126 of 128 people found the following review helpful
How this edition differs from the old edition,
This review is from: The Wild Flower Key (Revised Edition) - How to identify wild plants, trees and shrubs in Britain and Ireland (Paperback)
The second edition of this classsic guide has been long coming: in 25 years since the book was published, many people are surprised to learn that there have been many changes to our knowledge of wild plants.
Many features used in identification have been shown to be inaccurate. Scientific names have changed. Many non-native species have become relatively widespread.
This second edition does differ dramatically from the first, but it's all in the detail:
1. there are over 100 new line drawings of diagnostic parts of plants;
2. there are 150 new colour plant portraits;
3. over a third of the genera keys have been re-written as many did not work!
4. national referees (i.e. top experts) have written keys for difficult groups such as willowherbs and water-starworts;
5. there are completely new keys, which did not appear in the old edition e.g. to fine-leaved mayweeds;
6. the new introduction is twice as long, with much additional information to assist beginners;
7. the new glossary is three times as long, packed with new line illustrations;
8. there are new features to assist those working in conservation, such as marking plants as BAP species and with their protected species and/or red list status;
9. there is a compilation of the lastest research on ancient woodland indicator species;
10. the new edition includes extra identification tips, from the new author's experience and from specialist publications like Plant Crib, not published in any other field guide.
This book is not really a competitor with the Fitter and Blamey books, as suggested by reviews here - it goes beyond just 'picture matching' and is the only book to bridge the gap between picture guides and non-illustrated, academic floras. Plus I have to say, the illustrations in the latest Fitter and Blamey book (2003) are mostly dreadful! There are many errors, sometimes just a bit misleading (e.g. meadow buttercup lower leaf) to unidentifiable blobs (e.g. purslane) to pictures of completely the wrong plant (e.g. narrow-leaved ragwort (it should have linear leaves!!)
In case anyone thinks I am biased as author of the new edition, please note that I revised the book because I got fed up with teaching using the old, out of date edition, and I do not get royalties!
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Initial post: 29 Feb 2008 14:14:30 GMT
Thankyou for updating Rose. I will buy a copy because the original is still an important work but to have it updated is a privilage not to be overlooked.
Posted on 26 May 2014 13:52:23 BDT
Roger Blake says:
That was an extremely useful list of updates. Thank-you. Having had the first edition since it came out and being most impressed with it - definitely the best guide out there - I will now finally get a copy of the second edition. Better late than never !
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