Top critical review
109 people found this helpful
Nearly useless - unless you are a botanist!
on 22 June 2010
There are many ways you can identify a wild flower, for instance by colour; by size; by number of petals; by foliage; e t c. Unfortunately this guide uses none of these, instead it classifies using botanical species. Taking a scientific approach is fine if you are a botanist but pretty much useless if you are a beginner like me. Can you distinguish between the "Blinks to Gooosefoot families" and the "Willowherb and dogwood families" because, believe me , this guide expects you to!!!
Lets give you a specific example: You come across a bright yellow flower. You could try the buttercup family but you won't find it there. You won't know its name but even if you did (The Common Evening Primrose) the obvious place to look is the Primrose family. You won't find it there either. It is, in fact, in the Willowherb and Dogwood section and you will have had to plough through the previous 118 pages to find it.
OK, I have exaggerated a bit as you can narrow down your search by using the "short cuts to flower identity" pages. Try it. The 5 petal flower section helpfully identifies 20 families to sort through!
I found it difficult to review a book of this type. For a beginner I'd give it 1 out of 5. On a more positive note, it does claim to be a complete guide and has good photographs and short but informative narrative. If you are already knowledgeable or expert it is conceivable that you could rate it 5 out of 5.
Kew magazine may well describe this as "An ideal first flower guide" but this book is not suitable for a complete novice in wild flower identification.