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on 8 September 2011
I have been absolutely bowled over by this huge book. I cannot praise it enough! Even at its huge depth and quite a weight I will consider carrying it into the field on appropriate 'flower based days'. The illustrations I thought at first were quite small then with a closer look I saw how accurate they are - the depictions in most cases make it possible to recognise the whole plant and only need a closer inspection where plants are very similar. I love the 'little circles' around pertinent points where there are close similarities - draws the eye immediately to the bits you need to compare. Similar species have their leaves shown clearly behind the flower and this has allowed me to name a species that has been puzzling me for a couple of years! And thats just the illustrations - each section has a 'proper' key to wade through for those with detailed botanical knowledge. Add to this the tree, rushes, sedges and fern sections and this really is the most complete guide published yet - and the easiest to use - if not to carry! In fact I like it so much I have bought a second one for a friend!!
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on 30 March 2016
While perhaps not suitable for everyone, this book is essential for any taxonomic degree, and would be great for anyone with the desire and patience to learn how to use taxonomic keys. The introduction does explain everything you need to know, and it is essential for the laymen to read it; be patient and when in doubt, use either alternate bookYouTube as a supplemental tutor for identification. The effort and technical expertise given in this book is due to the valiant effort of many taxonomists, and my hat comes off! ^_^
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on 28 August 2015
Excellent book, beautifully illustrated although pictures (and book itself) are a little small, but if this were a table-sized book it would be huge, so just about right. This book isn't just a 'look up the pictures to find your plant' book, it has a key-system that actually performs very well indeed when compared to other serious ID books - very pleasantly surprised by this book, it's beautiful and a powerful ID tool! I love it.
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on 20 December 2014
Excellent comprehensive book for reference use.
This is quite a thick heavy book so we usually leave this one at home for reference use rather than for field use.
Does not have a particularly user friendly key so not the best book for quickly finding the identify of a flower unless you have rough idea to start with. (We have a much older but now well worn version of the Collins guide that had an excellent key).
We now take smaller, lighter (but less comprehensive) guides out with us.
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on 5 October 2015
This is my favourite wildflower guide. Good, clear illustrations with some useful blow up detail of leaves, which I don't have in other guides. Also, the plant name is next to the plant illustration on the same page ,which makes for quicker I.D., rather than having to cross reference to the opposite page. Scientific detail is also good. Also, 18 illustrated pages of grass I.D.!!! Brilliant!!
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Well , Collins have done it again . A truly excellent book on the subject . I have never seen such a comprehensive coverage of the natural fauna , to be found around the British Isles . The artwork is excellent . The text is concise and the more important information can be quickly gleaned therefrom .
I strongly recommend this book to any student studying botany and the like , and to anyone interested in wild flowers , grasses , ferns and so on .
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on 7 April 2012
Another excellent book from the Collins' range of field guides. The only slight fault, that may cause some readers a little consternation, is that the identification key is divided up by genus and spread throughout the book. There is no main key to these other keys. This means, that you will have to thumb through the book if you do not know the genus that the plant you are trying to identify belongs to. If however you do, you will still have to thumb or refer to the index as the genus keyes are not in alphabetical order.
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on 11 November 2010
I received this book last week and have tried it out in the field, mainly on ferns and trees and some difficult genera. The book has mostly common plants but the serious plant hunter will need companion floras like Stace 3. and or Poland and Clement and Rose for the alien Verbascum's for example. The keys are excellent and user friendly.
The illustrations are very detailed highlighting the salient points as are the grasses, sedges and rushes.

A great book as are all Collin's guides and very, very reccommended for all botanists beginner or expert.
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on 19 June 2017
A brilliant book very useful and taught me a lot.
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on 11 December 2012
A super work with 1900 species described and huge numbers of minor species and variants illustrated. You'll never regret getting this either as your main wild flower book, or as a joint primary wild flower book with another.

The cover is not too durable so if you plan to take it out in the field (as you will) do plasticise over the cover, with some covering plastic that can be got for just pennies at a supermarket.
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