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Wildflowers of Door County: Wisconsin's Unique Floral Preserve

Wildflowers of Door County: Wisconsin's Unique Floral Preserve
Paul and Marilyn Mahlberg
Indiana University Press
Publication Date: 

paper, 210 p., $18.95

Door County's wooded areas have always been one of Chicago's favorite summer resorts. Not surprisingly, then, readers now have a book about Door County's wildflowers, an easy-to-use field guide beautifully illustrated with Marilyn Mahlberg's watercolors and organized by flower color for easy identification. The authors have done a good job of putting this book together, including drawings of plant parts and a glossary of plant terms to make this a particularly helpful as well as attractive wildflower guide.

That said, to find garlic mustard listed as a wildflower in this book, along with bindweed, knotweed, horseweed and others, is more than a wildflower lover should be expected to accept. Perhaps there is no clear-cut delineation between a wildflower and a weed, but most would agree that the former definition should be reserved for our native species, and the latter given over to invasive species running wild. For me, at least, Wildflowers of Door County loses credibility by listing these non-native species as wildflowers. Garlic mustard next to trillium and bloodroot? It just doesn't seem right.

— Jim Kemper