paper, 263 p., $22.95
Field botanist and educator Gil Nelson has compiled an excellent reference tool for naturalists exploring the coastal lowlands of the East Gulf Coast. In the introduction, he describes the geography and topography that make up this area of Eastern North America, detailing its soil types and resident plant communities. A directory of 300 plants contains color photographs and descriptions of individual plants that dwell in these ecosystems. Each plant profile includes period of bloom, habitat or range, and comments on plant characteristics. A brief glossary provides an explanation of botanical terms, and a list of native plant resources includes organizations that offer programs, tours, and field trips to view the flora. Among the many attributes of this user-friendly publication are its durable binding, water-resistant cover, and organization by bloom color, making it particularly handy for use in the field.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden