Several people have asked me how I was able to identify all the different wildflowers I photographed on my trip west – especially since this was my first time seeing all these wildflowers. The answer is actually pretty straight forward – I bought several reference books before I headed west – and bought a few more while I was in the various parks. I’ve found that by searching amazon for the state or park name and wildflowers I can usually come up with at least some basic reference books before I visit a new area. And then I always visit park bookstores and other local bookstores to see what else I can find. I literally have a shelf full of wildflower identification books – and I’m always looking to add new ones to my collection.
Here’s what I added to my collection as a result of my trip west – and I’m sure I’ll add a few more next year . . . (links go to the books on Amazon – they are provided for your convenience – they’re not affiliate links).
Common Plants of Theodore Roosevelt National Park – Robert L. Sisk and Jan Tysdal-Sisk – includes grasses, trees, shrubs and exotic plants in addition to the native wildflowers. I bought it at the park – and it’s the best guide I found for that area.
Common Wildflowers of Grand Teton National Park – Charles Craighead – a handy little book I bought at Grand Teton. It is an official guidebook of Grand Teton National Park. There are several books in the series including Day Hikes and Short Walks of Grand Teton National Park, Wildlife of Grand Teton National Park and History of Grand Teton National Park. There may be others in the series – these are the ones I brought home with me. These books aren’t available on Amazon – you can order them directly from the Grand Teton Association website.
Tallgrass Prairie Wildflowers – Doug Ladd and Frank Oberle – includes wildflowers of the Prairie Midwest – so east of the parks I visited on this trip. It covers from eastern Manitoba – south to northeastern Oklahoma – east to western Tennessee and north to western Ohio. It’s my first book on wildflowers of this region – now I just need some parks to go visit so I can start finding these wildflowers to photograph.
Wildflowers of Glacier National Park and Surrounding Areas – Shannon Fitzpatrick Kimball and Peter Lesica – my favorite book for the wildflowers I found in Glacier National Park. The flowers are organized by color – which always makes it easier for me to identify wildflowers I find and have no clue what family they belong to.
Wildflowers of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks – Richard J. Shaw – my favorite book for Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Organized by color, has the most common wildflowers and nice and light so easy to toss into my backpack.
Wildflowers of Montana – Donald Anthony Schiemann – includes 350 wildflowers in the mountains, plans and forests of Montana
Wildflowers of the Western Plains – Zoe Merriman Kirkpatrick – includes 186 species native to the western plains stretching from western Texas and eastern New Mexico in the south to Canada in the north.
Wildflowers of Wyoming – Diantha and Jack States – I got my copy for about $ 20 – no clue why the only copy listed on Amazon is on sale for over $ 900!!! It’s a good book – but I’m sure you can find a more reasonably priced copy elsewhere on the web is it’s still this overpriced on Amazon.
Since I’m planning on heading back to these areas again next year – do you have a favorite wildflower guide for the region that I should add to my collection before I go? If you know of any – please let me know. Thanks