Wild Flowers of Britain
by Roger Phillips
“Seven years ago when my son Sam was five I felt that growing up in London he was missing the dirt and damp of the countryside. So, we started a Sunday routine of going to the country, rain or shine, summer or winter, and cooking a picnic lunch over an open fire… I have watched the land change and the plants grow and die through the seasons. I began to wonder and question the identity of plants that I found in the marshy wilderness around the canal… I frequently failed to make a positive identification… I have tried to make the book I needed seven years ago” Roger Phillips
Photographic guides quite often don’t work. They fail to pick up on crucial identification features or over emphasise others. I don’t think photographic bird guides are particularly effective for that reason. However Roger Phillips is not only extremely skilled with a camera, he also obviously knows his way round picking up and illustrating many salient features of flora.
For true accurate wildflower identification, a good key is required, I have a couple of volumes that include these and will cover them over the coming weeks, but sometimes all you want is to leaf through a book and loudly proclaim “that’s it“! In which case, this is the book to have.
I have a few of Roger Phillips’s large photographic guides- Mushrooms, Trees and Grasses, Ferns & Lichens. All are good though none are suitable for work in the field. Their large size and soft covers (other than my ‘Trees’ volume) preclude that, but still, they sit on a top shelf in my ‘natural history’ corner and get pulled out on a regular basis throughout the year.
Book from my shelves:
Wild Flowers of Britain, Roger Phillips, Pan Books Ltd, 1977. ISBN 0-330-25183-X
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