Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Field Manual of Michigan Flora released
Today, the long-awaited update to Edward G. Voss's classic Michigan Flora, Field Manual of Michigan Flora by E.G. Voss and A.A. Reznicek, arrived via UPS at my door. Gone are the cloth covers, sleeves, color plates, illustrations, and heavy stock, replaced by a sleek-for-its-size, sharply designed work with larger trim that clocks in at just over 1000 pages. Although the emphasis of this work is updated nomenclature, updated keys, and nearly current range maps, species descriptions still contain important and interesting information on habitats, additional identifying characteristics, nativity, and other pertinent matters. Distribution maps are small but crisp, and the reader is aided by the placement of Michigan county maps on both end papers, which also contain scales in centimeters and millimeters. I look forward to spending more time with the keys and the manual this spring and summer.
Sadly, this book arrived two days after the passing of the first author, Ed Voss. The content herein is a testament to Ed's dedication to the study (and protection) of Michigan's native flora, and it is also a reflection of the quality and breadth of work on Michigan floristics conducted by Tony Reznicek, who took on the significant task of combining and updating the three previous volumes of Michigan Flora. In addition, this manual is another reminder that interest in natural history is alive and well, even if we sometimes lose sight of the fact that there are a lot of people, many of them quiet or obscure, who are enjoying, documenting, photographing, studying, and writing about nature. The wealth of field guides and floristic works completed and in production makes this an exciting time for the professional and avocational botanist. I recommend adding Field Manual of Michigan Flora to your bookshelf, or, better yet, that bin of books in the back of your car, ready for your next roadtrip.