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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy for any botanist
This is the standard text for any botanist whether amateur or professional. I reach for it every day and every day I learn something new. I would recommend that you also buy Stace's Field Flora of the British Isles which is a condensed form (subspecies?) of this book so is much smaller and easier to carry in the field. But don't buy just the Field Flora as the text and...
Published on 13 Oct 2004 by John's Ramblings

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64 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very useful but definately not for the beginner
Stace's Flora lists virtually all the species likely to be found growing wild (including established introductions) within the British Isles but it is rather too large and heavy to be used in the field-his Field Flora is much more suitable for that purpose. It is very technical and, although the keys work, a fair amount of experience is required before they are of...
Published on 6 Jun 2000


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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy for any botanist, 13 Oct 2004
This is the standard text for any botanist whether amateur or professional. I reach for it every day and every day I learn something new. I would recommend that you also buy Stace's Field Flora of the British Isles which is a condensed form (subspecies?) of this book so is much smaller and easier to carry in the field. But don't buy just the Field Flora as the text and hence the information contained therein is also condensed. A word of warning: The New Flora is a technical book written by an acomplished professional taxonomist/botanist for professionals but don't let this deter any new comers to botany it is still good to have along with the more basic guides such as the Collins Guide to the Wildflowers of Britain and Ireland by Fitter et al. As you begin to identify plants using the basic guides you can also refer to Stace and you will eventually get used to the technical language of Stace. I use Stace as my primary text for identifying plants but still refer to the basic texts for pictures just to be absolutley certain. All in all buy it along with the Field Flora but have at least one of the basic texts also.
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64 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very useful but definately not for the beginner, 6 Jun 2000
By A Customer
Stace's Flora lists virtually all the species likely to be found growing wild (including established introductions) within the British Isles but it is rather too large and heavy to be used in the field-his Field Flora is much more suitable for that purpose. It is very technical and, although the keys work, a fair amount of experience is required before they are of much use. I find his omission of any indication of flowering times particularly annoying. I realise these vary depending upon where the plant is growing, but most flora's give at least a rough indication and it certainly aids identification. There are a number of very useful illustration showing the differences between the more critical genera (e.g.Alchemilla) and these are very useful. An essential book for the serious (amateur or professional) botanist but I still find the earlier Flora's (by CTW and CTM) easier to use even though the nomenclature is a bit outdated, they also give a lot of additional useful information (e.g.pollinating agents) which Stace generally omits.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, 15 Nov 2010
My copy of Stace's first edition is looking very dog-eared and worn from too many field trips, so the appearance of version 3 prompted a well-overdue upgrade. Still as useful as ever - descriptions focus on the essentials, and the expanded range of species covers most eventualities. As other reviewers have commented, you have to know how to use a technical botanical key, but these are relatively easy to use (apart from a maybe inevitable reliance on overlapping measurements - are the lemmas 4.2 - 6mm, or 4.4 - 8mm long???). The nomenclature and taxonomic changes in this edition also justify the upgrade. My main note of caution is the robustness of the soft plastic cover, which will eventually part company with the pages within if you carry it round in the field for too long. I assume a hardback edition would've been prohibitively expensive, so handle with care or keep it on your desk. The other thing to understand is this is an identification guide, no more and no less - descriptions are inevitably short in order to pack in the species, so you will need to read more widely to learn more about a particular plant.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent technical work, 7 Feb 2009
By 
I. C. Devereux (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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An excellent reference - but not for the 'beginner'. You have to know your botanical vocabulary to make use of this book (it does have a good glossary though). The black & white, sometimes not too clear, illustrations are there purely as an aid to the written descriptions.
I chose this over Stace's 'Field Flora' as it is not that much larger or heavier. I have used it successfully in the field and despite some initial reservations as to construction my copy has survived outdoor use well.
The less experienced (or those who enjoy good illustrations) should look at 'The Wild Flower Key' (Revised Edition) [ASIN:0723251754] br Francis Rose & Clare O'Reilly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stace's New Flora, third edition, 26 Sep 2010
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The new definitive work, almost faultless. Although it is essentially a book of words and not a colour picture guide, it is liberally illustrated in B&W with all the characters and details that you need for identification. Use it together with whatever colour guide you like. Compared with much else on the shelves, Stace treats you like a grown up and uses technical terms when necessary, but they are all in the short glossary so no problem. Yes, it requires a little effort and involvement, but rewards you with a real understanding as to why your plant is what it is. If you are not familiar with the 'key' system, don't be daunted -- it has worked for hundreds of years and despite many attempts has never been bettered. The book covers only 'vascular' plants, that is ferns, flowering plants (including grasses etc.), and trees. But not mosses, lichens, fungi etc.. The new edition has been expanded further to include almost all non-native plants that might be found in the 'wild'. If you are serious about plant identification, then this book must be on your shelves.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The latest edition of the Standard, 1 July 2010
Another edition of what is the current standard scientific identification guide, Stace's "New Flora", replaces the second. In this third edition more use has been made of desk-top publishing software, and Cambridge University Press has been more involved in the final stages of production.

