Woody Plants of Utah
504 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:06 Nov 2011

Woody Plants of Utah

A Field Guide with Identification Keys to Native and Naturalized Trees, Shrubs, Cacti, and Vines

Utah State University Press

A comprehensive guide that includes a vast range of species and plant communities and employs thorough, original keys. Based primarily on vegetative characteristics, the keys don't require that flowers or other reproductive features be present, like many plant guides. And this guide's attention to woody plants as a whole allows one to identify a much greater variety of plants. That especially suits an arid region such as Utah with less diverse native trees. Woody plants are those that have stems that persist above ground even through seasons that don't favor growth, due to low precipitation or temperatures.

Woody Plants of Utah employs dichotomous identification keys that are comparable to a game of twenty questions. They work through a process of elimination by choosing sequential alternatives.

Detailed, illustrated plant descriptions complement the keys and provide additional botanical and environmental information in relation to a useful introductory categorization of Utah plant communities. Supplementary tools include photos, distribution maps, and an illustrated glossary.

The authors have done a good job writing for amateur botanists (or in their words 'hobby naturalists and curious wanderers') and professionals as well. The book is packed with information about Utah's fantastic flora. I enjoyed reading its comments. The etymology of scientific names added value and the glossary read well. The taxonomy is current from my perspective.

—Noel H. Holmgren, Senior Curator of Botany, Emeritus, New York Botanical Garden and Coauthor of Intermountain Flora: Vascular Plants of the Intermountain West
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