If you love plants for their own sake, this is the book for you! You don’t have to be a gardener or a naturalist to enjoy all the fascinating information that is contained in this book. You don’t have to love wildflowers to appreciate how they have contributed to our lives and culture. All you need is to be interested in plants and Jack Sanders book will captivate and entertain you.
The book is divided into three sections by season: Spring, Summer, Late Summer to Fall. Over 70 wildflowers are listed in one of the three sections according to their bloom time and several pages are devoted to each dealing with a vast array of material including natural history, origin of name, folklore, habitats, uses, and horticultural hints. We learn that the roots of skunk cabbage can live for over 200 years, Daniel Boone hunted and sold ginseng for export, and that black-eyed Susan got its name from a c1720 ballad about a girl who came on board a ship looking for her sweetheart who is a crewmember on the ship. Quotes from Culpepper and Gerard as well as poems from many diverse poets place the wildflowers in their literary context and provide both humor and insight into the historical significance of the wildflowers
Sanders book is to be enjoyed as a commentary on the place of wildflowers in our lives. It is not a field guide and was not meant to be. Illustrated with the authors own photographs, the book complements and supplements a field guide and is a delightful read any time of year but especially when the winter days are long and gray and thoughts pass to spring.