Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sonoran Desert Wildflowers

Author: Richard Spellenberg

First line: This guide is designed for the identification of wildflowers and shrubs and trees with showy flowers from the Sonoran Desert north of Mexico, an area covering much of southeastern California and southern Arizona.

Why you should read this book: The introduction puts it pretty succinctly, and you certainly could use it as a guide to identify Sonoran wildflowers; that was my intended purpose, anyway, but once I got it home, I became much more interested in reading it to see common names like "yellow-throat monkeyflower," "hoary tansy-aster," and "rosy desert-beard tongue," along with scientific descriptions like "densely glandular-hairy." Overall, it's a neat little book with full-color photographs for every species, detailed physical descriptions, and lots of interesting extra information, sometimes lyrical and lovely. Organized by color, the guide is easy to use, fun to read, and includes a glossary, an index, and an additional reading list.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You neither want to identify wildflowers of the Sonoran Desert nor amuse yourself by reading bizarre plant names.

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