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Product Details:
Author: Lauren Brown
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: April 30, 1992
Language: English
ISBN: 0395628814
Product Length: 5.5 inches
Product Width: 0.62 inches
Product Height: 8.25 inches
Product Weight: 0.57 pounds
Package Length: 8.2 inches
Package Width: 5.4 inches
Package Height: 0.7 inches
Package Weight: 0.6 pounds
Average Customer Rating: based on 37 reviews
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Customer Reviews:
Average Customer Review: 4.0 ( 37 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 57 found the following review helpful:

2Useable, 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!

75 of 82 found the following review helpful:

2Good only for the NortheastOct 06, 1999
By Scott
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.

33 of 35 found the following review helpful:

3Best 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.

19 of 20 found the following review helpful:

5Finally!!!Feb 24, 2006
By Brook E. Hall "Wildlife biologist"
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.

6 of 6 found the following review helpful:

By quilter4 "quilter4"
I bought this book when it first came out, and it's still the only basic Northeastern grass ID book available. Though it has some shortcomings and isn't comprehensive, it is an easy-to-use field guide that identifies the most common grasses in this area. It also includes a number of rushes and sedges. The key is simple but effective. The drawings aren't greatly detailed, but usually highlight the main identification features of a grass. Some botanic names may have changed since the guide was published, but this isn't of great importance to the amateur botanist and can easily be handled by the professional (botanic names are always in a state of flux).

When working as a botanist in the field (but without extensive knowledge of grasses), I found this guide very useful for either ID or for narrowing an ID down to a genus. As my ID's needed to be accurate, I'd confirm the ID or make a final ID with more detailed books like Pohl's "How to Know the Grasses" or Fernald's "Gray's Manual of Botany." Yes, I could (and often need to) start with one of these two, but Brown's simpler guide is often a real shortcut. If I can find a grass, or something that strongly resembles it, in her book, it can save a lot of time with the more technical keys.

For someone in the Northeast with an interest in identifying the many fascinating grasses in our area, this is a great book to have on hand.

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