Potterton, David, ed., Culpeper's Color Herbal, New York: Sterling Publishing Company Inc., 1983 -- Still in print; nicely organized and lavishly illustrated. Indexed.

  95. Quick, Arthur Craig, Wild Flowers of the Northern States and Canada, Chicago: M.A. Donohue and Company, 1939. An extensive and personal look into hundreds of wildflowers, mostly natives. Arranged by time of year. Line drawings. Indexed.

  96. Ricket, Harold William, Wild Flowers of the United States, New York: McGraw-Hill and the New York Botanical Garden, 1966 -- Massive series of coffee-table-size books offer extensive coverage of plants by region. The edition for the Northeast has 560 pages in two volumes, covering more than 1,700 species. Editions exist for all sections of the country. They are out-of-print and run upwards of $100 for each region's set on used-book market, but if you are a wildflower fanatic, you'll enjoy your copies. Many color photos. Index. Recommended for serious wildflower enthusiasts.

  97. Rishel, Dr. Jonas, The Indian Physician, New Berlin, Pa., 1828 (reprinted by The Ohio State University Libraries Publications Committee, 1980) -- Interesting reprint, telling how folks looked on Indian medicines 175 years ago.

  98. Roberts, June Carver, Born in the Spring, Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1976. A collection of concise, interesting essays on 146 spring wildflowers, illustrated – mostly in color – by the author. Indexed.

  99. Rose, Dixie, Utah’s Intermountain Wildflowers.

  100. Sanders, Jack, Hedgemaids and Fairy Candles, Camden, Maine:McGraw-Hill, 1993. The natural history, folklore, name origins, horticulture, and uses of hundreds of North American wildflowers. Similar to The Secrets of Wildflowers, but lacks the color photos.

  101. Saunders, Charles Francis, Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada, New York: Dover Publications Inc. 1976 -- Originally published in 1920, this book is arranged by uses to which the plants are put. Old lore. Some illustrations. Indexed.

  102. Skene, MacGregor, The Biology of Flowering Plants, London: Sidgwick and Jackson Ltd., 1947 -- Comprehensive look at how many plants work. Aimed at the student, a bit technical, but a useful reference. Extensive index.

  103. Skinner, Charles M., Myths and Legends of Flowers, Trees, Fruits, and Plants, Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1911 -- Lots of plant folklore. Not indexed, but in essays done alphabetically by flower name.

  104. Spellenberg, Richard, The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Western Region, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979 (see comments under Niering, William A.). Recommended.

  105. Spencer, Edwin Rollin, All About Weeds, New York: Dover Publications, 1974 -- Here's a man who makes weeds so interesting, you hate to knock them off. Nonetheless, he often tells you how, but you'll love the lore anyway. Recommended.

  106. Stack, Frederic William, Wildflowers Every Child Should Know, New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1913. Despite its name this book by a botanist from Vassar contains much sophisticated and interesting information not readily found elsewhere. Illustrated. Indexed. Recommended.

  107. Stark, Raymond, Guide to Indian Herbs, Surrey, British Columbia: Hancock House Publishers, 1984

  108. Steffek, Edwin F., Wild Flowers and How to Grow Them, New York: Crown Publishers Inc., 1954 -- A comprehensive guide to growing wildflowers. A newer version is around, called The New Wild Flowers and.... He clearly knows his stuff.

  109. Stefferud, Alfred, The Wonders of Seeds, New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1956 -- While aimed at young people, this is still an interested book on how seeds work.

  110. Stevens, John E., Discovering Wild Plant Names, Aylesbury, England: Shire Publications Ltd., 1979 -- Nice little British paperback guide to English names of common wildflowers.

  111. Stevenson, Violet, The Wild Garden, New York: Penguin, 1985 -- Wonderful, extensively illustrated guide to using wild plants with a purpose -- including water, rock, woods, meadow and herb gardens; extensive index. Recommended.

  112. Stokes, Donald and Lillian, The Wildflower Book, Little Brown, 1992 -- "An easy guide to growing and identifying wildflowers." Nicely illustrated with color photos; lots of information from these veteran naturalist-writers. Paperback; was in "remaindered" collections in April 1995. (Available in editions for east of the Rockies and west of the Rockies.)

  113. Stokes, Donald and Lillian, A Guide to Enjoying Wildflowers (Stokes Nature Guides), Little Brownm 1985 -- In-depth look at some of the most papopular and common wildflowers. Much natural history. Recommended.

  114. Strong, D. R. et al, Insects on Plants, Harvard University Press, 1984. A very scientific look at the relationships between insects and plants.

  115. Tantaquidgeon, Gladys, Folk Medicine of the Delaware and Related Algonkian Indians, Harrisburg: The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1977 -- A good compilation of Indian plant uses, written by an Indian from Connecticut.

  116. Taylor, Kathryn S., and Hamblin, Stephen F., Handbook of Wild Flower Cultivation, New York: Collier Books, 1963 -- Covers many species, very simple instructions. Some line drawings. Index. Recommended.

  117. Uva, Richard H. et al., Weeds of the Northeast, Cornell University Press, 1997. A magnificent volume on weeds, with many color photos plus good natural history. Recommended.

  118. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Common Weeds of the United States, New York: Dover, 1971 -- Dry, scientific identification guide to weeds. Has very good range maps. Indexed.

  119. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Range Plant Handbook, New York: Dover, 1988 -- Massive, 800-plus page guide to 330 plants found on the plains, prairies and mountains of the West; includes grasses, shrubs, trees. Lots of natural history, uses, lore. Fine illustrations. Extensive index. Recommended.

  120. Venning, Frank D., Wildflowers of North America, A Guide to Field Identification, New York: Golden Press, 1984 -- Useful only to casual wildflower hunters.

  121. Vickery, Roy, Oxford Dictionary of Plant-Lore, Oxford University Press, 1995. Dictionary-style, 437-page collection of lore, mostly plants found in Great Britain. However, so many of them have made their way to North America, it is nearly as useful on this side of the pond. Many excerpts and quotations make this work quite readable. Arranged by common names – index is limited to scientific names. Recommended.

  122. Vogel, Virgil J., American Indian Medicine, New York: Ballantine Books, 1973 -- Extremely comprehensive history of the uses to which Indians put countless plants. Recommended.

  123. Wait, Minnie Curtis, and Leonard, Merton C., Among Flowers and Trees with the Poets, Boston: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1901 -- An anthology of poetry about plants.

  124. Weed, Clarence M., Ten New England Blossoms and Their Insect Visitors, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1895 -- What a name for a wildflower writer! Well-done essays on the natural history of a handful of common wildflowers.

  125. Westbrooks, Randy G and Preacher, James W., Poisonous Plants of Eastern North America, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1986. Interesting, well-documented guide; color photos; useful "ready reference list" describing uses of the plants. Long bibliography. Indexed.

  126. Woods, Sylvia, Plant Facts and Fancies, London: Faber and Faber, 1985 -- Lots of lore, but a limited number of plants. Indexed.

  127. Woodward, Marcus, How to Enjoy Wild Flowers, London: Hodder and Stoughton. 1927 -- More enjoyable English essays.

  128. Woodward, Marcus, Leaves from Gerard's Herball, New York: Dover Publications, 1969. Selections from the eminent herbalist, retaining the original Elizabethan English. Very entertaining.

  129. Wright, Mabel Osgood, Flowers and Ferns in Their Haunts, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1901 -- Fanciful essays about searching for wildflowers in the southern Connecticut woods. Fun.

© 2003 by Jack Sanders. All opinions are his. Last updated Wednesday, April 25, 2007.

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