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Collins Flower Guide (Britain and Ireland) [Paperback]

David Streeter , Christina Hart-Davies , Audrey Hardcastle , Felicity Cole , Lizzie Harper
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
Price: 13.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

29 April 2010

Featuring all flowering plants, including trees, grasses and ferns, this brand-new field guide to the flowers of Britain and northern Europe is the most complete illustrated, single-volume guide ever published.

Leading botanical artists have been specially commissioned to ensure accurate, detailed illustrations. Species are described and illustrated on the same page, with up-to-date authoritative text aiding identification. Plants are arranged by family, with their key features highlighted for quick and easy reference. The text offers a complete account of over 1,900 wild flowers of Britain and Ireland, along with a summary of their European distribution.

Collins Flower Guide is an indispensable guide for all those with an interest in the countryside, whether amateur or expert.

Frequently Bought Together

Collins Flower Guide (Britain and Ireland) + Collins Tree Guide + Collins Bird Guide
Price For All Three: 40.49

Buy the selected items together
  • Collins Tree Guide 12.91
  • Collins Bird Guide 13.99

Product details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (29 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007183895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007183890
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13.5 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'This book is a great achievement that will be hard to match … a beautiful and well-judged illustrated flora.'
British Wildlife

About the Author

David Streeter is Reader in Ecology in the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sussex and a member of the Editorial Board of the prestigious Collins New Naturalist series. He has served on the council of the Botanical Society of the British Isles and as chairman of its Conservation Committee and he is president of the Sussex Wildlife Trust.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
I confess to being a field guide addict, so when I this new Collins Flower Guide at the Birdfair, I knew I had to get it. The previous titles in this series - birds, butterflies and trees - are the definitive guides to their respective groups; indeed Collins Bird Guide, in my opinion, sets the standard as the best field guide to an avifauna anywhere in the world. So despite the price, it was not hard to part with the money.

Having field-tested this book at the tail end of the flowering season, I am certainly not disappointed. The book is billed as "the most complete guide to the flowers of Britain and Europe", and it probably is. Some 1,900 species are described and the grasses and ferns are treated to full colour plates. The attractive features of the other guides in the Collins series - plates and text on a single spread, clear type-face and layout, compact form, excellent illustrations - are all here. The plates are particularly satisfying: beautifully painted, they look to be the most accurate yet included in a guide of this type. And, as in other plant guides, keys are provided as a more structured way to identify flowers.

But this book faces some pretty stiff competition, namely from Blamey, Fitter & Fitter's Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland and Rose's Wild Flower Key. How does it stand up? I'm a sucker for Marjorie Blamey's illustrations, so I have most of her books and I love Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland, not least as an armchair flora.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A curate's illustrated egg 16 Aug 2010
If you're seeking a simple field guide, this will be useful up to a point. It covers grasses and sedges too, which the better The Wild Flower Key (Revised Edition) - How to identify wild plants, trees and shrubs in Britain and Ireland does not. It also includes a variety of naturalised plants that might otherwise throw you on a field trip.

But the main problem with this guide is the great variability in its illustrations. Some are pin-sharp whilst others are soft and fuzzy. This is clearly a difference in artistic style. I think Collins would have done well to have user-tested the artists first and refined their choice, even if it meant waiting another year to produce the book. The illustrations of impossibly small bedstraws, for example, are crystal clear. Whilst vast numbers of the Compositae - cudweeds for example - need a hand lens even in the full-sized hardback. (The full-sized edition, incidentally, is a 3.2kg monster that can only be browsed at a table.)

Happily, the grasses are well illustrated and on a par with the illustrations in the Colour Identification Guide to the Grasses, Sedges, Rushes and Ferns of the British Isles and North Western Europe. Overall, it's a real shame that the illustratively strong parts of this guide are let down by the weaker paintings. But for the money, it's a steal. Go ahead and get one.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Collins Wilflower Guide 1 Jun 2010
I bought this because I had heard very good feedback about the hardback but wanted something to take into the field. However it is a bit heavy for that and one still needs Stace.
The main problem is that the paper back is too small for the illustrations to really show well and even under a lens (which appears to be necessary) they only come up blurry.
I will probably buy the hardback, but will make sure I see a copy first.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good botanical detail & illustrations 13 Nov 2009
I brought this book as an update to Keble-Martin's "Concise British Flora" which I have always used. I prefer illustrated guides to photographic ones - you can't beat a white background for giving the best sillouette of a plant's outline. It's brief descriptions of individual species are helpful, grouping them as you would expect by family. The keys are also invaluable for identifying plants to species level. However, I think a more suitable title for the book would have been "Illustrated Wild Flower Guide/Key" not just "Flower Guide", which may present initial confusion to those looking for guides on cultivated plants. Minor mistakes, such as the omission of the Sweet Flag (Acorus calamus) inflorescence, and the small circles which give magnified detail to diagnostic features, seem careless. The book also skips over difficult to identify species like Hieracium, giving only one generalised illustation, yet gives space to cultivated Peony (Paeonia mascula), an isolated example of which grows on Flat Holm island. I would hardly describe this species as "naturalised", when it is known only from a single occurrence. This is not a field guild, being far to cumbersome and inappropriately bound, but it is probably the most extensive illustrated guide to British flora currently available, so will make a useful up-to-date reference guide for many. It may also be of interest to know that this guide will soon be available in a large format addition, so the illustrated plates that have been reduced in size for this addition maybe clearer to see. Some of the earlier mistakes will also hopefully be corrected.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book. Very informative.
Published 21 days ago by m ponton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It's the bible of plants guides
Published 1 month ago by geoffrey hunt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great guide for a beginner.
Published 1 month ago by Miss C M Oines
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent if a little bulky for the pocket.
Published 1 month ago by Gerald J A Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love this due to its fantastic pictures.
Published 1 month ago by Hannah
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive
Brilliant. A comprehensive guide for naturalists who want to delve further in identification
Published 2 months ago by M. Boyd
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference book for identifying wild flowers and plants
Excellent reference book for identifying wild flowers and plants. It is quite bulky, not a 'pocket guide'. (I do carry it in a bag! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Susan Sanderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Collins Flower Guide
Its the best book to have when out identifying our wild flowers, though it can be difficult to use at first and the illustrations are not always the most helpful.
Published 3 months ago by john b simon
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
I use this every day as one of the best books for identification of plants. The keys are excellent. Probably worst feature is some of the colours in the illustrations are not of... Read more
Published 4 months ago by g lavender
5.0 out of 5 stars Flower Guide
A must for a plant hunter. The illustrations by artists are far better than photographs for identification. The written descriptions were
detailed which is what is needed.
Published 13 months ago by E Barnes
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