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70 of 76 found the following review helpful:
Good only for the NortheastOct 06, 1999
I am also a biologist, and was not particularly thrilled with the book. The drawings are decent, but the amateur key used to limit your choices is too amateur. The distribution of covered species is strictly for the Northeastern U.S., except for the occasional wide-spread grasses. If your not in the Northeast, another guide would be more benefical.
47 of 50 found the following review helpful:
Useable, but flawedJul 20, 2002
As another review noted the range of this book is limited, from Minnesota to Kentucky and Maryland south, and north to Maine, although some of the grasses are more widespread. The copyright date is 1979 and while that does not disqualify it, it has not been updated. It suffers from 1) poor reproduction of the line drawings which are supposedly "as beautiful as they are exact" - they aren't either in this edition, being too small and with line details running together to show nothing but a black blob in many cases, and 2) no photographs, which I have come to expect of any decent field guide nowadays (especially in the absence of GOOD line drawings!). Also, the grasses are organized "by visual similarity, not always by taxonomic grouping." I'd prefer the latter.
On the plus side it has a useable key and often interesting information is presented for a species. I'll keep this book, but I would have bought something else had I known!
31 of 33 found the following review helpful:
Best field gudie to grasses in East, Midwest.Aug 17, 1999
I am a prairie biologist. I find this book to be the best in helping botanical amateurs (and some experts) identify common grasses. Use it only to find the species of a grass, not its ecology. Grasses are hard to identify. This book helps alot.
16 of 17 found the following review helpful:
Finally!!!Feb 24, 2006
By Brook E. Hall
As a working environmental biologist I must frequently record vast lists of species I encounter in the field. While eductaed in most plants and animals I have always put the grasses into a mental compartment of "troublesome" plants. This book provides clear and immensely helpful idenitifcation guides to a group of plants that are both common and difficult, for even the experienced, to distinguish. I now carry it as a part of my regular set of references for both the field and in-house identification. Grasses are such an important group of plants that many of us find confusing and difficult to identify. This book has made the individual species of grasses more accesible for all who use it. Any ecologist or budding amateur will benefit from the easy reading and pertinent information in this book. A further understanding of ecology and food resources for specific taxa is now more easily obtainable. I have waited for a book like this for a long time.
10 of 12 found the following review helpful:
Good for BeginnersAug 19, 2001
This has got to be best "first book" generally available for anyone with the least passing interest in wild plants to buy and use to discover the spectacular world of sedges and rushes, as well as grasses, especially if you are thinking about looking more carefully at wild plants in the northeast. It marked--and sparked-- the very beginning of my own personal interest in botany, guided my first field trips into the New Jersey Pine Barrens, led me to a botanical club and courses in sedge identification, and ultimately opened up the world of botany to me. I was so excited I wanted to call the author and thank her for writing this book.
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