book inaccuracies?

SMeissne at AOL.COM SMeissne at AOL.COM
Sun Sep 20 12:45:00 EST 1998

/Does anyone know of this book that can help me determine whether it is 
/worth purchasing?  Are there many inaccuracies in the book?  What other 
/books similar to this one would you recommend I look at?
/Thanks in advance for your help!
/Kevin Franken

Saw your posting about plant taxonomic keys.  Here are some you might
consider, though Britton and Brown is famous for its illustrations even if it
is somewhat dated:

Gray's Manual of Botany, 8th edition.  by M.L. Fernald.  1987, Dioscorides
Press, Portland, Oregon.  ISBN  0-931146-09-7      While this is also a
reprint of an earlier edition, it is widely used.

Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada,
2nd edition, by H.A. Gleason, A. Cronquist.  1995.  The New York Botanical
Garden, Bronx, N.Y.  ISBN  0-89327-365-1     This is the manual I was
introduced to as an undergraduate, and I think it has a very clear key that is
good for a starting student.

Flora of North America, by Flora of North America Editorial Committee, Oxford
University Press, Oxford,  ISBN  0-19-508242-7   This is a multivolume work
that is still in progress.  When all the volumes are completed it WILL be THE
authority for North American Flora.  I have volumes 1-3, and these are full of
information and illustrations surpassing Britton and Brown.  The down side is
that each volume is about seventy dollars, and there are likely to be about a
dozen total volumes when completed.  It should have sections comming out on CD
soon, and that will be something to look at when it happens.

Of course, it you do not want to get overly technical, and just want to
identify plants to genus in the Northeastern U.S. I think that Newcomb's
Wildflower Guide, by L. Newcomb, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1977, is a
very useful book.  It is the one I take with me on hikes since it is light
weight.  Doubtless there are other good local guides you can find....

Whatever you get, expect it to need revision in about twenty years.  There
seems to be lots of revisions going on as new data force reevaluation of
species and genus assignments.  

them's my 2 cents

Scott T. Meissner
smeissne at

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