Praise for Wildflowers of Placer and Nevada Counties, California, 1st Ed.

 - Residents and visitors alike are fortunate to have this delightful new and very accessible wildflower guide in print at last. Conceived of in 1999 by members of the Redbud Chapter of CNPS, it is finally available thanks to their combined talents and efforts. The cover immediately invites one into one of many beautiful settings found within these two counties. Photographs throughout the book pay tribute to the special beauty of both the wildflowers and the landscape.

In a wonderfully complete yet brief set of pieces, tribute is generously paid to Gordon True and Lillian Mott, early plant hunters who inspired and taught many, including some of the authors; an informative and useable discussion of the two counties’ geography and setting that includes good maps and illustrative photos; and brief but well thought out information about invasive weeds, fire management, and warnings about improper plant collection.

Next, a useful informative chapter provides information about places to see wildflowers omplete with directions of how to get there. I would love to have had this list years ago. It is very inviting. An interesting nicely written chapter starts off with advice about looking at wildflowers and using the book and ends with short well-written descriptions of the various plant communities found in the two counties.

Then comes the largest section, the plant descriptions arranged by family. Descriptions are brief but informative and include information such as bloom times, elevation, and many details that help assure the plant hunter that “this is the right plant”.  A good hotograph accompanies each entry. A complete checklist and glossary follow the plant descriptions.

Anyone, amateurs and professionals, who likes wildflowers will treasure this attractive informative book. There is something for everyone no matter his or her level of knowledge or interest in this Redbud Chapter publication. The authors and CNPS chapter are to be congratulated for a work well done and a delightful addition to the botanical publications found in California.

Phyllis M. Faber - Editor - University of California Press, Former Vice President of Publications – CNPS, Co-founder – Marin Agricultural Land Trust


 - Wildflowers of Nevada and Placer Counties, California by members of the Redbud Chapter of the California Native Plant Society is fantastic. The pictures alone will draw people to look at this book.  They really give people the idea of why botanists enjoy wildflowers.  Including trails that people can use to find the wildflowers that are highlighted is also a great idea. 

The descriptions of the flowers are easy to understand but are also technically correct.  And the photographs of each flower clearly display the distinguishing characteristics that will make this a practical reference. Both of these features will make the book easy to use for both people new to wildflower identification and to those that have been enjoying wildflower identification for many years.  The checklist is an extra addition for those that are interested in knowing if a particular species is found in these counties.

The book has a great flow and shows the enthusiasm of the folks that have worked together to produce such a fine product. Topics covered blend well together and will make this a handy resource. I look forward to using it on one of the trails highlighted.

Linnea Hansonbotanist & rare plants specialist – Plumas National Forest, Oroville, Co-founder of Northern California Botanists


 - This remarkably comprehensive flora represents some 500 species found in California’s northern Sierra Nevada foothills and mountains. This is my local CNPS chapter, and I had the pleasure of reviewing the concise ethnobotanical information provided for over 100 plants. The photography is stunning and illustrates not only each plant, but also areas where the flowers can be found. There is also an extensive bibliography.

Kathi Keville - Director of the American Herb Association,  Author of  11 Herb and Aromatherapy Books,  Founding Member of American Herbalists Guild 

 - Wildflowers of Nevada and Placer Counties is the ideal guide for the Sierra botanist. Joyful scholarship and rigorous attention to detail are evident in every page of this magnificent book.  The photographs are stunning and well chosen to show the general impression of the plants as well as critical details. The carefully worded text is concise and well organized.  I am particularly delighted with the richness of the comments on ach species.  Each plant has a story, from Native American history and uses to the latest scientific research. With this book in hand, you will appreciate the diversity of the Sierra flora, how each plant fits into a broader ecological context, and our role as stewards of this rich resource.

John Muir Laws - Naturalist, Illustrator & Author – The Laws Guide to the Sierra Nevada.  Heyday Books/California Academy of Sciences


 - “Wildflowers of Nevada and Placer Counties” authors have written the very book we all wished we could have found when we began our exquisite adventure with the endlessly fascinating world of plants.  It is written with beauty and sensitivity to the various skills of readers who will use this book to explore. The clarity and organization walk the reader through a concise but rich summary of the habitats of the Sierra Nevada and then bring us home to meet the family.  And not just any family, but those plant families that we’re most likely to meet in our travels!

Honestly, it’s a spectacular piece of work!  This treatise is a wonderful invitation to not only the novice wildflower explorer, but also to long-time naturalists and outdoor aficionados.   Those who wish to “Know its Name” will find it here, either by the absolutely beautiful photos or through a more meaningful and detailed exploration of how plants are taxonomically grouped into families with similar characteristics.  This scheme will surely bring plant fanciers to a more sophisticated understanding of the richly intricate relationship of plants.

Especially valuable is how the book introduces two key conservation concepts, to keep in mind, when exploring plants in the wild: plant collecting and non-native or invasive plants.  The conservation of the State of California’s incredibly diverse and unique natural vegetation and spectacularly rich flora will depend on each of us helping others to understand plant rarity, local importance, and how they are displaced by more competitive non-native plants.  This book offers a clear, helpful, and very important message, within each species description, to conserve our native habitats and flora, hile we enjoy their wonder, for our pleasure and for the pleasure of many futuregenerations of plant enthusiasts.

Lastly, this book offers so much more to the discrete reader.  The wonder of the botanical world in its complex multi-dimensionality; the visual, fragrance and texture.  The species accounts provide intriguing details about the smells, textures, insect co-evolutionary relationships and ethno-botanical uses that add to our understanding and appreciation of our native flora.

Thank you, Redbud Chapter for this sensitive rich treatise on such an important resource.Your work will open the hearts and minds of many to the importance and wonder of the treasure of the Sierra Nevada Flora. Kudos to all the wonderful people who have invested their life energy to create such a gift.

Jenny C. Marr  - Botanist & Staff Environmental Scientist, California Department of Fish and Game


 - Is there anyone who feels comfortable lugging around a copy of The Jepson Manual on a field trip? Eventually the book gets ragged and dirty and tired-out, and so do we. With the publication of Wildflowers of Nevada and Placer Counties, only the real diehards will continue to strain their backs lugging Jepson in the northern Sierra . Covering some 500 species of frequently-seen wildflowers, this new book zeroes in on a specific area—conveniently omitting the multitude of species not found there. As a result, it weighs a lot less than Jepson and leaves room in your backpack for a sandwich and a water bottle.

Wildflowers…has another advantage: magnificent color photographs.

It also provides the sort of descriptive and ecological detail that the hiker or backpacker needs to feel comfortable with identifications. All too often the field-guide user is left wondering whether it is reasonable to expect a given species in a given place. A  place-specific, well-annotated volume like this removes that problem. I am recommending it to all my graduate students, most of whom are not native Californians and need to get familiar with the floras they encounter in their field work. It also includes valuable information on the threats to our native flora—from exotics and from developers alike.

A second volume on woody plants is in the works.

Of course, there is no way a book like this can include all the species of Lotus, Lupinus, Arabis, Eriogonum or other richly-represented genera  in the northern Sierran flora. We will still have to refer to our Jepson. We just won’t have to do so on the Pacific Crest Trail halfway between Lake Mary and Anderson Peak!

Arthur Shapiroprofessor of evolution & ecology – University of California, Davis, Author – Field Guide to Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay & Sacramento Valley Regions – University of California Press