The British Flora comprises a burgeoning membership: 160 new species have been added since the previous version; and more up-to-date information has been incorporated, using Botanical survey data published in the "New Atlas of the British Flora". This volume, like its predecessor, "Flora of the British Isles" by Clapham, Tutin and Warburg (and Moore in the last edition) is for the most part a series of keys - paired, contrasting descriptions of diagnostic detail which lead through a succession of further descriptions to a species name with summary description and general notes - and is an example of the normal scientific process of identification. The verbal detail is supported by 1600 illustrations (line drawings or half-tone plates) clarifying distinguishing features. The whole text has been revised and now covers 4800 taxa, i.e. species, hybrids and definable taxonomic levels below the specific. The reason why the number is so large is an acknowledgement of the likelihood of encountering cultivated escapes which have domiciled themselves in the countryside of the British Isles. A new feature is the influence of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group's classification scheme, to which users of older publications are having to become accustomed; the impact of molecular studies on the genetics of plants affects nomenclature not just at specific or lower level, but many familial and other ranks have been widely reconstituted. The author broadly follows the latest classification, tempered with a degree of pragmaticism. (Some refugees from the butchered family, Scrophulariaceae, are here coralled within "Veronicaceae", keeping them separate from the Plantaginaceae whose gamut has been augmented by the molecular taxonomists.)

In short, this latest refinement of the most comprehensive, current, single-volume, standard work offering scientifically based identification of, and summary notes on the species of vascular plants in the British Flora.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not easy to search, 10 April 2014
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This is a wonderful reference book and it seemed like a good idea to have in in Kindle form so that it is easy to carry around. However, it has not been designed well enough in this format and searching it is very laborious indeed. They need to list all the families at least at the start, as you can only narrow down to a huge group like true Dicots then go page by page through the whole lot to find the family you want.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stace New Flora, 16 Oct 2009
By 
S. Shorter - See all my reviews
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I knew what to expect from this book before I bought it, as I've used it before. If you're serious about species identification, then this book is essential. It is the most detailed book available, although it can be a little daunting at first, because it takes a while to work out how to use it. It certainly isn't a field guide, as it is pretty bulky, but necessary for any serious botanist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential botanical text, 5 Oct 2010
Stace is a text that the keen botanist cannot be without. The second edition was starting to become dated, particularly with the advances in plant taxonomy, so this third edition is a must-have. The book fulfills all all that one would hope. A good purchase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A useful book, 14 May 2014
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Unfortunately this type of book is nearly out of date as soon as it is printed, and this is the case here. But as I am standing back from the race for the most up to date this will do me fine.
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New Flora of the British Isles
New Flora of the British Isles by Clive A. Stace (Paperback - 9 Jan 1992)
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