Literature for Wild Flowers

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Lancashire Lad
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Literature for Wild Flowers

Post by Lancashire Lad » Wed May 20, 2015 2:28 pm

NB: Any links to book details are for information only, and confer no allegiance to any specific supplier. Books may be obtained from other suppliers from whom prices and availability may differ.

Collins Complete British Wild Flowers – by Paul Sterry. First published 2006, 304 pages, paperback.
A good general field-guide that will fit in a large jacket pocket. Descriptions of over 1100 species with good photos of the flowers. ... owers~1835

Harraps Wild Flowers – by Simon Harrap. First published 2013, 416 pages, paperback.
Another excellent general field-guide, similar in size to the above. Descriptions of 934 species with good photos, distribution maps, glossary, etc.' ... owers~3665

Wild Flowers of Britain & Ireland – by Marjorie Blamey, Richard Fitter, Alastair Fitter. First published 2003, 482 pages, paperback.
Acknowledged as one of the best field-guides, and only very slightly larger than the above two. With over 5000 excellent colour illustrations, 1600 distribution maps, glossary, etc. ... nd-ireland

Wild Flowers by Colour – by Marjorie Blamey. First published 1997, revised edition 2005, 208 pages, paperback.
Excellent field guide for the beginner, as the plants are sorted by flower colour. Contains over 2000 of Marjorie Blamey’s superb colour illustrations, with short descriptions of more than 1500 species. ... 713672374/

Collins Wild Flower Guide – by David Streeter, C. Hart-Davies, A. Hardcastle, F. Cole, & L. Harper. First published 2009, 704 pages, hardback and paperback versions.
Similar in size to the above books, but at around 5cm, rather thick for all but the largest of pockets. Perhaps more suited to a rucksack or bag.
Describes over 1900 species, accompanied by good quality colour illustrations and keys.

The Wild Flower Key (New Revised Expanded Edition) – by Francis Rose & Clair O’Reilly. This edition first published 2006, 576 pages, paperback. Will fit into a large pocket.
Acknowledged as one of the best, but only really suitable for those who prefer to key out their finds based on characteristics. Contains excellent keys, to over 1600 plants, accompanied by good quality colour illustrations. “The only field guide that bridges the gap between picture guides and academic floras”. ... eland~1578

New Flora of the British Isles (Third Edition) – by Clive Stace. This edition first published in 2010, 1232 pages, softback.
This is the “Bible” for British plantlife, and as would be expected, contains numerous excellent keys.
Black and white photographs and line illustrations are relatively few, only being included where strictly necessary. Covers over 4800 species and lesser ranks.
A large and somewhat weighty tome, but an essential reference for anyone with lasting interest in British plant life. ... -2010~2468

The Vegetative Key to the British Flora – by John Poland and Eric Clement. First published in 2009, 526 pages, paperback. Will fit into a large pocket.
Written with the purpose of allowing the reader to identify plants from vegetation bearing neither flowers nor fruits.
Keys to almost 3000 species, with occasional black and white line illustrations and 24 colour plates. By necessity, the book is of a rather technical nature, and the reader will need to be conversant with many botanical terms. – For those who are, this is an excellent reference book. ... tish-flora

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Re: Literature for Wild Flowers

Post by adampembs » Wed May 20, 2015 2:56 pm

Thanks Mike :) I have Francis Rose Wildflower key, and you need to know a little of plant anatomy to use the key (or spend a long time looking in the glossary!)

A favourite of mine is the Collins Gem "Wild Flowers" - for a tiny book, it is surprisingly good, plants arranged by family. Its small size is great when you have a bag full of sandwiches, fungi books, bird books, a map and pair of binoculars..... and I find I can quickly find things with it in the field. If I can't identify or it doesn't look quite right, I can bring a sample home to look up in Francis Rose (or post on WAB, now here :P )
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Re: Literature for Wild Flowers

Post by JennyS » Wed May 20, 2015 6:30 pm

...... and some online wildflower resources:

BSBI online key for identification:
UK Wildflowers:

Irish Wildflowers:
The Flora of Devon and Cornwall:
Floral Images - Britain, Ireland and Northern Europe:
West Highland Flora:

EDITED 22/05/15 to remove a defective link.
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Re: Literature for Wild Flowers

Post by Deb » Fri May 22, 2015 5:54 pm

Very useful, thank you Mike (and all). I shall bookmark this page. Cheers.

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Re: Literature for Wild Flowers

Post by CJohnsonOHBR » Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:08 am

You might consider the following:
Orchid Observers Identification Guide

Wild Orchids of Scotland, Brian Allan & Patrick Woods. 1993. HMSO
Produced by the Royal Botanic Garden Ediinburgh.
Beautiful photographs accompany descriptions of all the species and subspecies found in Scotland. Includes an identification key.
Probably out-of-print, but worth hunting for on the secondhand market.

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