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Old 06-15-2009, 08:34 AM   #2
WG Writer
hazelnut's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Greensboro, Alabama USA

The review is not useful. And a little redundant - the same information is repeated over and over again. The editor must be asleep!

There was a list:

This book on native plants was at the top of the list.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
With over 420 entries and more than 670 pages, this encyclopedia by Canadian gardening writer Harris (In the Garden, Favorite Garden Tips, etc.) provides a comprehensive celebration of the trees and flowers native to North America. (Harris defines "native" as "a plant that can be documented to have been in North America prior to European contact.") Her book emphasizes the historical and medicinal aspects of its entries. For example, under "Flowering Dogwood," Harris notes that Native Americans used the tree as "an indicator plant" whose blooms let them know when it was time to plant corn and that dogwood's bark contains the same malaria-treating ingredient as quinine. This volume is a good choice for those who are interested in ecologically conscious gardening and botanical history.
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Harris is currently editor of Gardening Life. Botanica North America, which took five years to write, is certainly her major work.
In separate chapters North America is divided into 10 plant communities: "The Eastern Forests," "Swamps and Wetlands," "Florida," "The Boreal Forest," "The Prairie," "The Desert," "California," "Montane," "The Tall Trees," and "The Tundra." A map illustrates the areas crossing state and provincial boundaries. The Florida plant community is the southern half of the state, and "Tall Trees" includes part of northern California. Prairie runs from Texas to the southern part of Alberta.
Throughout the text Harris stresses plant ecology and the importance of preserving the natural world. The 420 plants included are native--documented to have been in North America before exploration by Europeans (1450) and still in existence. Plants that are considered the most important historically, ecologically, or economically are first in each chapter, followed by other plants arranged in botanical families. Each entry includes botanical, ethnobotanical, geographical, and historical information. We learn that sphagnum moss was used by Native Americans to line diapers, and in World War I it was encased in muslin and used for surgical dressings. Dogwood berries are high in fat, and robins depend on them for energy in migrating from the south. Quotations, poems, and excerpts from books and articles are scattered through the text and well documented. The photographs are all in full color, and many are full-page or double-page spreads. Unfortunately, the index includes only plant names. The two-volume Botanical Garden (Firefly, 2002) might be considered similar, but it is more of an identification source. Botanica North America concentrates less on identification and more on how North American trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals have survived and flourished. It is a necessary acquisition for public and academic libraries with a strong botanical collection. Gardeners will love to have their own copies to read in the dead of winter or on a warm summer evening. RBB
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details
  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; 1st edition (November 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062702319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062702319
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