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Reviews of Wildflowers of Wisconsin: Field Guide

Book Profile
Author (1): Stan Tekiela

Softcopy edition:
Publish date: April 2000
Published by: Adventure Publications
List price: $16.95
ISBN Number: 1885061773



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Neutral Equilibrium On Sep 22, 2004, Equilibrium wrote:

Somewhat of a disappointment as both native and non native plants are lumped into the category of "wildflowers".

The author does denote origin but the category is combined with cycle as an entry.

Not all plants that have naturalized are native. Not all plants that are non native are invasive. Great photos to help in identification however I believe not enough emphasis was placed on which non native (exotic) plants were invasive as I did not note anwhere in his notes pertaining to a non native plant where the term invasive was used yet many plants depicted as wildflowers are commonly referred to as invasives for the damage they wreak on the environment. Little or no mention of these types of attributes or I felt they were downplayed.

Point in context would be an entry for Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

The author does indicate this plant is not native and for this I applaud him. Shame it appears so many people do not understand the concept of non native v. native.

"Stan's Notes: A very showy plant that often grows in large numbers, Purple Loosestrife puts on an impressive show in bloom. One of the few plants that has both opposite and whorled leaves on the same plant, it was once grown as a garden plant because of its striking magenta flower spikes. This native of Eurasia is often considered a noxious weed because it takes over and pushes out native plants such as cattails and bulrush. Efforts are under way to reduce the loosestrife poulation by releasing special beetles that feed on the plant's roots and leaves."

Hmmm... "was once grown as a garden plant"? An issue for me is that not only is this particular plant still being grown as garden plant by many; but in my area, the plant and its cultivars are also currently being sold and are readily available. Such a disappointment given in Illinois, Purple Loosestrife made it to the "Hall of Shame" list and to the best of my knowledge it is unlawful to sell the plant. I must admit this is one of the first "wildflower" books I purchased and I found many entries that were misleading to me back then because so many of his notes on non natives included such favorable descriptions that they made me want to own these plants. Emphasis did not appear to be on possible negative impacts these non natives could have on our fragile ecosystens but more so on what was so desirable about the plants.

Other entries with Stan's Notes that were cause for concern in my opinion would be:
Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
Teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris
Crown Vetch (Coronilla varia)
Winter Cress (Barbarea vulgaris
Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis scorpioides)
Bittesweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)

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