Wildflowers of Texas

Original book review by Steve Labinski

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Wildflowers of Texas Because of its immense size and varied climates, Texas rewards explorers with countless places to visit and things to see. One great book to keep in your vehicle's glove compartment is the pocket guidebook from Shearer Press Wildflowers of Texas.

I found this book interesting and helpful. Whether you are making a day trip or taking a class on wildflowers, this handy reference contains everything you need in its densely packed 414 pages.

Why does Texas contain such a diverse selection of wildflowers? The book's introduction explains,

From early March until the end of October, the state is covered with blooms. These wildflower months produce landscapes of brilliant colors: undulating expanses of bluebonnets spreading across the Hill Country, patches of bluebells quilting the prairies, and large mounds of fragrant heliotrope clinging tenaciously to the ever-shifting dunes of the Trans-Pecos.
After that flowery introduction, author Geyata Ajilvsgi divides the state into seven separate ecological or vegetation zones. These disparate regions contain their own separate, distinct set of wildflowers. This includes the salty Coastal Texas region, the plains of South Texas, and the thickets of East Texas. The Edwards Plateau (also known as the Hill Country of Central Texas) is dominated by Spanish oak and cedar, and covered by shallow soil laid over limestone or granite.
In the EP region the bluebonnets are a major springtime attraction, and when at the peak of bloom, are truly spectacular. Also highly visible but blooming in less profusion are Indian paintbrush, Indian blanket and coreopsis. During the warmer summer and early fall months mountain pink, hairy wedelia and woolly ironweed form bright splashes of color on steep, rocky slopes.
The book contains 370 of the state's most common wildflowers. Each entry contains detailed information on each plant, including its bloom period and habitat. There are also large color photographs showing each wildflower. The wildflowers are organized by color - white, yellow, red or blue. These color codes are visible from the edges of the book, so it is easy to thumb directly to the general section that contains your wildflower.

The back of the book contains detailed illustrations on the parts of flowers and their varied tips. And a three-page bibliography lists many great sources for more on the subject.

Ajilvsgi writes that the book's intent is to promote, educate and inform readers about Texas wildflowers. Wildflowers of Texas is a first-rate guide for teachers and students, but it is also a nice addition to the library of anyone interested in the natural history of the state.

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