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An Illustrated Guide to Iowa Prairie Plants

An Illustrated Guide to Iowa Prairie Plants
Paul Christiansen and Mark Muller
Iowa City, Ia.: University of Iowa Press
Publication Date: 

paper, 320 p., $22.95

For many, to walk in prairies is an educational and relaxing hobby. This book targets this audience, and all of those interested in prairie life, by providing a simple guide to identifying prairie plants in the Midwest. With illustrated drawings, descriptions, distribution of plants and a glossary, accurate identifications can be made that will encourage more in-depth experiences with prairie plants.

Prairie flowers are grouped in this book by plant family in alphabetical order. Within each family the flowers are arranged by Latin names in alphabetical order. If there are several different species within a genus, there are illustrations to show the differences among the plants. This technique not only assists plant identification but also teaches basic botany to the reader.

An Illustrated Guide to Iowa Prairie Plants performs well as a reference guide for identifying plants in the prairie. Illustrations in the course of the book make it possible to distinguish species out in the field, a sometimes confusing chore. This book will find its way to many prairie expeditions and will be used in the classroom as well as an educational tool to explain the diversity of prairie flora.

— Julie Stundins